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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

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                                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                                Or even better:

                                What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                                You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                                Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                                How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                                The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                                In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                                • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                                • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                                • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                                As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                                Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                                Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                                But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                                his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                                5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                                Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                                But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                                1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                                2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                                3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                                4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                                5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                                Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                                There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                                • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                                • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                                • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                                • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                                Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                                With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                                25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                                Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                                1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                                If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                                2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                                If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                                If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                                3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                                Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                                =sum(

                                …and then press F3.

                                When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                                4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                                Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                                =match(

                                …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                                When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                                But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                                5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                                If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                                • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                                • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                                • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                                • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                                • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                                6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                                By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                                The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                                For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                                A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                                7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                                When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                                8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                                When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                                9. Use filtering

                                Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                                It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                                To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                                10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                                Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                                Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                                To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                                11. See formula results with F9

                                If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                                Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                                12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                                If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                                13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                                Here’s how to use EDATE:

                                =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                                =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                                14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                                Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                                =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                                =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                                15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                                TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                                16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                                In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                                17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                                When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                                And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                                18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                                If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                                19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                                Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                                You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                                20. Use data validation

                                This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                                • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                                • Create drop-down lists;
                                • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                                21. Use conditional formatting

                                It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                                22. Use formula auditing

                                This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                                The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                                23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                                Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                                It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                                24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                                INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                                25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                                OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                                The bottom line

                                As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                                That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                                If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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