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7 Ways to Customize Gmail, Add Features and Save Time

3 minute read

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If you’re using Gmail or Google Apps, chances are you are spending a majority of your day inside of your inbox. We’ve posted a lot of tips about how you can cut down on the time you spend in there, but what if you want to go the opposite direction?

In fact, you may already feel like your inbox is your central resource throughout the day…so why would you want to limit that? If that’s the way you feel, we’ve put together a list of our favorite tips, tricks and tools for customizing Gmail into your perfect solution.

1. Use Flashissue to send beautiful, engaging emails

Gmail is great for sending plain text emails and attaching files, but there isn’t really a way to put together aesthetically pleasing messages. For example, if you want to send out a marketing email, or a company wide newsletter with lots of images and style, you may feel obligated to sign up for a email distribution service.

With Flashissue you can make great looking emails inside of Gmail, using all of the contacts that you already have. You also have access to analytics so you can see who is reading and clicking on your emails.

2. Turn your Gmail inbox into a To-Do List

If you’re like me, one of your favorite ways to remind yourself of things is by sending yourself an email. This way, even if you’re away from your computer and you send it from your phone, you can be reminded of it in the morning when you check your Gmail inbox.

This is a great way to create a to-do list, but if you receive a lot of emails like I do, sometimes these important items can get pushed down your inbox and by the time you see them it may be too late. This video demonstrates how you can turn your Gmail inbox into a advanced to do list by pairing some of our favorite features.

3. Stop yourself from sending bad emails with the Undo Send Lab

I think we’ve all been in the position where we’ve sent an email that we wished we hadn’t. Whether you forgot to attach a file, made a spelling mistake or cc’d the wrong person, it’s a pretty bad feeling when you realize an email is gone for good.

Well what if I told you there was a hidden feature in Gmail that could’ve saved you in all of those situations. The Undo Send Lab is hidden in the Lab section of your Gmail settings, and it lets you take back those emails you wished you hadn’t sent.

4. Save time by accessing Salesforce inside your Gmail Inbox

For those of you who use Salesforce and Google Apps, you know how annoying it can be to switch back and forth between the two accounts. Salesforce is your source of truth for your customers and Google Apps is how you reach them, but how can you merge the two?

Cirrus Insight is a really useful Chrome extension that brings the power of Salesforce inside of your Gmail inbox, saving you valuable time. You can update Salesforce without ever having to leave Gmail, and you can access important Salesforce information while you’re emailing customers.

5. Streamline your inbox with smart filtering and Sanebox

If you’re receiving dozens, or hundreds, of emails a day, it can be difficult to separate the important emails from all of the clutter that surrounds it. You can spend a lot of time separating emails on your own, or you can hand off the responsibility to a tool like Sanebox.

Sanebox using filtering to determine what emails are important to you based on previous interactions, and makes those easy to access. It also moves the unimportant emails into a separate folder called Sanelater, where they’ll be summarized into a digest.

6. Use Gmail Offline and never be away from your inbox

Here at Google Gooru, we know you can’t always rely on an internet connection to access your Gmail. With the Gmail Offline app for your Chrome browser, you can search for a message, read it, and compose a reply, all without connecting to the internet!

This app, built by Google and found in the Chrome Web Store, offers a lot of the same features of your normal Gmail interface. You can sort messages by labels and even search using the Gmail search operators.

7. Get to know your contacts even better with Rapportive

Rapportive combines the information you have on a contact (i.e. their email address) with what you may not know (social media accounts, company, job title, etc.) to create a rich contact profile.

This is a great tool for recruiters, marketers or anyone who sends out a high-volume of emails. While we always recommend Google Apps users set Chrome as their default browser, this plug-in is also available for Firefox and Safari for those of you who are reluctant to switch.

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