I am an avid Gmail user. Not only do I have a regular old Gmail account, but I run both my professional and blog email addresses through Gmail as well. (In other words, even though I send and receive mail as email@example.com, I’m doing it all through Gmail). And for the most part, the vanilla Gmail gets the job done well. But there are a few add-ons I’ve come across that make my email life even better/easier, and today I’m going to share those with you.
1. Undo Send
Activate under Gmail > Settings (gear icon) > Labs > Undo Send > Enable > Save.
Specific settings under Gmail > Settings > General.
How many times have you hit Send on an email, only to realize you misspelled someone’s name, or accidentally Reply-All’d, or some other blunder? With Undo Send, this is an easy fix. You set the time limit on how long you want to be able to undo a sent email after you hit send, and as long as you’re in that time window, just hit the Undo link that appears next to the Message Sent text at top. And voila! Fix your email and re-send error-free. I use this ALL the time.
2. Scheduled Emails – Boomerang
For Firefox 3.6+, Chrome 5.0+ and Safari 5.1+. Works with Gmail and Google Apps email.
Can be downloaded/installed from here: http://www.boomeranggmail.com.
Before I discovered this add-on, if I happened to be working late at night and finished up something to send to a client, I would Save as Draft, because I didn’t want to send project work at midnight and have the client start to expect me to be available at odd hours. But, inevitably, I would as often as not forget to send that email come morning. Not a good situation. Boomerang solves this. It lets me schedule exactly when I want to send an email. This has been such a useful thing for me. Even if it’s not a matter of working late at night, if I have free time and a bunch of invoicing to get done for clients on retainer, but it’s not actually time to send those invoices quite yet, I can schedule ahead of time. Boomerang also has a built-in reminder feature you can use, where it reminds you to check-in with a person if they haven’t responded to your email in a set number of days. So, so useful.
3. Gmail Counter
Installed through Safari > Preferences > Extensions > Get Extensions > Gmail Counter
As far as I can tell, this is Safari-only, but that’s the browser I use, so… *shrug*. I imagine there have to be similar add-ons for other browsers.
I don’t have email notifications set up on my phone, or use Outlook, or anything like that. Because I find constant notifications of every little thing annoying. Plus I am an in-browser email checker only. And when I’m off browsing non-email things, it’s nice to have a feature that tells me when I have new email, but not in an in-your-face, interrupting way. Enter the Gmail Counter. It’s a small little icon up next to the the address bar, that displays a number when you have unread emails in your Gmail inbox. A simple click of said icon opens your inbox. It’s a small detail, but one I appreciate highly. You can customize the settings to be a bit more in-your-face if you want, but I have it as a silent little helper.
Aside from these, if you take a browse through Gmail Labs (again, under Gmail > Settings > Labs) you’ll probably find some other useful things. It’s where they test out features they’re thinking of adding in to Gmail vanilla. One that has made the crossover is the Attachment Reminder – if the text of your email sounds like you meant to attach a file, it gives a little pop-up notice upon send if you’ve forgotten to attach anything (Are you sure?). Also super useful, and I’m glad it’s a default feature now.
How about you? Are you a Gmail user? Any other tips to share?