Gmail is the most popular email app on the planet. But there are some features that are still missing. So in this video, Scott Friesen shows you 7 Gmail extensions that address some of the most requested functionality that Gmail users are needing to get the most out of their email client.
Despite of all of the advantages that Gmail gives us, there are still some features that are missing. So in this video, I'm sharing with you seven Gmail extensions that replace missing features or functionality that you wish you could do. Hello everyone, Scott Friesan here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And let's dive right into extension number one. And this has all to do with email tracking. Now, what exactly is email tracking? Well, it can be very valuable for us to know if someone has opened up our email, how many times have they opened up our email, and have they clicked on any of the links that have maybe been contained in that email, whether it's something that you've sent along or included in your message, or maybe it's a link or something that you have within your email signature. Now for this purpose, we're taking a look at Right Inbox. Now, right off the bat, you can tell that Right Inbox gives us a lot of additional functionality that Gmail cannot do on its own. But let's stick with email tracking. Here, I've crafted a sample email where I'm asking someone if they've had a chance to take a look at this link. And at the very bottom here, you can see that there's this eyeball icon. And if I hover over it, it's called Open & Link Tracking. Now, Right Inbox allows us to turn this on by default for all of our messages, or we can choose. We can pick and choose which messages we would like to track. And if I select this dropdown, you can see I can also choose if I only want to track clicks or if I only want to track opens as well. The key thing here is that the recipient of this message is not going to be made aware. It's not as if they're going to get a second email or they're going to get a prompt to send information. This tracking happens in the background so we can just see when and what exactly they have opened. So I'm going to go ahead here and I'm going to hit Send Now. And now, let's jump into that test account, the place where I sent this message to see what they see and to see what we are going to see on our end over here. So on the left-hand side of your screen, we have our Gmail account where we just sent this particular email. In fact, I've clicked on this Sent folder, so here you can see that particular email. Now, just to the left of each message, you're going to see a couple of new icons, which Right Inbox is adding to our accounts. So for example, if I hover over this check mark, you can see that there have been zero opens and zero clicks, because on the right hand side, this is where I sent that email to, and it is currently unread. You may also notice that some of my other messages, I have that information already when someone has opened or clicked a particular message. But let's go ahead and see this in real time. So I'm going to go over here to the receiver of this message. Shortly after opening this email, if we look to the left-hand side, we can see that we now have the number one and the green check mark has been illuminated. If I hover over it, it's telling me that there has been one open. It says which email address opened it. And it also tells me the precise time as to when they opened this message. But let's go back over here to this email. And this time, what I'm going to do is I'm going to click on this link that was included in that particular message. Now, no, we're not going to watch this particular video. Let's jump back to that email account there. Now, the tracking may take a few seconds as Right Inbox is collecting this information and then sending it back to your account. But within less than 30 seconds, if we go back to our account here, we now have this little dot beside it indicating that someone has clicked on this particular message. So we can see exactly when they clicked on this message. And if they continue to click on this again, or if they reopen this message, you're going to have that information here as well. So a very valuable extension to have in your Gmail toolbox. Next up, let's take a look at another feature, which is missing from Gmail, and that is automatic follow-ups. What do I mean by that? Well, what if you send a message either asking a question or where you're really needing a response within a particular timeframe? Wouldn't it be great if Gmail could automatically notify you if that person did not reply to that message? Well, in this case, we're looking at an extension called Boomerang. And similar to Right Inbox, Boomerang is going to give us some additional functionality here as well. So in this example, I'm asking someone if they can meet with me next week. Are you available to meet on Tuesday to discuss this proposal? Please give me a quick reply back to confirm. Now, I could go ahead and send this email as is, and then maybe set a reminder to myself to follow up with Jane in two days time. Maybe put a special label on the sent message or add something to my calendar. I'd have to do something manually to remind myself. Well, what Boomerang allows us to do is to remind ourselves automatically if they do not reply within a certain timeframe. So here you can