Even though Gmail is packed with features out of the box, it’s not perfect. Here are some of our favourite browser extensions and plugins that will give you complete control of Gmail.
We’ve talked about a few of our favourite Gmail extensions before, including some of the best userscripts for fixing the biggest annoyances. But if you want to get even more out of Gmail, this guide should point you in the right direction.
Only Get The Emails You Want
Even if you’ve spent a lot of time perfecting Gmail’s priority inbox, you probably still get lots of emails you don’t really need. Depending on the nature of these noisy emails, you have a few different solutions.
If you’re just looking to wrangle in all those newsletters, we like Unsubscribe as a simple way to instantly unsubscribe from emails. However, if you want those newsletters without them cluttering up your inbox, Unroll.me and The Swizzle combine all your newsletters and deals into a single email.
If your email is getting out of hand, and the priority inbox isn’t enough, SaneBox tracks your email usage to learn what matters to you and then dishes you only the emails that really matter. Plans start at $US2.04 a month, but you can check it out for free for two weeks.
Get More Information About Your Contacts
The addition of Google+ Circles in Gmail helped bridge the gap between your contacts and your Gmail, but that requires you to actually have a Google+ account. Fortunately, you have a couple of different options to organise your contacts better.
Toutapp comes with all sorts of useful features. It helps you wrangle your contacts into relationships and groups so you can see who you email the most and send out emails to groups of people easily. You can also track who opens an email and when to get a better idea of how your recipients respond to your emails.
If tracking and managing isn’t your thing, Rapportive is an extension that adds lots of useful contact information directly to Gmail. Instead of just seeing a name, you’ll get a picture, location and social network updates. You can also add notes for each contact to help you remember who they are.
Schedule Emails And Reminders
Sometimes you don’t want to send an email right away. If you’re looking for a simple system to send emails at a specified date, Boomerang does the trick wonderfully. It also tracks emails to remind you to follow up with someone and reminds you if someone doesn’t get back to you. It works well, but the free plan only includes 10 message credits for the month. Alternatively, Right Inbox does the exact same thing, and it includes email tracking, click tracking and follow-up reminders. [clear]
Convert Emails To Tasks
If your inbox is filled with all types of notes about what you need to do at some point in the future, an email isn’t the best way to remember to do them. Integrate your Gmail directly into your tasks instead. If you’re an Any.Do user, the service recently added an extension that quickly turns any email into a task in the to-do app. Alternatively, ActiveInbox takes a GTD approach, and Taskforce turns any email into a task directly in Gmail.
Once you’re done cutting down the chaos in your inbox, you can start customising the aesthetics. We love Minimilist for Everything for tweaking Gmail’s look in Chrome, as well as Gmelius for getting rid of ads. While you’re at it, Better Gmail 2 is great for customising the look and overall feel of Gmail on Firefox.