Best of all: you can leave custom notes about a person for future reference, perfect if you’re the sort of person who struggles to keep track of all the people you’re in touch with. Information displayed includes career information, links to social networks and whatever notes you yourself add to a given contact.
This is a very useful way to verify that someone writing you is the person he or she claims to be, and to keep track of the various people you write to day in day out.
A browser plugin for Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome, Rapportive takes minutes to set up. You’ll quickly discover whether this is something you’ll actually use or not, so let’s check it out!
What It Does
Install Rapportive, open Gmail and open any message. You’ll quickly see the sidebar contains new information:
Career information is highlighted; social networks are listed. This is a great overview of who a person is, assuming they’re fairly active online. If no information is provided, but you’d like to leave a private note for your own reference, that’s easy: there’s a button for that at the bottom of the menu:
Here you can leave notes about a given person. This could be quick notes about phone conversations, which aren’t easily searched for in your email. It could also include information about how you know a given person, which could come in handy if you get an email from him or her a year from now out of the blue. Finally, this could be a useful place to store alternative phone numbers and the like. What you use it for is up to you, but the possibilities are endless.
The information is stored in the cloud. When you first install Rapportive, you’re given the opportunity to tie the service to your Gmail account. This means you’ll have access to your data from any number of computers, provided the Rapportive plugin is installed.
Concerned how people will see your profile? You can edit that. Just take a look at your own profile and you can quickly edit it. However currently, you can’t edit your location.
Plugins For A Plugin?
It sounds strange, but there are a collection of additional features you can add to this plugin – using plugins. You’ll find this screen if you click the “Rapportive” button at the top of your Gmail interface:
This is a collection of plugins called Raplets. For now the features mostly include information from various Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems, but you might find this very useful if you already use such software.
Installing Rapportive is simple: just head to Rapportive.com and click the “Install” button. Assuming you use Firefox, Safari, or Chrome you should be set. Heck, the plugin even works for Mac-only Gmail client Mailplane.
Sorry, Internet Explorer users: you’re going to need a better browser to use this.
I like this plugin quite a bit, and look forward to seeing how it grows. If you want an idea of how it will change I highly recommend you check out the Rapportive feedback forums to get an idea of the features receiving priority. Heck, you can even vote for the changes you’d like to see.
What uses can you think of for this plugin? Are there any better tools for the job out there? Share in the comments below!
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