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15 Awesome Gmail Plugins To Boost Your Email Productivity

15 Awesome Gmail Plugins To Boost Your Email Productivity

How many hours do we spend in front of the computer every day? Not only does it negatively affect our health and fitness, but we often don’t have much to show for it. A lot of the time is spent on work, sure, but it is very easy to get sidetracked and procrastinate. Before you know it it’s been two hours and you have yet to respond to several important emails and finish up a project that’s uncomfortably near its deadline.

The sad thing is that a lot of people actually put in the work, but still fail to keep up with all their tasks because their email accounts are in a perpetual state of chaos. In this era of compromised online security and tons of spam mail and viruses going around, the need for secure and well-managed email accounts is greater than ever. For this purpose, I have compiled a list of the best Gmail plugins for boosting your productivity and cutting down the time you spend managing your email accounts.

1. Bananatag

Bananatag

    For both private and business purposes knowing if people are actually reading your mails or not can be very important. You don’t want to waste time waiting on a reply that will never come, and this is where Bananatag really comes in handy. You can pick specific emails that you want to track and get information on whether or not people are opening them and clicking on the links inside. You get notifications in your email when these actions are taken, so you can have a good insight into what different contacts do with your emails, gauge which ones are the most receptive and then target your efforts and build strong connections. You get professional functionality, with detailed metrics presented in graphs, in an easy to use and completely free package.

    2. SecureGmail

    SecureGmail

      Most of us are aware of just how much our information is vulnerable online. Someone gaining access to our personal information can wreak all sorts of havoc, used it to stalk us or just keep tabs on us. If you have an issue with outsiders getting hold of your personal information – be it rival companies, the government or hackers up to no good – then SecureGmail is an excellent little tool for you. You can quickly install it and use it to send encrypted emails. Even Google servers will only see the encrypted version of the text. Only the person who the email was intended for can decrypt the message using a password that you have agreed on. Of course you should make it a complex password and share it with the recipient through means other than email.

      3. Gmail Snooze

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      Gmail snooze

        At first, GmailSnooze might seem like a weird concept – after all you can just delete emails or leave them and read them later. However, when you think about it, how many times have you read an email, made a mental note to respond to it later and gotten side-tracked by a ton of different emails and projects? With the snooze feature installed you can temporarily remove a certain email from your inbox, while you deal with more pressing matters, and have it show up as the latest message in your inbox after a day, week or any other time you specify. It can help you stay in touch with colleagues and business associates, and serves as a good reminder of important upcoming events.

        4. CloudMagic

        Cloud magic

          Being more productive often comes down to quickly and efficiently searching your inbox for important emails and back-and-forth conversation that hide important bits of information. You know they are there somewhere – you just need to get to them. CloudMagic provides a fast and effective email search as you type function that allows you to preview email conversation, prioritize the most important ones and even receive follow-up reminders. It is unobtrusive, nestled in the upper right corner of the page, and keeps your search results open as you click through your inbox or compose new messages, allowing you crosscheck and share information more efficiently. You can even search information from a number of different accounts.

          5. Boomerang

          Boomerang

            Sending a truckload of emails every single day means that sometimes you forget about a business proposal you sent or an important question you’ve asked someone. The mail is sent, there still no reply and it’s easy to completely forget about it. You may even forget to send a reply yourself now and then. With Boomerang you can prepare emails and schedule them to be sent at a specified date in the future, as well as get reminders if there was no reply to one of your emails after a specified amount of time.

            6. FollowUp CC

            FollowUp CC

              To add to the functionality of plugins like Snooze or Boomerang, FollowUp CC lets you create polite little follow up emails to be sent to those who haven’t given you a reply. You can have these emails sent after a certain amount of time or at a specific date, e.g. after one week if it’s not a pressing matter or on the day before a deadline is due. You can get fairly specific by adding the exact time. There is also a bookmark reminder option that reminds you of a specific web page after a certain amount of time. The basic version with 25 reminders per month is free, but there are several other plans available for serious users.

