Gmail is great. Really awesome. It’s so good, that most people who use it opt for the Web interface for their everyday e-mail use, without resorting to a third-part client. Gmail, and the services that followed in its foot steps, changed the way we think of e-mail, changed the way we handle e-mails, and even changed the role e-mail takes in our daily lives. E-mail is now so accessible, most of us use it for work, which brings about a steady flow of things to get done, ever streaming into your inbox. And this is without counting the distractions.
How many times have you sat in front of the computer, all set for work or something else, only to find yourself getting sidetracked by e-mails every 10 minutes? How many times do you find yourself drowning in unread e-mails that just keep accumulating? Gmail offers several tools that can help you tackle these problems, such as importance markers and labels, but many times these are just not enough.
There are tons of tools out there that can help with Gmail productivity, and we’ve shown you some excellent ones in the past. If you’re still looking for Mr. right-add-on for your Gmail usage, you should be able to find it below, in this all new list of Gmail browser plugins, which will boost your productivity.
What’s the one thing you use even more than Gmail? That’s right – Google Chat. Sticky.io is a brilliant plugin which harnesses the alluring power of Google Chat, and turns it into a productivity tool. Once you log in with your Google account and add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Google Chat contacts, you can start writing notes and reminders, bookmark links and schedule tasks, right in Google Chat. Sticky.io comes with a Web interface where you can access all your notes, filter them, search them, mark tasks as done and more. This way, you can read e-mails and write down notes and tasks without ever leaving Gmail. Note that if you’re using Google Apps, Sticky.io requires a further step in order to work.
If you want your task list inside Gmail, or don’t fancy using Google Chat as a to-do list, Taskforce is another great way to turn your e-mails into tasks. After installing the plugin, you’ll find you can now turn any e-mail in Gmail into a task. By clicking the “Convert to New Task” button, you’ll be adding a task to your to-do list, which will automatically bear the e-mail’s subject line as its name, and will also add the sender as a collaborator (you can easily remove it). The Taskforce widget sits on your Gmail screen at all times, where you can mark tasks as done, browse your tasks, add and remove collaborators, share tasks, etc. You can also sync Taskforce with Gmail Tasks and Google Calendar.
Sometimes, you have the opposite problem. You’re trying to work on something important, and that pesky inbox just keeps calling to you. You’re trying your best to ignore the number that’s clearly visible on your browser tab, but you simply can’t. If only you could close Gmail entirely! Well, you can do that, of course, but for those who can’t master the will power to go that far, there’s Inbox Pause. This is a simple browser plugin that adds a “Pause” button to your inbox. When you click it, your inbox will be temporarily paused, and all e-mails will be diverted to a special label. You can also set up an auto-responder if you wish. When you unpause, all the e-mails you’ve received in the meantime will appear faithfully in their right place. There’s actually nothing preventing you from peeking into the special label, so there’s still some will power involved on your part, but at least they’re not right there in your inbox!
Gmail aside, what’s the one thing Google does best? Search. While Gmail’s search capabilities are one of its strong features, CloudMagic takes them two steps further, and lets you search through your Gmail messages and contacts, your Google Docs/Drive files and your Google Calendar events in one fell swoop. Simply install the plugin, create an account, and choose which parts of your online life you want to search through with CloudMagic. Aside from Gmail et al, you can use CloudMagic to search Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, and many other services. When it comes to Gmail productivity, CloudMagic is a godsend, letting you instantly find anything you’re looking for within every part of your Google existence.
Wait, There’s More!
Looking for more? Plugins like RightInbox, Attachments.me, Boomerang and Rapportive are all really useful to know. You can read about these add-ons and others in Aaron’s list of plugins to turn Gmail into a productivity beast.
And of course, if you know of more great plugins for Gmail you use daily, tell us about them in the comments. Who knows, we might like them so much, we’ll share them with the world!
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