Get the Most of Gmail: 12 Ultimate Productivity Tools
Productivity, productivity, productivity – the most important three words when it comes to success, and three words that cannot be left apart in an efficient mailing experience. Considering the fact that Google’s mail solution is one of the most utilized nowadays, we’ve gathered a collection of the best 12 tools for Gmail, which are bound to improve your mailing efficiency and also, spare time in the meanwhile.
As an avid Gmail user myself, I have sometimes wished for more customization and when officials lack implementation, third party options have always worked. So, in the list presented below, we are going to show you how to tweak the inbox in order to save space, time and link it with other services as well.
The Best 12 Productivity tools for Gmail
The list below has been compiled from our personal experience, and from those of some of our readers. If you feel that a relevant tool should be amongst the mentioned, don’t be shy and mention it in a comment. We might post it in the next round-up.
Dedicated to iPhones all over the world, Mailbox is a beautiful Gmail client developed by Orchestra. It integrates perfectly with Google’s mail solution and looks like it has been thought by Steve Jobs itself, especially when it comes to user interface and the embedded navigation gestures.
Mailbox relies on a simple set of swipe gestures and different colors, to browse and use Gmail every day. For instance, swiping a message to the right archives it and the action is marked by a green checkmark, letting users know immediately if something went wrong or not.
If you swipe to the left, the message will be saved for later reading and the application will prompt users to choose the delay curve, just like in the picture.
Swiping an email to the right and holding the cursor a bit longer will automatically delete that email, while doing the same but in the other direction will give users the option to move or label the message.
Moreover, mails can be swapped, arranged or postponed in groups, using the same simple and intuitive pattern.
Another great advantage is the speed which the system functions with, in some areas actually exceeding the default mail app from Apple. Combining that with a few other tricks like instantly taking a picture and attaching it to a message or push notification, makes this baby a suitable replacement for Apple’s. Too bad it will only launch next year.
Send From Gmail
Google Chrome has quite some useful extensions and we don’t mind saying that Send From Gmail is a happy member of that group. The software automatically attaches to the browser and when the user clicks on email addresses found on any website, it will pop-up a classic compose window, without actually leaving the page.
The simplicity of the system is what makes it wonderful and for those who wish to get a bit more out of it, a Gmail icon will be deployed near the browsing bar which once clicked, it will open the same compose window on demand. Moreover, this window will automatically fill the Subject field with the name of the webpage currently shown and it will insert the link into the body.
The genuine benefit of having Send from Gmail is that any time you click on an email address on any web page, it will automatically open a Mail Compose window in Gmail – right within your browser. The extension also provides a browser button so that you can open the Mail Compose window quickly by just clicking on it.
Gmail Notifier is a desktop client can help users check multiple Google Mail accounts at the same time, while also keeping an ear for other Google applications, just in case they issue something
new. Besides simplicity and sheer rapidness of response, Gmail Notifier has the following features:
- Tray icon that alerts whenever a new email is received, using visual and audio signals
- Allows users to read a part of email right from the app itself, and also to delete them
- Uses IMAP protocol to connect over SSL encryption
- Supports multiple accounts and simultaneously login (up to five)
- Compatible with UTF-8 mails and direct mail links
- Automatic updates
- Email counter
- Runs at start-up
Gmail Notifier is free to download and can be used in over 11 languages, including French, Italian, Deutsch, Russian, Japanese and Korean.
Coming as the web-based version of the software presented above, Gmail Watcher is a Firefox extension that alerts users of new emails, whether they are under the casual inbox or any other label, including Priority. It’s easy to use and once installed, a small Gmail Icon and a counter will appear next to the address search bar, announcing new updates.
This tool can be configured to check for emails after specified intervals and even for multiple users (up to 3). Alerts are served through visual means (blinking icon or notification windows) or, through audio (sound alerts).
Moreover, newly arrived emails display a snippet of the message thanks to the Gmail feed embedded and users also have the option of reading the full message, right from the main window. The only bad part is that it works as long as you are logged on Gmail’s website.
WiseStamp is a Google Chrome extension that it’s going to take your email signature to a completely different level, by embedding customizable code and social media essence. Coming as a great opportunity for companies and people that tend to promote their business through mails, this piece of software can include cool things in your email signature, such as the latest tweet, Google+ updates and even more.
Also available for Firefox and Safari, WiseStamp is compatible with a wide range of services, including the following:
WiseStamp is easy to setup and configure in such ways that the personalized HTML code is inserted automatically in your signature. All modifications are synchronized between computers and to simplify experience even more, the software contains various IM icons.
Inbox Pause or Snooze
Receiving hundreds of emails daily is not an easy task to keep up with, especially when you are away for a couple of days or you forget to check the inbox, and messages start piling up.
There are two easy services that can help relieve that stress of your shoulders for a while, and Inbox Pause is one of them. In a few words, this service adds a straight-forward pause button for Gmail, which holds any received message when pushed. When this feature is activated, mails will stop coming and notification will not be received, until unpaused.
Technically, all messages will be automatically moved under a specific label and when users hit unpause, Gmail will start working normally and all paused emails will arrive instantly. Moreover, the feature has a few options that lets users customize experience, such as letting people know that you are unavailable and that their message will be read after a while.
The second service is actually a Chrome extension, which acts as a lighter version of those presented above. Although there is no relationship between the two companies, Snooze Your Email lets users postpone messages for a few hours or days, and be reminded about them after the desired interval.
This is very helpful for delaying important actions, for a time when you have sufficient resources to take care of them.
Deemed as one of the best products of 2011 by PCWorld, Smartr Inbox is a software meant to transform Gmail into a socialized contact center. Once installed as a browser extension and given access by the user, it will use a home-made Xobni account to scan and compile a comprehensive list of Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and mobile contacts.
After enhancing the Gmail inbox with this feature, contacts will begin displaying information such as complete contact information, social updates, message history and common contacts. Speaking of contacts, these will be arranged in a smarter way, right on the Gmail front screen. Users have the possibility of displaying top contacts, persons usually encountered on Facebook and even more.
Besides all of these, Smartr has an improved searching engine, which arranges contacts by their importance, and a way of centralizing all information (and this includes social as well) under one roof. It’s a great tool for networking purposes, especially if you hate logging on various different windows in order to catch up with people.
Those who wish to get a lot more out of this Xobni product, can opt for the Pro variant, which costs around $48 a year.
SaneBox is a rather more evolved variant of the Priority Inbox Google integrated in past updates, with a flavor of social networks and time-scheduling concepts. Although users can only enjoy a limited-time trial, paying for this software will give you access to the following features:
- Smart filtering – using intelligent algorithms, SaneBox has the ability of analyzing the importance of a received email, and sort it into a separate folder, leaving only important messages on-top.
- Defer emails – using the custom-built folders, users have the possibility of postponing unread messages for another time by simply moving a message into the appropriate folder. Because each of this folder has an expiration date, sort of speak, once the delaying period has passed, messages will be returned to the main inbox.
- Follow-up reminders – this tool can announce users if a sent email has not been replied until a certain date.
- Sane Summary – once a day or more often if the user desires, SaneBox will send a summary of your activity, highlighting the latest unimportant emails, reminders and even more.
- Spam Engine – mark a message as spam by dragging it in the SaneBlackHole folder, and you’ll never hear from that source again.
- Cloud attachments – after automatically scanning the inbox, SaneBox will replace all found attachments with a link towards DropBox, where all the files will be moved.
- Socialized – improve the email experience even more, by connecting the tool with various social services, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The tool works with Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, AOL, Apple Mail, Outlook, iOS and Android.
CloudMagic is a supersized search engine that can help users discover lost content from all kind of services, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote and even more. Being compatible with devices of all kinds, including multiple browsers and portable gadgets, CloudMagic can quickly procure interesting data from multiple sources.
When it comes to Gmail, this software can literally do magic for both online and offline mediums, by indexing all your messages and storing them locally. When users search across CloudMagic, the tool will show results based on multiple Gmail, Calendar, Twitter, Office 365 and Documents accounts, in a comprehensive view.
Moreover, the tool aims at simplicity, by giving users the possibility to integrate a CloudMagic search bar right into the browser, be it Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer.
Minimalist for Everything
When the Gmail window simply gets too crowded, Minimalist for Everything is the tool you need. This free Chrome extension provides more than few tools for customizing the Google Mail interface, in order to strip the unnecessary from sight.
The most important elements targeted by the application include sidebar and header advertisements, the chat window, and other notifications. Those who wish to go even further can literally remove everything, expect the email itself. And apart from those:
- Synchronized options across most platforms
- Quick-access controls
- Simple dashboard
- Powerful options pages
- Built-in development tools
Find Big Mail
Having problems with your Gmail space limit? Even though that’s a bit unlikely, considering the amount of space Google reserving for one account, some people may found themselves a bit crowded by the number or size, of received messages.
In order to fix issues of that king, Fing Big Mail is a service that’s name speaks for itself. Coming in the form of a simplistic website, Gmail owners can warp to the official portal, input their email address and let the service find emails that occupy a lot of space.
Although the seeking process may take a while (up to one hour, but it took around 2 minutes for me), at the end you will receive an email with processed data and new labels advertising the size of the message. Afterwards, it is up to you to delete the ones you find useless.
Taskforce is probably a tool many people need. I remember that my times as a freelancer were a bit chaotic, with a lot of incoming-emails requiring me to do this or that, and even know, as a more stable person, not much has changed.
In a few words, Taskforce can simplify your life a bit more, by enabling users to convert emails into actual tasks, letting you know what the next item to resolve on the list is. In the shape of a browser add-on for pretty much every advanced navigator out there, it installs on the computer and offers an intuitive interface that integrates with Gmail’s inbox.
From point on, any email can be turned into a task by using the Convert to New Task button or, Add to Existing Task. Of course, tasks are manually defined and only users can describe what is it required. Once a tasks has been created, it can be viewed right in your inbox and shared with others.
Taskforce is free to use but a pro version can be purchased with a couple extra features, for only $5.
More than often I am required of repetitive sending emails with a body similar to one another, even in proportions of 90%. The process extends even further when it comes to replying to certain message, so writing the same email or even using pre-made templates, as served messages, has taken for me quite a lot of time.
One of the applications that helped me along the way is ToutApp, a piece of software available for Chrome and Firefox (also for mobiles) that can supercharge email experience by automating certain jobs. In a few words, ToutApp can easily create email templates, auto-attach documents or even auto-cc recipients within the forms. Moreover, emails can be scheduled to be sent at a specific time and incoming messages can be filter after certain criteria.
Perhaps the feature I liked the most about this program was the analytical part, which can display back-end analytics that tracks which sent emails have been opened, in real-time.