Gmail has matured a lot over the years, so much so that you no longer need a third-party add-on for power-user features, such as scheduling emails. However, there is always room for more bells and whistles, particularly if your inbox serves as too much of a distraction, long email threads annoy you to no end, or you yearn for the ability to send GIFs more easily. For those features — and more — here are some of the best Gmail extensions we think you should check out.
Inbox When Ready
The internet is one giant rabbit hole of distractions, and your inbox itself is a solid example of that. Whenever you open Gmail to send an email, there’s a chance your inbox grabs your attention and distracts you away from the task at hand. If that sounds like you, Inbox When Ready might be the solution.
Its most useful option lets you hide all emails by default so you can hit the compose button and get your own messages sent out before you succumb to the messages of others. You can also use it to control how often you check your inbox and limit the time spent looking at emails.
Sortd for Gmail
If you’re a fan of kanban boards for organisation, Sortd will be appealing to you. It turns your inbox into kanban-style lists that make it easier to sort your emails. It also makes it easier to track specific conversations that get otherwise lost in the abyss. This is especially good to have if you depend on Gmail for work.
Download Sortd on Chrome.
Gmail Reverse Conversation
As you already know, when you reply to emails in Gmail, the newest messages are pushed to the bottom of the thread. That’s fine for a quick back and forth or two, but longer threads can become cumbersome to navigate. For those, you need Gmail Reverse Conversation to reverse the order so the newest messages land up top. It’s a simple and effective tweak that saves you a lot of scrolling.
(The free tier sometimes plays annoying audio pop-ups, however, so depending on how often you find yourself lost in these longer threads, it may be worth it to upgrade to the premium tier, which removes pop-ups for $US4.99 ($7) per month.)
Download Gmail Reverse Conversation on Chrome.
If you want to use your email as a read-later service, EmailThis is a single-click extension that lets you add articles to your reading list by sending you those articles as beautifully formatted emails without the clutter. EmailThis cannot bypass paywalls, but it works well for free-to-read articles.
Trello for Gmail
For those who use Trello often, this integration is a godsend. It turns your emails into to-dos in Trello and removes a lot of the manual intervention the process would require.
Download Trello for Gmail (works in all browsers).
Todoist for Gmail
If you use Todoist as your GTD (get things done) app, then you absolutely must use this integration with Gmail. It lets you quickly add emails as tasks in Todoist and helps you set reminders for follow-ups.
Download Todoist for Gmail (works in all browsers).
DocuSign for Gmail
For those who frequently sign contracts and other documents using Gmail, we highly recommend the DocuSign integration. It makes it quicker and easier to sign documents within Gmail, which is what you’re looking for.
Download DocuSign for Gmail (works in all browsers).
Gfycat GIFs for Gmail
Why limit yourself to regular GIF-sending on messaging apps, when you could be sending them through email, too? Gfycat’s Gmail extension will help you get that done smoothly, and smooth is what you’re going for with a well-timed GIF.
Download Gfycat GIFs for Gmail (works in all browsers).
Mergo mail merge
Mail merge allows you to send a large number of personalised emails in one go. If you’re sending a newsletter using Gmail, you can use Mergo mail merge to personalise the email for every recipient. (If you’ve read newsletters that mention you by name, it’s likely been done through mail merge.) Mergo mail merge is free to use for up to 2,000 emails per day.
Download Mergo mail merge (works in all browsers).
Security note: Before you go downloading a bunch of extensions, remember that there are privacy risks to be aware of. Some of these add-ons require access to Gmail, which means that your emails and other sensitive data may be accessed. The safest option is to stick to extensions vetted by Google, but you can also do your own research and scour the privacy policies of other extensions to be sure they’re not misusing your data.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.