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              7. Rapportive

              Rapportive

                If you are looking to create stronger connections with the people you are emailing, Rapportive will be an important tool for you. Once you set it up it shows up as a sidebar in Gmail and allows you to access basic information about the person. You can see a small image of them with some of their personal details, like current job and the city they live in. It also allows you to connect with them through social media by showing you links to their accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn along with their profile pictures. This way you can quickly get acquainted with a new client or associate or start networking and even building online friendships.

                8. Taskforce

                Taskforce

                  For all those who are looking to get organized and break everything down into clear tasks Taskforce is just the right tool. It allows you to designate specific tasks and keep all the necessary information in one place, all within Gmail and for free. This means no more searching through emails, opening multiple tabs and copying bits and pieces of information from several different apps and programs. You can add different people to a list of collaborators for each task, and that way everyone stays updated on the progress and any changes. You can add people who don’t have Taskforce and have them receive regular email updates.

                  9. Unroll.me

                  Unroll me

                    During the course of the day you’ll end up clicking on God knows what, and there will be plenty of requests to subscribe to a newsletter. These messages can make an unholy mess in your inbox and obscure the few updates you really want to check out. Unroll.me is an extremely quick and easy way to manage these subscriptions and cut loose from the ones you have no need for. It scans your inbox and provides you with a simple visual interface where you can click to block all messages from any specific website on a list of your current subscriptions.

                    10. The Swizzle

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                    Swizzle

                      A similar, but a bit more in-depth way of dealing with your newsletter and promotional clutter, The Swizzle lets you unsubscribe from the things you don’t need and organize a custom daily digest form the ones you decide to keep. This way you can get one big email with the different promotions and updates that you want, leaving your inbox clean and organized.

                      11. Checker Plus

                      Checker Plus

                        For those looking for a good way to manage multiple email accounts, Checker Plus is a true godsend. It allows you to label and monitor important emails, get notifications with user photos and can even be set up to read your emails out loud to you if you are busy. You can run it independent of your browser and get new email alerts even if it is closed. There are a number of additional useful features and the developer offers excellent customer support and regular updates.

                        12. Active Inbox

                        ActiveInbox

                          Another quick solution for busy people who want to become more organized, the ActiveInbox transforms your inbox into a functional task manager within seconds. You can choose which accounts to use it on – e.g. use it for your official business account and not on your private one – and get started in moments. Emails can be assigned to a specific project with ease and you also get a menu with the labels “action”, “waiting on” and “some day” that you can assign to various projects to prioritize them. If you opt for the paid version you’ll also get the ability to write notes, categorize tasks and set deadlines.

                          13. WiseStamp

                          WiseStamp

                            Giving a bit of a personal touch to your emails in the form of a signature that appears with each email is something that can serve you well for both business and personal purposes. WiseStamp gives you that little bit extra in terms of designing your own unique signature, complete with an image, basic information and links to social media, as well as cool additional features like your last Tweet or Facebook status. It makes things elegant and unobtrusive, while at the same time providing all the most important information on who you are as a person or professional with every email you send.

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                            14. Key Rocket

                            KeyRocket

                              There is a lot of Gmail users out there, me being one, that aren’t aware of all the great little keyboard shortcuts that can help you cut down the time spend managing your emails by a small, but noticeable amount. Key Rocket strives to fix this by bombarding you with little pop ups every time you click on an option that you could have just used a shortcut for. Each pop up message contains a specific shortcut and after a while, through the sheer power of annoying the hell out of you, it will help you learn them all by heart, thus making you a little bit faster and more efficient.

                              15. Mail Timer for Gmail

                              Mail Timer

                                Whether it’s the end of a busy day and you’re just hovering over the last email that you need to send before heading home or you tend to wonder off mid-sentence when composing emails all too often, a tool like the Mail Timer can help you stay focused. You choose how much time you want to spend with each email and set the timer, which, when the time is up, lets you know that you need to move on.  It is incredibly simple and yet incredibly effective.

                                If you are anything like me, chances are you are spending entirely too much time looking your inbox and composing new emails. By using some of these great Gmail plugins, most of which are free and can be set up quickly and easily, you will be able to significantly improve your productivity and save yourself a lot of time and work.

                                More by this author

                                Ivan Dimitrijevic

                                Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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