see this little checkbox just below the Send row. What I'm going to do is I'm going to check this checkbox and say, remind me in two days if no reply. Meaning that now when I send this message, if Jane does not reply to me within the next 48 hours, this exact message will return to me. And that will be my trigger that I need to follow up. Either send another email or maybe pick up the phone. But the great thing is, is that if Jane does reply to me within this timeframe, nothing else happens. I do not get a second message. And keep in mind, no additional messages are automatically sent to your sender. This is just for your purpose. Now, of course I can specify that timeframe. There's a number of different defaults here, but I can get very specific as to when I want to be reminded. And we have a few other options here as well, including not just no reply, but if it's not clicked, if it's not opened or I could just say, regardless, send me this email back in a specific timeframe, because maybe I want that to trigger something else or remind me of something else. Now, the next extension on our list has to do with enhancing the way we manage and access our key labels here on the left-hand side. You probably already know from trial and error that you can add as many labels and sub labels as you want, but it's always going to be displayed in alphabetical order. In this particular case, you can see that I had to add an asterisk to some of my key labels here just if I wanted to see them, not have them hidden down below and make sure that they're at the very top. Well, with Gmail Tabs, you can go one step further and highlight those specific labels at the top of your screen. So here, for example, I have my Inbox, Action Required, and Newsletters where I can simply click on any of these tabs and go directly to that particular label. Let me show you how it works. If I want to add any of my existing labels here, all I need to do is click on the More Options here. And under cloudHQ, I can either select Add to Tabs or Add to Tabs including sub labels. Now, in this particular example, I don't have any sub labels for this particular label. So I'm just going to select Add to Tabs. Now you can see at the very top, I have my Urgent label. So just like the one here on the left-hand side, as soon as I click on it, I'm going to go directly to that label. It might be a little bit easier for me to access them. And even if I have a large quantity of labels, I can just have my most important ones here at the top of the screen. But I can go one step further. On the right-hand side, I can select Edit. And let's say I want Urgent to maybe stand out a little bit more. Well, I can come in here and select a different color. So if I want that text to be red, for example, I can do that and hit done. And now that Urgent tab, even if I go back to my inbox, is going to stand out that much more. So if you want an additional way to manage and access your labels, be sure to check out Gmail Tabs. Now, number four on our list today has to do with adding additional notes to specific emails, because sometimes, you may want to remind yourself of something or add some further details without having to send a message yourself or to make sure that other people on that email don't see your notes. Now, I've shown you in the past that you can access many of your notes by using Google Keep and actually link your notes to Google Keep on the right hand side. But sometimes, this is not the easiest method to manage those notes. And you may not always want to reference your side panel here. Well, with Simple Gmail Notes, you can add specific notes. You can search through them and you can even label them and give them different colors as you see here. So for example, I've put a note on this particular message. I can see the first few lines of the note, but if I open up the message here at the very top, I can see the full details. Simple Gmail Notes adds a text note, a text note field at the top of every one of your emails. So for example, let's open up this email and I can see this yellow space at the top where I can put as many notes as I like right here at the top of the message. So this is going to stay attached to this particular email, and I've got a few additional options as well. Maybe I want to stay with the standard yellow color, or maybe I want to give it a unique color. So I'm going to choose this sort of baby blue. I don't have to hit save or do anything else. I can just quickly enter in my note and go back to my inbox. And here you can see the first few characters of that note and I can see which emails have that note in place. Now, if I hover over the note, the nice thing is, is that I'm going to actually see the full message. This first one here I think has the most lines of text. I don't even have to go into it. I can hover over it and see what I wrote there. But it gets even better. Let's go back to this example. And if I hit the search bar here, it's actually going to show me all of the notes that I've created. It's going to put it in chronological order, and I can go directly to them here if I want to. And let's say if I have a large collection of notes, I can search them here as well. So if you need some more advanced note-taking with your email, you may want to check out Simple Gmail Notes. Now, the next feature on our list just might change the way that you think about