Google makes the Chrome browser and Google makes Gmail. Naturally, you have some great Chrome extensions to make your Gmail experience better.
But there are just so many of them! Some have the same functionality, like tweaking the interface or scheduling a mail for later, and others are defunct extensions that top search results. So we scoured through the Chrome Web Store and came up a list of the best of the best. Here’s how to super-power your Gmail in Chrome.
The first thing you need to install is mxHero Toolbox, which is possibly the only Chrome extension for Gmail that you need. It combines features that other extensions try to offer, and does it for free. With mxHero Toolbox, you can schedule emails to be sent later, send emails that self-destruct after a period, track email openings and clicks, set reminders to follow up on emails, and send emails individually to each recipient in a bulk mail. The best part is that unlike extensions like Boomerang for Gmail or Right Inbox, mxHero Toolbox is completely free and offers unlimited messages— well, as good as unlimited because the limit is 50 emails per 30 minutes, which is going to be enough for most people.
The email inbox is now one of the most important tools used in your workday, so you need a good tool to manage it. And it doesn’t get better than ActiveInbox, which gives you everything you need to address and sort your Gmail. Each email can be turned into a task and assigned a due date, so you always know what needs to be done. Similarly, when you are sending a new email, you can add a to-do list or other notes so you know what you have to do—your recipient won’t see this. All of this information is neatly maintained in the ActiveInbox sidebar, with a list of all your projects and to-do lists. You can group different emails into projects, and drag-and-drop to change the order of emails. There is a lot of depth to this extension and the more you use it, the more features and tricks you will find to enhance your productivity.
If you don’t keep your Gmail tab open all the time, Checker Plus is one of the best Gmail plugins for Chrome to get notifications of new emails and interact with them. It supports multiple Google accounts and has various customizable ways of notifying you, whether it’s through a pop-up notification, a sound, or even reading out an email with its built-in text-to-speech function. I particularly like how it lets you interact with new mails, giving you the ability to quickly delete one or mark it as read without having to open your inbox.
This is one of my favourite productivity add-ons for Gmail. It works much like Gmail’s built-in canned responses, but only better. Where a canned response is a template that takes up the whole email, Insert Text can be put it at any point of your response. The best part is that it lets you set up folders, so you can categorize your ready messages. It’s brilliant and if you don’t already have it, you will wonder how you were using Gmail without it all this time.
With Send From Gmail, things get simple. When you want to mail someone an interesting link you just saw, Send From Gmail does that in a jiffy with a toolbar shortcut like in the picture above. It auto-creates a new mail filled in the subject field with the title of the website and URL in the body, so all you need to do is type in the “To” column and hit send. Like I said, simple.
If writing or reading an email with a YouTube link or photos from Picasa, Gmail offers to play it right there, without exiting the inbox. But that’s not the case with non-Google apps like Vimeo or Soundcloud. Well, unless you have iFramely for Gmail, which turns links into playable embedded frames.
Right now, if you want to attach a file in Gmail, it needs to be either in your Google Drive or on your hard drive. But what if it’s stored in your Dropbox or it’s a photo on Facebook? With Cloudy for Gmail, you can attach just about any cloud file in an email. It works with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Picasa, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and direct URLs, so you can send emails faster than ever.
If you want a professional-looking email signature, complete with links to your social media profiles and other details, then Wisestamp is the easiest way to spice up signatures. Creating a new signature is a painless three-step process, after which you can add other details like your social media links, chat links, personal websites, and more. Unfortunately, the free version of Wisestamp includes only one signature and a link-back ad, so depending on how professional your needs are, it might be worth paying for more signatures, different templates and company-wide standardization.
Gmail has several useful keyboard shortcuts and KeyRocket teaches you how to remember all of them as you type. So suppose you open the Compose New Message window by using your mouse to click on the button. KeyRocket will give you a gentle reminder in the form of a pop-up box that you can hit ‘C’ while in Gmail to do the same thing. Over time, you’ll pick up these shortcuts and be much faster in controlling your inbox.
There’s more to the Internet than Gmail, so when a contact sends you a message, Rapportive adds context. This extension, which runs in the sidebar, gives you more information about people in a conversation, such as their social profiles and recent tweets, and brings an option to add notes to that contact for future reference. There are a few other extensions like this one, but Rapportive is still the best of the lot.
If you are particular about how you want your Gmail inbox to look, Gmelius is going to be your new best friend. Want to switch labels to the right? Done! Need to see which email your cursor is hovering over? There’s a nice little highlight for that. Want to remove ads on the right, or chat and calendar widget, or tinker around with how the header looks, or much more? This extension has you covered. In no time, your Gmail will look exactly how you want it to look. What’s more, Gmelius Premium is currently in beta mode and so is free, which means you can check out how to search your Gmail inbox from the Chrome omnibox and get a clean print style for your emails.
What About Firefox?
Not all of these extensions are available on Mozilla Firefox, but that browser has its own set of cool tools. If you’re a Firefox user, would you be interested in a similar article? And what tools do you use to make your Gmail better?
Image Credits: super hero Via Shutterstock