Gmail is considered to be one of the best, if not the best email client on the Web. One of the reasons Gmail became so popular over the years, is due to Google’s strategy to let integrated apps and other services work within it. Gmail is not only integrated with Google services like Docs, Calendar, Chat, Tasks, Search but also with other 3rd party apps that can boost your productivity and make your life easier with daily tasks. In other words Gmail today is not only used is an email client but as a massive Web-platform that can be helpful for managing a lot of other tasks that we would otherwise need several applications to do.
Over the years I’ve been trying to take advantage of Gmail features and apps in order to make my life easier, and I’m still discovering new benefits every day. I’m not going to write about the basic and obvious Gmail advantages and features, but I’m going to describe you 4 apps that I use daily.
1. Boomerang for Gmail
This is an already popular app, reaching 1 million downloads, and lets you do 2 simple things:
a. Schedule your emails. When composing an email, you have the option to schedule your email in order to be sent the day after or a week after or at any date/time of your preference. This is an amazing feature for people like me who are working late or on weekends and don’t want to show the correct date of the emails to their clients. For example, let’s say you need to answer to 10 emails until Monday morning and its Sunday night. There is no way to write these emails within one hour on Monday but neither you would like these emails to be send on Sunday at 22:00. With Boomerang you can start replying to all of your emails on Sunday night, scheduling them to be send on Monday at 9:30 morning which is a normal working hour.
b. Create reminders for emails. Using Boomerang you can assign a reminder to any email at any given time and date. That has several uses, for example you got an email from your partner with your “Website’s progress” monthly report. You might not want to deal with this issue now because you are busy with other stuff, but you want to be reminded to check it in 2 weeks. So you set up a reminder with Boomerang inside the message. You can also use this function for every email you send and which you are expecting a reply. Thus, if you do not receive a reply from a specific email within 2 weeks, Boomerang will remind you about that.
What so cool about it?
It’s cool because you can send emails at 23:00 and let them look like you send them next day morning. It’s also cool because it sends you reminders for important emails you assigned it.
Cost: Limited version Free. $4.99/month for paid unlimited version.
Rapportive is a Gmail app that visually is seen at the right column of your Gmail. This app will search the Web and especially Social Networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, every time you receive an email from someone and will display to you the public information associated with the owner of that email account. More precisely will look for the owner’s name, photo in Linkedin, work position, Twitter and Facebook and will even display the latest tweets of the person. That can be a great feature for a lot of people that often receive emails from strangers, helping them get useful information.
What’s so cool about it?
You see the faces and important information of unknown people that send you emails.
I have discovered Yesware a few weeks ago and I’m really impressed wih it. This app is dedicated to Salespeople and managers, and it can help you track emaila, create templates, organize your sales activity, create reports and even integrate it with few of the most famous CRM systems in the market. Personally, I use only the tracking system and templates. The ability to track your emails will give you the ability to know if and when an email you have sent was opened by the other person. A lot of times we send emails knowing that the email was sent but not knowing if the person on the other site has opened it. With Yesware you will know this instantly. The template feature will also help you maintain standard format emails when replying to similar emails, letting you to change only variable words like the name, price, etc. I believe this app has a lot to offer, and everyone can find different ways using it
What’s so cool about it?
People will not be able lie to you about reading your email or not. With Yesware you know instantly that your email was opened and read.
Cost: Limited version Free. $4.99 for Unlimited use
Wisestamp might not be the most useful app for Gmail, but it will certainly provide you the ability to have the coolest signature. WiseStamp is an app that lets you create a nice looking and powerful signature for your Gmail. By powerful we mean that you have a bunch of choices and apps that you can include inside your signature, creating a powerful and dynamic content signature. A few of the things you can include in your signature with Wisestamp are:
- Social Media. Provide link to your social media presence directly from your signature. (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest)
- Facebook page. Show the activities of your Facebook page, your status and your updates
- Rss feeds. Automatically display feeds from your Blog inside your signature
- Create VCard Barcode
- Provide links and integrations with Charity and Causes organizations like WWF, Global Giving and more.
- Show dynamic content from other websites like Wikipedia, Quora, Today in History, and Random quotes
- Share your presentations from Slideshare
- Create other social bookmark and social activities
There are a lot of more various apps you can include in your signature using Wisestamp, just visit the App Gallery and you will be amazed.
What’s so cool about it?
You will have a really cool signature and you can drive traffic to your social media accounts, blog or website from your signature
Cost: Limited Version Free. $36/year Pro account
If productivity is important in your life, or if Gmail is the most used application of your day, then you should definitely try the above apps. I’m not a huge fan of apps, since I always look for simplicity and performance in the tools that I use. But if your daily needs and tasks go beyond sending an email, then these apps will definitely make a difference in your productivity and performance.