As good as Inbox by Gmail is, there are still many who use good old Gmail. And developers make more extensions for them. If you use the mighty combination of Google Chrome and Gmail, there are some new add-ons you need to check out.
All the extensions are about being more productive in your inbox. Whether it’s speeding up attachments or writing notes and reminders, these tools help get things done. And remember, you can install Chrome extensions on Opera or any Chromium-based browser.
1. Handle: Combine Emails With To-Do Lists and Calendars
A productivity motto is to not let your inbox turn into a to-do list. While it is logical, it ignores the fact that your email is where you find out your tasks. Gmail users can enable Tasks in the side pane, but Handle is a far better to-do list made for the inbox.
You can convert any email into a task by typing “T” or with mouse actions, and all the content transfers to the task notes. Handle also works with your Google Calendar to set deadlines, plan your projects, or add reminders.
By default, Handle shows up next to your Gmail inbox, in the right-side pane. That’s just the to-do list though. The full Handle app shows this list next to the calendar, where you can plan your schedule.
Handle also has an accompanying app for iPhones where you can check the to-do list, and share emails from Gmail to the app. An Android version is coming soon.
Download — Handle for Chrome (Free) [No longer available]
2. Rename Email: Rename the Subject Line
Ideally, an email’s subject line should tell you exactly what it is about. But we all know that this doesn’t happen often. People use generic subjects like “Important” or “Read this”, which doesn’t help anyone. Rename Email lets you correct this so you can identify messages easily in the future.
Open any message you have received and you’ll see a Rename Email button in the toolbar above. Click it to change the subject to something meaningful for you. For example, turning that random “Important” subject line to “Notes for Meeting on Monday at 9”.
Rename Email also works with threaded conversations in Gmail. You can rename the subject line for all messages in a thread, or for select messages. This way, you can leave a long thread as is, but mark the one important mail in it.
The renamed subjects won’t show up in your smartphone Gmail app, and only work on browsers with Rename Email.
Download — Rename Email for Chrome (Free)
3. Simple Gmail Notes: Add Personal Notes to Any Email
When you receive a paper memo or project around the office, you’ll stick a Post-It on the folder with your notes. Can’t do that with digital memos or projects, can you? Well, you can if you install Simple Gmail Notes.
This extension opens a Notes pane atop every email. Write what you want in that so it serves as a personal notepad for you. Simple Gmail Notes saves this on your Google Drive, so the information isn’t going to some undisclosed server. You can also instantly add an email as a Google Calendar entry.
The notes show up in the inbox view as well, looking like green labels. Of course, it’s not a label, you can see your entire note.
The notes won’t show up in your smartphone Gmail app, and only work on browsers with Simple Gmail Notes. But overall, it’s a much better solution than other ways to add notes to Gmail threads.
Download — Simple Gmail Notes for Chrome (Free)
4. SnipHero: Search and Attach GIFs, YouTube, and Other Media Without Leaving Gmail
“Leaving the current window” is a big deal in productivity. On smartphones, Google launched the gBoard keyboard app to search without leaving the window. SnipHero isn’t the ideal desktop alternative, but it’s a step in the right direction.
When you need to attach media like a YouTube video or a GIF from Giphy, click the SnipHero icon in the Compose window. Choose the source, which currently supports YouTube, Amazon, Twitter, Giphy, and a few others. Search within that source to find what you’re looking for. Everything happens within your Compose window. Essentially, SnipHero is like a widget.
The extension will insert the chosen media into the message’s body, and you’re ready to send it.
Download — SnipHero for Chrome (Free)
5. Gmail Sender Icons: Better Notifications From Web Services
If you have enabled email notifications for any of the web services you use, you know that it can cause a mess in your inbox. In fact, you can miss an important notification just because it was a needle in the haystack that is your cluttered inbox.
Gmail Sender Icons uses favicons as an added visual tool. Favicons are the little logos you see in the URL bar when you visit any site. So now, when you get a message from a site like GoDaddy announcing your products are expiring, you’ll see the favicon and the site’s name in the subject line.
This extension may not be necessary if you organize your Gmail inbox well or if you use Google’s tabbed priority and social inboxes. But if you have ever missed a notification, you know how handy this can be.
Download — Gmail Sender Icons for Chrome (Free)
6. Templates for Gmail: A Better Version of Canned Responses
Gmail Labs’ has a feature called canned responses to set up template messages for mails you send often. It’s a tremendously helpful feature, but designed shoddily. Templates for Gmail is a refined, polished version of the same.
The “Templates” tab sits at the top of your inbox. Click it to see and edit all your existing templates or to set up a new one. Creating a new one is as simple as adding a template name and the body text.
When you want to use a template, open the Compose window or reply to a message. Click the floating “Templates” button to access your ready-made texts, and paste it. Quick and easy.
Download — Templates for Chrome (Free)
What’s Your Favorite Gmail Extension?
There are plenty of other awesome Gmail extensions you should be using, like Boomerang to send mails later or Mailtrack to see who has opened your messages. My personal favorite is Sortd to turn Gmail into a Trello board.
Which Gmail extension can you not live without?