Make Gmail Even Better With These Plug-ins

Container of cookies with Gmail logo in frosting

Few will deny that Gmail is one of the best email providers, and that the Gmail Web interface is one of the best clients. But as any good technophile knows, even the best can be a little better.

While Gmail cookies seem to be the pinnacle of making a good thing better, there are actually some pretty great plug-ins for everyone’s favorite email system that make it as good as a cookie, if not better. Here are some of the best plug-ins to make Gmail fit your needs as closely as possible and help you get more done.

SEE ALSO: The Complete Guide on How to Export Google Contacts

Open Email Links in Gmail

Gmail Compose Mail window

People often include links to their email addresses to make it easier to contact them, but if, like most Gmail users, you use the Web interface, these links can be a real pain.

These links try to launch your default email client, making you wait until it opens before you can close it and copy/paste the address into Gmail.

Instead of just dealing with this issue, why not make it so these links automatically open a new Gmail compose window? As long as you’re using Chrome as your default browser, all you need to do is install this plug-in and any email link you click will open in Gmail.

Get Social in Your Email

Illustration of birds lifting Gmail envelope logo

Social media has grown to be more than just a way to see what your friends had for lunch – it’s now an acceptable way to contact people for quick notes and comments.

While it’s common to get email information from contacts, it can sometimes be tricky to find their social media info.

Thanks to the Rapportive plug-in, you can easily see social media info, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter links, as well as recent updates and even Skype information. Rapportive even allows you to leave comments and notes about the contact that only you can see, so you remember them later.

RELATED: 5 Smart Tips for Managing Your Gmail Contacts

Schedule Your Emails

Boomerang plug-in welcome window

If you’re like many people, it’s not uncommon for you to answer emails at 2 a.m. or later. Some might think that’s crazy, but for some of us, it’s the only time that new emails aren’t flowing in and things are nice and quiet.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

You probably don’t want people’s phones buzzing with emails from you in the middle of the night (especially if they’re coworkers or clients), which leaves you with a problem.

Do you save the email as a draft and set an alarm to send it later, or not worry about the time and let people get grumpy with you and the odd hours you keep?

With the Boomerang plug-in for Gmail you can do both. Boomerang allows you to write emails whenever you want and send them via a scheduling interface. This is similar to how mass-emailing programs like Aweber or Mailchimp work, but for the everyday Gmail user.

Snooze Your Email

Closeup of snooze button

On the flip side of scheduling a send is reading an email. If you get a steady stream of messages it can be hard to work on a message in your inbox later. You can use a system like the Trusted Trio, but this can be difficult to set up and even counterproductive if you use Gmail’s Web interface.

If you need to hit the snooze bar on a message so you can clear it out of your line of sight but still remember to work on it later, the Snooze plug-in is for you.

It allows you to “snooze” an email so it shows up again, fresh and unread, at a time you choose. This way you can postpone seeing that email from Mom until the weekend, when you can take the time to read it without having to remember to add it to a to-do list – or worse yet, forget about it altogether!

SEE ALSO: Email Productivity Tips from Tim Ferriss

Actually Learn Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail

Gmail compose window with KeyRocket keyboard shortcut pop-up

The last awesome plug-in in this list is easily the most useful on a daily basis.

Everyone knows that keyboard shortcuts are useful. But unless you take the time to sit down and memorize them, most escape even the most seasoned Gmail veterans.

If you’re determined to remember and use keyboard shortcuts, you have two options:

KeyRocket looks better than paper taped to your machine and, best of all, it shows you the keyboard shortcuts you’re most likely to use right on-screen.

The tool can be somewhat annoying at first since it’s an on-screen pop-up. But once you start paying attention to it, you’ll start learning keyboard shortcuts that will amaze anyone watching you use Gmail.

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