Gmail is one of the best email clients out there, but even though it’s packed with features out of the box, it’s still not perfect. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite browser extensions and plugins for taking complete control over Gmail.
Even though Gmail is pretty great on its own, you won’t find a shortage of amazing Gmail extensions out there. We’ve talked about a few of our favorites before, including some of the best userscripts for fixing the biggest annoynaces. That said, if you want to get even more out of Gmail, you’ll need to search elsewhere.
Kill Off Email Noise and Only Get the Emails You Want
Even if you’ve spent a lot of time perfecting Gmail’s excellent priority inbox, you likely still get a ton of email 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 actually like those newsletters but don’t want them cluttering up your inbox, both Unroll.me and The Swizzle both combine all your newsletters, deals, and other commercial emails into a single email so they’re not cluttering up your inbox.
If your email’s 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 $2.04 a month, but you can check it out for two weeks for free.
Get More Information About Your Contacts
The addition of Google+ Circles in Gmail helped bridge the gap between your contacts and your Gmail, but the main problem is that people actually have to have a Google+ account. Thankfully, you have a couple different options to better organize your contacts.
Toutapp comes with all sorts of useful features. First and foremost, 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 when people are replying to you.
If tracking and managing isn’t your thing, Rapportive is an extension that adds a ton of useful contact information directly to Gmail. Instead of just seeing a name, you’ll get a picture, location, social network updates, and more. You can also add notes for each contact to help you remember how you know them.
Schedule Emails (and Get Reminders to Follow Up)
Sometimes you don’t really want to send an email right away because you don’t want to send anything important over the weekend, you want to wait for a birthday, or you’re just communicating with people in different time zones.
If you’re looking for a simple system to send off 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. The free plan only includes 10 message credits for the month, but it works well.
Alternately, Right Inbox does the exact same thing, and includes email tracking, click tracking, and follow-up reminders.
Convert Emails to Tasks
Chances are your email is filled with all types of notes about what you need to do at some point in the future. Unfortunately, an email isn’t always the easiest thing to remember, and you have to throw those tasks onto a seperate to-do list in order to remember them.
Depending on what type of to-do system you use, it’s pretty easy to integrate your Gmail directly into your tasks. 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. Alternately, ActiveInbox takes a GTD approach, and Taskforce turns any email into a task directly in Gmail.
Of course, once you’re done cutting down the chaos in your inbox, you can start customizing 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 customizing the look and overall feel of Gmail on Firefox.