Gmail is widely accepted as one of the best – if not the best – free email providers around. In the ten years since it launched, it’s reached 1.2 billion users, 20% of the email market share (second only to the iPhone), and a minuscule 0.05% of wanted email falsely classified as spam.
It boasts an intuitive user interface, it’s secure, and it offers plenty of storage (15 GB). Better yet, Gmail can do so much more when you plug in one of the many extensions on offer to users.
Here are 11 of the best to take you from Gmail user to Gmail power user.
“Take control of when you send and receive email messages.”
Cost: From free to $50 a month (the free account is good for 10 messages/month, while a personal account with unlimited tracked emails is only $4.99/month).
Boomerang is a super-easy-to-use tool for scheduling emails and organizing your inbox. This is something many extensions offer – usually as one feature of many. If all you’re looking to do is control when your emails go out, track who’s opening them, pause your inbox, and get reminders to help you organize your email communications, inbox, and life, Boomerang is more than sufficient.
Boomerang users – even the free accounts – also get access to “Respondable,” a virtual assistant that uses artificial intelligence to help you send better emails by analyzing millions of messages and making suggestions as you write in real-time.
“Run your entire business from your inbox.”
Cost: From free (for personal users) to $89 per user/per month for an enterprise account. For most businesses, the $39 per user/per month corporate plan should suffice.
In addition to features like email scheduling, tracking, and real-time notifications (so you know when your emails are being read), Streak helps you stay on top of conversations by organizing your communication flow, makes it easy to share emails across your team (without the need to forward emails or cc team members), and allows you to easily split email threads. Oh, and it keeps on top of the deals you’ve got cooking, and your support and customer service queue.
Essentially, Streak does everything you’d expect a CRM to do, without the inconvenience of setting up and using an external system.
3. Checker Plus
“The fastest and easiest way to manage multiple email accounts.”
Checker Plus allows you to read, listen to, and delete emails, all without opening your inbox. You can identify and eliminate unimportant or irrelevant emails before you ever see them in your inbox.
It’s great for the visually impaired, as well as people who are always on the go and unable to respond to emails as quickly or as often as they’d like.
It can also notify you of new emails. You can allocate sound notifications to different contacts (in the same way you might assign separate ringtones to different contacts in your phone) and configure the extension to tell you who’s emailing and what they’ve said.
Stay on top of your inbox without having to live in it.
“Email: 30% faster, 100% more fun.”
By default, you’ll get 5 seconds to decide how to deal with each new email: reply, delete, archive, skip, or boomerang (send it away only to return to your inbox later). You get points depending on the selected action, and you get penalized for going over time.
Clear out the clutter, reply faster, and earn points. Do you have what it takes to be the high score?
The long version is that you get points for organizing your inbox and replying to emails. The faster you can clear your inbox or reply to an email, the more points you get.
The default setting only gives you three minutes to reply, but you can add extra time if you need it for longer responses.
The Email Game is ideal for anyone who spends too long replying to emails, considering your response, and deciding what to do with old or unwanted ones (i.e. most of us).
“Clean up your inbox.”
Unroll.me helps you keep your inbox squeaky-clean by making it really easy to unsubscribe from emails you don’t want to see, and consolidating those that you do.
Once installed, you can view a list of all the emails and newsletters that you’re subscribed to. You can then instantly unsubscribe from those you’re no longer interested in receiving from one convenient place.
But that’s not all.
You can also combine all the subscriptions you do want to see into a single email. You’ll get a daily “Rollup” that contains all updates from all publishers you actually want to hear from.
Instant better inbox.
“The best way to learn keyboard shortcuts while you work in Gmail.”
Keyboard shortcuts are awesome, but there are so many of them, it can be tricky to pinpoint the ones that are actually going to help you and that you’re going to use regularly.
This is where KeyRocket comes in.
It does the detective work for you by tracking your movements in Gmail and suggesting appropriate shortcuts that will help you get things done faster. You’ll simply get a subtle notification that lets you know when a suitable shortcut could have been used in place of a series of mouse clicks.
It’s like having a super tech-savvy assistant watching over your shoulder with helpful tips and tricks while you read, reply, delete, and archive.
7. Active Inbox
“Do less, achieve more.”
Cost: From $4.16 a month for a personal account, $5.83 a month for a professional account, and $12.48+ (depending on number of users) for a team account.
Active Inbox helps you optimize your inbox by letting you track, schedule, and organize emails according to priority. You can set deadlines, group similar emails into folders, and prioritize by dragging important ones to the top of the list.
You can also add notes and tasks that essentially turn your inbox into a workflow to ensure you’re always in control of your emails, as well as any external tasks they apply to.
It’s essentially a task manager right in your Gmail dashboard.
“Stay on top of your business relationships.”
Cost: $18 a month for the starter package or $29 a month for the professional package. For $40, Follow Up can be integrated into Salesforce. All tiers come with a free trial.
Follow Up is a “lightweight” email tracker and follow-up reminder designed to help you organize your professional life and relationships.
You can set reminders for emails you want to follow up on later down the line, schedule automatic follow-ups (that will be cancelled if a reply is received in the meantime), and create recurring reminders that ensure you never let routine tasks slide. It’ll even offer useful insights on the digital conversations you’re having.
Another standout feature is the ability to view your entire relationship with a contact summarized on a single screen. This is great for managing leads or dealing with large volumes of clients.
“Book meetings with one email. No back & forth. No double bookings.”
If you’ve ever been frustrated by the back-and-forth involved in scheduling a suitable date and time for meetings, you’ll love Assistant.to.
By integrating with both Gmail and Google Calendar, Assistant.to makes it ridiculously easy to create and send meeting invites that list all of your available time slots. Once received, all your contacts have to do is choose the date and time that works best for them, and it will automatically select the most appropriate slot.
Assistant.to will then check your calendar to ensure you’re still free, schedule the meeting, and notify everyone of the scheduled appointment. If anything changes, it’ll let everyone know, and even send reminders on the day of the meeting.
Other useful features include the extension’s ability to convert time zones (so there’s no confusion when scheduling meetings with contacts in other parts of the world), remember your most common meeting locations and availability (so that scheduling meetings becomes even quicker and easier), and integrations with popular conference software.
Some of the tools above allow you to track if and when the emails you send are getting opened. That can be invaluable to anyone sending outreach or sales emails, but what if you want to prevent the same trick from being played on you?
PixelBlock is a super-simple Gmail extension that blocks email trackers so you can stop other people from tracking when you open their emails.
You’ll also be notified when PixelBlock successfully stops a tracker via a “red eye” that will appear next to the sender’s name.
11. Voila Norbert
“Find any corporate email.”
Cost: Pay-as-you-go for only $0.10/lead, monthly accounts start at $49 depending on the number of leads required. Sign up and get 50 for free to try it out.
With the simple addition of a search button on profile and search pages on popular sites, Norbert can help you find and verify virtually any corporate email address. After all, you can’t reach out to someone if you don’t know their digital address.
Click “search” and let Norbert’s powerful email identification algorithm do it’s thing.
Norbert can also verify your existing email list, helping you cut out the dead and risky ones (those that look good, but might bounce for a variety of reasons). Simply upload your list as a .CSV file, or copy and paste individually addresses.
Spent more time reaching out, and less time figuring out how.
These 11 extensions will help turbocharge your inbox and make Gmail even more robust. Which Gmail extensions do you use, and which would you recommend? Share your favorites in the comments below: