Power Up Your Gmail: 9 Gmail Extensions and Plugins For Greater Organization and Productivity

If you are one of the millions of people using Gmail as your email client and are looking for ways to better organize your mail and clear out all the distractions, then you are in luck! There is an endless stream of plugins and browser extensions that integrate with Gmail to help with everything from organization to archiving to better connecting to contacts. Here are 9 of my favorite Gmail extensions and plugins that keep me organized and save me TONS of time each day.

1. Gmail Offline:  This add-on syncs your emails and allows you to access them while offline, which can be extremely helpful in allowing you to read and respond to emails without being interrupted by new emails flooding into your inbox. It’s also useful if you are a frequent traveler with lots of time available to catch up on email but you don’t have an internet connection. You can read and respond to emails and once you reconnect, everything is synced and sent.
2. Boomerang: Having a simple system to schedule and easily follow-up emails is a necessity. Boomerang is the perfect tool! Not only does it allow you to schedule emails for future delivery, it also helps you track important emails that you send and need a response to within a specified time. Boomerang sends you a reminder if you don’t receive response emails, which allows you to quickly and easily follow-up. Boomerang also allows you to remove messages from your inbox until you are ready to read them and then pulls them out of the archive folder and sends them back to your inbox at the time you designate.

3. Canned Responses: If you frequently send emails that have the same messaging to different people at different times, then the Google Lab feature ‘Canned Responses’ is a great time saver. Whether it’s an email directing people to your newsletter and website or one that offers instructions on how to download your newest eBook, this feature allows you to create and save the email for use over and over again without having to copy and paste.

4. Smartr Inbox for Gmail: This free extension for Gmail automatically creates rich profiles for all of your contacts and tracks communication history. It searches your email history and Facebook and Twitter connections to create dynamic profiles for all of your contacts including their image, phone, social updates and a full relationship history, which includes when you met, how many messages you’ve exchanged and more. When composing or reviewing email, the contact information appears in a column to the right along with other contacts that are typically associated with the contact you’ve chosen for easy addition to the email.

5. Powerbot for Gmail: Evernote is one of the ‘must-have’ tools in my tech tool bag for productivity. I recently shared 9 Ways to Use Evernote to Increase Productivity and Powerbot for Gmail is an absolute necessity for quickly clipping messages or email threads, as well as attachments, to my Evernote notebooks for later follow up and sharing. This tool also allows you to clip messages and attachments to Dropbox.

6. KeyRocket for Gmail: If you’re like me, then you want to find the fastest way to get something done and keyboard shortcuts can save a significant amount of time.  KeyRocket for Gmail recommends keyboard shortcuts while you work to help you speed up the process of creating and sending emails.

7. Use Gmail Filters: If you are pulling multiple email accounts into Gmail through either POP3 or IMAP, you can use Gmail filtering to easily separate and apply labels to these emails for organizing and easier viewing. You can choose filter features such as ‘To’ and ‘From’ to quickly designate which emails you want filtered and then apply rules that allow you to apply labels for grouping, marking as important or priority and directly archiving and skipping the inbox. This is also a great way to filter out newsletters and eZines that you receive on a weekly basis to save in a specified folder until you have time to read.

8. Grammarly Lite – Smart Spellchecker: Never send out another email with spelling or grammar errors! Grammarly Lite checks the spelling, grammar and punctuation in your email and even offers synonyms for any word you select and a smart dictionary look up for one-click definitions.

9. WiseStamp: There is no better way to finalize an email than with a professional signature. With WiseStamp, you can go well beyond just adding your name, phone and email! Add links to your social networks and a link to your latest blog post, tweet or Facebook Post. Encourage people to connect with you with customizable one-click buttons and choose your design from a number of pre-designed templates for a professional looking signature (see custom signature image below). There is a free version of this plug-in that allows you to create one signature or for a minimal yearly fee ($48) you can upgrade and create multiple signatures for multiple accounts.
It has been noted time and time again that email is by far the biggest cause of loss of productivity in the average business. Studies have shown that the average employee spends 40% of their working week dealing with emails that add no value to the business. Essentially that means that you are losing almost two full days of work just dealing with email. I say ‘Stop the Insanity’ and get your email under control! By removing distracting emails and creating better connections to the tools you use throughout the day, you can quickly tame the email beast and reclaim the time needed to GROW your business!
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About Carolyn Crummey

Carolyn Crummey is a business and technology strategist and the owner of VirTasktic (www.virtasktic.com), an agency dedicated to providing high-level virtual services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. A lover of technology and small business, Carolyn has built a career on the intelligent use of technology to increase business efficiency and productivity, which ultimately leads to greater profitability. Carolyn works closely with her clients to understand their challenges and helps them integrate the best technology solutions into their businesses so they too can enjoy great successes. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at @CarolynCrummey or @VirTasktic.