using your email. How often have you wanted to send the exact same email to the exact same recipients on a regular basis? Rather than doing it manually and reminding yourself on your calendar to do so or to schedule a bunch of emails in advance, why not just create the single email and set a recurring time? Well, for this functionality, we're going back to Right Inbox. In here, I've crafted an email that says end of month report is due soon. Let's say that I need my team to email me their report at the end of each month. And I've said, "Please remember to get your month end report to me by end of day Friday." Well, I certainly don't want to write this every last Wednesday of the month, right? That's going to be too much for me to remember. It probably leaves too much room for human error. But with the Right Inbox extension installed, at the very bottom, we have this recurring button. So if I select this button, we get sort of a standard calendar option here where I can say, hey, how often do I want to send this email? Well, I want to send it monthly, and I want to send it on the day of the week. So maybe I'm going to say, I want it on the last. Please send it on the last Wednesday of the month. Yes, we're going to do it every month. I can specify the send time in terms of when I want to send it out. I can also specify my time zone. The nice thing is that my default time zone or my local time zone should be the first one listed there. I can say when it starts. And I can say when it ends as well. Maybe there's only a number of occurrences like such as the next four months is when I want to send it. At the very bottom, it gives me a nice summary. So I know when that very next one is going to be sent out. And now, I can select schedule. And I don't have to worry about sending that reminder each and every month. So if you want to get so much more out of your reminders and recurring emails, be sure to check out that Right Inbox extension. Now, as a Gmail user, I'm sure that you're very, very familiar with the layout of your messages. Here, I've opened up a message where I have the title or the subject at the top. And then the very first message is here. I have to scroll and continue all the way down to find the most recent message. And then if I want to reply or forward it, I usually have to come down here to do so. But many of you have asked, Scott, is there any way to reverse this? I'd like to see the most recent message at the top. And it would be great if I could hit that reply button up here as well. Well, the good news is that you can. With the Gmail Reverse Conversation extension installed, you get the exact same message but in the reverse order. So here, we still have the subject, but I can hit Reply or Forward right away. And the most recent message is at the very top. Yes, the oldest message is the bottom, the most recent message is at the top. So I can hit Reply and I can reply directly right here at the top of that message as well. So if you would prefer something that maybe looks and feels a little more like Outlook, or you just want your most recent messages at the top of the screen, be sure to check out Gmail Reverse Connection. Now, another feature which is lacking within the Gmail application is the ability to stop or pause your inbox. When we're trying to get the most out of our days, it can be helpful to get out of email and focus on other important things. But what if you want to send an email? It can be extremely distracting to see this steady flow of new messages coming into your inbox. Well, if we go back to the Boomerang extension, you can see that we add another piece of functionality here called Pause Inbox. So whenever I'd like to put a stop to incoming messages, and what I mean by that is that I just won't be able to see them. Of course everyone can still send me messages as regular. I'm just not going to see them for a certain period of time. All I need to do is select this Pause Inbox button, and I'm going to be presented with a dialogue box where I can make a few different options. Now, number one, you can choose to turn on an auto responder if you like. So you can tell others that you are not actually seeing their messages in real time, because you've decided to pause your inbox. They've given us some default text here. Of course, we can edit all of this or we can just turn it off all together. Now, there are a few advanced features here, including delivery exceptions and to bring messages into your inbox on a particular schedule. You will need to upgrade to a pro or premium plan in order to add those options. But the last one that I'll point out here is the hide label option, which means while your inbox is paused, all new incoming emails will get moved to a temporary label. So if you enable this, they will receive this temporary label until it is on pause. So you can choose if you want that feature or not. And last but not least, if you want to go on a schedule and just let the system do it for you, you can choose to unpause automatically after a certain period of time. Now, of course there are many other features and functionality which Gmail does not yet have. And for that, I'd love to hear from you. What are some features that you wish Gmail would add or you wish there would be an extension for? Be sure to let me know in the comments down below. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.