If you are like 20% of email users, Gmail is your email service of choice. If you use Gmail in the Google Chrome browser, the most popular web browser in the world, you have access to even more powerful tools to supercharge your productivity and email experience. Here are five Chrome plugins I use to level up my Gmail experience.
Rapportive is an extension that loads useful contact information into a Gmail sidebar filled with information about the person on the other side of the email. After connecting with your LinkedIn account and other social networks, Rapportive brings in a wealth of information including where they work, their job title, and a one-click option to connect on LinkedIn and other social networks. Best of all, the core features are all free.
Streak turns your Gmail account into a fully functioning CRM. Track leads and your entire customer funnel by channel or category as their email conversations move through your sales process. Streak also gives the ability to schedule emails for later, my personal favorite feature, and view if your emails have been opened. Most features a solo entrepreneur would want are free, but a paid version exists that offers more team functionality and additional features.
If you are in sales or a writer, you know how important it is to quickly make connections and reach others by email. But what about those corporate email addresses that can be so hard to decode or figure out? That’s where Clearbit comes in. Get information about the person you’re conversing with similar to Rapportive, but also reach new contacts at millions of companies. In just a few clicks, you’ll have the email address for nearly anyone.
This screenshot is technically not a Gmail extension, it works everywhere on the web. Awesome Screenshot allows you to take quick screenshots of any webpage, including Gmail, and save to your desktop or Google Drive for easy sharing. You can annotate and edit screenshots before saving, and then send a link in email, Google’s GChat, or any other messaging platform. I find that I often need a quick screenshot to explain something and with Awesome Screenshot I can insert the screenshot into my emails very quickly. How can you not install this? It has awesome in the name.
While using Streak to track if emails have been opened is a cool skill, sometimes you may not want others to use this type of tool on you. PixelBlock does exactly what the name says. The tracker in emails is called a “tracking pixel,” a small, invisible square image at the bottom of the email that you never even know is there. PixelBlock looks for those tracking pixels and prevents them from loading, hence keeping your email reading habits a mystery to curious senders.
The Fun Doesn’t End Here
Chrome extensions for Gmail are just the beginning. The Chrome App Webstore contains useful extensions for your productivity while browsing, working, researching, writing, designing, creating, networking, or anything else you do online.
Email and the rest of the internet can be an amazing productivity tool or a terrible distraction. How you use the web is up to you, but if you want to maximize your productivity in your Gmail account, these extensions will serve you well.