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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.

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                                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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                                Published on November 9, 2018

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                • Microsoft Excel
                                • Microsoft Access
                                • Statistics
                                • Data Analytics
                                • Adobe Campaign
                                • Quickbooks
                                • XML Database management system
                                • Filemaker Pro
                                • MATLAB
                                • Hive
                                • FORTRAN
                                • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                • SAS

                                2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                • Content Management System (CMS)
                                • Google Analytics
                                • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                • Email Marketing
                                • Web Page Design
                                • WordPress
                                • Digital Media
                                • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                • Campaign Management Software

                                3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                • Adobe Photoshop
                                • Adobe InDesign
                                • Adobe Illustrator
                                • AutoCAD
                                • CorelDRAW
                                • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                • Maya
                                • Microsoft Word
                                • Microsoft Publisher
                                • Operating Digital Cameras

                                4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                • HTML
                                • C/C++
                                • Java
                                • Python
                                • XML
                                • UI/UX
                                • LINUX
                                • CISC and RISC architecture
                                • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                • Memory Management
                                • PCB Layout
                                • SQL

                                5. IT Troubleshooting

                                Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                • Backup management
                                • Diagnostics
                                • End User support
                                • Client-Server management
                                • Installation and configuration
                                • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                • System administration
                                • Tech support

                                6. Enterprise Systems

                                Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                2. Rule the Social Media World

                                a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                b. Canva Design School

                                From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                3. Look for Shortcuts

                                Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                4. Apply for an Internship

                                Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                The Bottom Line

                                Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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