Internet Productivity

5 Gmail Desktop and Laptop Tools to Power Up Your Email Inbox

Mihir Patkar 04-05-2019

Gmail is great on both laptops and phones. But if you primarily access Gmail on your computer, it can be a whole lot better if you club it with these awesome extensions and add-ons.


Google has killed its email app Inbox and incorporated some of its most powerful features in Gmail 5 Powerful New Gmail Features You Need to Start Using Right Now These new Gmail features from the Gmail redesign will help you manage your email better, faster, and with less hassle. Read More . This includes AI-based additions like smart replies, as well as long-awaited features like scheduling emails to be sent later.

1. Simplify Gmail (Chrome): Co-Creator of Inbox “Fixes” Gmail

Simplify Gmail by co-creator of Inbox by Google cleans up Gmail clutter

After rolling out all the new changes, the end result of Gmail is a cluttered interface that can be overwhelming for some. Here’s a fix for that from the co-creator of Inbox itself.

Michael Leggett, the former lead designer of Google, released the Simplify Gmail extension for Chrome right after Inbox shut down. The extension primarily hides the left and right sidebars by default, which are usually cluttered with chats, labels, and apps. The search bar at the top is also hidden by default, but can be activated with a click. Most prominently, the big Google logo is gone.

None of the features of Gmail, or those introduced after Inbox, are missing in Simplify. The extension is akin to a skin that masks the cluttered mess of the new Gmail to make it just about you and your inbox.


Download: Simplify Gmail for Chrome (Free)

2. Darwin Mail (Web): Go Back to Inbox By Gmail

Darwin Mail brings back Inbox by Google interface for Gmail

A lot of Inbox users are mad at Google for shutting down Inbox, which they preferred to Gmail. While there are some great Google Inbox alternatives Spark Is the Best Google Inbox Alternative: 11 Reasons Why It's Worth a Look Google’s alternative email client, Inbox was shut down. Let's look at Spark and why it can be a suitable replacement. Read More , only Darwin Mail faithfully recreates the Inbox interface and incorporates its beloved features.

Almost everything you loved about Inbox is still in Darwin Mail. It looks and feels like Inbox, with the same color schemes and even a “show important mails” toggle.

You can snooze incoming emails so that they pop back into your inbox later. You can even set reminders as part of a to-do list of items. There are email templates to go through, and a Dark Mode for focussed productivity.

Darwin Mail asks for access to your Gmail, but doesn’t seem to have all of Gmail’s features yet. Smart Replies, for instance, did not work in Darwin Mail in our tests.

The good news is that Darwin Mail doesn’t need you to download or install anything. Go to the app, click the “Get Free Access” button, and you can try out this service in a few seconds.

3. Replies.CC and Mail2Sheet (Web): Convert Replies Into Spreadsheet

An email thread between many people can get overwhelming to track. For example, if you’re conducting a poll and want to collect the yes or no, or sending an invitation and want to collect the RSVPs. Replies.CC and Mail2Sheet are separate apps that convert an email thread’s replies into a spreadsheet.

For both apps, you need to add a custom CC to the email you are sending, and remind people to click “Reply All” or at least to both you and the custom email. If the reply doesn’t include the app’s email address, it won’t work.

Replies.CC is a little smarter among the two. It parses through the reply to see if the recipient said Yes or No to present just that word in a separate field, along with the sentiment (positive or negative). It also adds each recipient’s signature as a field, separate from the full text of the reply. In a single glance, you’ll be able to tell who said yes or no, and plan accordingly.

Mail2Sheet turns Gmail replies into a spreadsheet

Mail2Sheet is much simpler. Create a custom email address, add it to the CC, and it will collect each and every reply you get. There is no parsing of sentiments or anything else, it is pure data, collected in a spreadsheet, and you can do whatever you want with it.

Both apps are free, but Mail2Sheet lets you use the same custom email address again for a second round of emails, which can be great for continued data gathering in the same spreadsheet.

4. Unlimited Email Tracker (Chrome): Free and Unlimited Mail Tracking App unlimited email tracker is a hassle-free way to track who reads your emails

Almost every email tracking app has some hidden limitations. Some will cap the number of emails you can track, others will cap the number of times a single message is tracked, a few will ask you to add their signature, and to skip all this, you have to pay a price. Well, not with Unlimited Email Tracker.

This is among the few email tracking apps for Gmail that is completely free and means it. The recipient won’t know that you’re tracking if they have opened and read the email, or how many clicks it has got.

There are other features in the extension too, like scheduling emails to send them later, as well as setting reminders to follow-up to emails. Whether you’re looking for them or not, these are handy to have.

So why is it free? is hoping you will use the extension long enough to want to try out one of their marketing campaigns, but there is no obligation to do that. The email tracker is essentially’s form of advertising itself.

Download: Unlimited Email Tracker for Chrome (Free)

5. Drag 2.0 (Chrome): Shared Gmail Trello Boards for Teams

Sortd and Drag are two extensions that bring the concept of kanban boards (or Trello-like boards) to Gmail. They are among the best Gmail productivity tools 5 New Productive Gmail Apps and Extensions You Should Try With the right apps and extensions, you can be more productive in your Gmail inbox. Discover five new apps and extensions for your favorite email service. Read More . The new Drag v2.0 is a cool upgrade for teams who work in Gmail.

Add your team members to a Drag board, and you can drag-and-drop messages between different columns as if they were cards. You can assign a card to a team member, set reminders and deadlines, write comments, and do all the basic things you would expect a productivity board to let you do.

These features are available in the paid version of Drag, not the free version. You can try the free version to try it out as an individual, but Drag is best used as a team tool, for which you’ll need to pay $10 per user per month.

Download: Drag for Chrome (Free, Premium for $10/user/mo)

Other Awesome Gmail Extensions

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. The Chrome Store has a wide variety of extensions and tools to tweak Gmail to your liking. To begin with, here are our picks for the best Chrome extensions to super-power your Gmail experience 11 Chrome Extensions That Will Super-Power Your Gmail Experience Google makes the Chrome browser and Google makes Gmail. Naturally, you have some great Chrome extensions to make your Gmail experience better. Read More .

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Cool Web Apps, Email Apps, Email Tips, Gmail.

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  1. Janice Fisk
    May 28, 2019 at 5:36 am

    If you’re looking for a simple alternative, try SaneBox - it will learn your email habits so you only see the important messages whenever you check your inbox.

  2. Michel Munier
    May 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Wow...That's exciting! But, but but - Since Gmail went on with their so called new look. So many of us are simply wondering why we lost the ability to see a 'mp4' (to mention only one of them), without downloading it. Not a pip from Google about it Just disputes, frustration and anger in 'fora' (that's for education! ) Well I don't see anything here either to redress this. Perhaps I need to go to "specsavers" but I can't see anything to rejoice in that area.
    Someone designed an extension for this (something like Gmod) But it's a far cry from what we had before new look. This one does part of the job but you can't go forward with it or pause and has other problems too but much better than nothing.
    Yes I mainly 'play' with my emails so i don't worry too much about the other 'productive' features but I know I'm not alone to be so annoyed about this loss. Perhaps you'll have some good news for "us" in your next article :)

  3. dragonmouth
    May 8, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    All those wonderful changes and still no sorting of emails by column headings. Oh wait. How can we have sorting on column headings if GMail doesn't even have column headings. I guess it is much more important that GMail looks pretty rather than that it is functional.