Google makes the Chrome browser and Google makes Gmail. Naturally, the Chrome Web Store has some excellent extensions to improve your Gmail experience. But it also has several that you don’t need. Let’s sift the gems from the mud.
Note: The extensions in this list work only with Gmail. If you prefer the time-saving Inbox by Gmail, there are separate extensions for that.
ActiveInbox: Send Mails Later and Manage Email Tasks
If you’re a Gmail power user, this is the best extension you can install. But be warned, ActiveInbox is free for a one month trial, after which it costs $50 per year.
That cost can be well worth it if you need its features. ActiveInbox includes every major feature missing in Gmail, which you would normally pay for. Among other things, it lets you:
- schedule emails to send later
- add tasks
- add due dates for emails and tasks
- add follow-up reminders
- attach notes to emails that only you can see
- includes the GTD (Getting Things Done) productivity system
We actually love ActiveInbox competitors like Boomerang, FollowUp.cc, or mxHero Toolbox. But as it stands today, ActiveInbox gets the nod ahead of them for being a better all-round solution to deal with inbox overload and email to-do lists.
Download: ActiveInbox for Chrome (Free)
Notifus: Free Follow-up Reminders
A lot of extensions offer to remind you to follow up on an email where you didn’t get a reply. We tested all of them and Notifus gets our vote as the one to install.
Notifus keeps things simple, and more importantly, keeps things free. Instead of the “Send” button, click one of the buttons to Send and remind me in X days. It’s that easy, and it works.
Download: Notifus for Chrome (Free)
Sortd: Turn Gmail Into a Trello-Like Task Board
For a lot of people, the inbox serves as a to-do list of sorts. Everything you need to know about your tasks is in emails. So Sortd simply turns Gmail into a Trello-like task board.
The extension is a skin for your inbox, where you can drag-and-drop messages into different columns. Each column can have a different header, like To Do, Follow Up, Important, and so on.
Download: Sortd for Chrome (Free)
Checker Plus for Gmail: If You Don’t Have Gmail Always Open
A lot of people keep their Gmail inbox open and pinned as a tab at all times. But if that’s not you, then Checker Plus for Gmail is the perfect extension to know when you get a new message.
It’s not just a notifier though. Checker Plus also lets you interact with the email, and even mark it as read or delete it. There’s even a small pop-down pane that lets you interact with the inbox without opening a new tab for it.
Download: Checker Plus for Gmail for Chrome (Free)
Mailtrack: Check Whether Your Email Was Read
When an email is important, you want to know if the recipient has got it and then read it. Mailtrack is the easiest free and unlimited solution for this.
Whenever you send a mail, you’ll get one green tick to indicate it has reached the inbox of the recipient. Then you’ll get a second green tick to indicate that the person read it. Mailtrack can even tell you if someone read your email more times than one. Stalkers are going to love this.
Download: Mailtrack for Chrome (Free)
Blade Signatures: Add a Gorgeous, Professional Signature
Gmail lets you add signatures to each email, but they look kind of drab, don’t they? Blade is the easy way to design a classy signature without any coding or other hijinks.
Install the extension, add your details (like photo, website, social profiles, personal info), and create a signature. You can now attach this signature in any email you send within a few seconds. It’s actually easier than WiseStamp, and it doesn’t add any “made by Blade” appendage to the signature.
The free version of Blade lets you make two signatures and switch between them, which should be enough for most people. If you want more options, you’ll need to pay or create custom signatures in Google Drive.
Download: Blade Signatures for Chrome (Free)
DraftMap: Real-Time Writing Suggestions and Improvements
Email is often serious business and how you compose it will matter. DraftMap improves your English skills to ensure your message is well worded.
The extension uses different colors to highlight repetitive words, passive voice, adverbs, and cliches. It will even advise you on the email’s readability and style. A must-have if anyone has complained your emails aren’t professional.
Download: DraftMap for Chrome (Free)
Simple Gmail Notes: Add Sticky Notes That Only You Can See
You can’t always write everything you want to in an email. And sometimes, when you receive a message, you need to add notes to it. Simple Gmail Notes makes this easier.
You can customize the color, font size, position, and other aspects of the note. The extension even lets you add notes to the calendar. Best of all, the notes are stored on your Google Drive, so your data isn’t going to a third party.
Download: Simple Gmail Notes for Chrome (Free)
Email Text Formatter: Make Messages Look Good
When you copy-paste stuff from a website into Gmail, it retains that website’s formatting. So your first line, where you addressed the person, appears like it normally does in Gmail. And the rest of the stuff is a mix of large and small fonts and different colors. It’s a mess, and it’s unprofessional.
If that ever happens again, install and run Email Text Formatter. It will turn all text into the default Gmail font, size, and color. And it will retain links too. This is one of those nifty tools everyone needs to write better emails.
Download: Email Text Formatter for Chrome (Free)
Rename Email: Change the Subject of Messages in Your Inbox
Rename Email brings an ability we long wish Gmail had. It lets you change the subject line of any message in your inbox, so that it says what you want, not what the sender intended.
This is perhaps the simplest way to remember what an email is about, and never lose track of it. No wonder it’s one of the best free Gmail extensions for Chrome.
Download: Rename Email for Chrome (Free)
Easy Eye Scan: Hide Body Text in Inbox
A ton of Gmail users complain about how cluttered the inbox looks. A big reason for this is that the inbox shows the first bit of any email’s body text, instead of just the subject.
Easy Eye Scan is the simple fix for this. All it does is remove the body text from your inbox view. It might seem like a small thing, but try it out and you’ll find that it’s an incredible improvement for your Gmail.
Download: Easy Eye Scan for Chrome (Free)
Did We Miss Your Favorite?
This list was all about the 11 best extensions for Gmail on Chrome. But let’s face it, there are a lot more contenders, aren’t there? Tell us your favorite Gmail extensions for Chrome that aren’t on this list.