I can’t magically claim YourName@gmail.com because you just came out from hiding under your rock. Get over it. Maybe you just realized that the world runs on Gmail. Nice to have you on the bandwagon. Pay attention so you can save time, know who sends you mail, who reads the mail you send, and do all of this for free through your Gmail account (is there any other option?).
Here are my tips for Gmail dominance:
- Use priority inbox and tags. I tag important tasks and events so I can keep those items at the top of my inbox. This is a great productivity tool that helps me stay focused and prioritize. That email chain from your college friends can wait so it should remain at the bottom with your “other” email.
- Rapportive. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. A computer mishap deleted all of my Chrome extensions, including Rapportive. It took exactly three new incoming emails for me to realize that I had no clue who was contacting me. Rapportive searches for social links tied to an email address and build a short profile in the sidebar of Gmail. Users may see a profile picture pulled from a public LinkedIn profile and a one-click option to connect with the sender on Facebook, Twitter, and other networking tools.
- Say “yes” to Yesware. Email tracking is not only for marketers and salespeople. Admit it, you want to know who opens the emails you send. Yesware does that and more! Track up to 100 emails for free or upgrade to unlimited for only $4.95/mo. Initially I only used my free resources, and we know I’m a sucker for free tools online, but I’m seriously considering an upgrade because the information is very telling and valuable!
- Labs are like abs. Fitness experts stress the importance of core strength, so utilizing Labs (under settings) is like showing off your 6-pack. These are experimental features that Google is testing – some good, some bad, but that’s the point. Some favorites I enable include:
- Calendar widget – it’s nice to have your calendar open in the same window as your email, particularly if you’re scheduling a meeting or appointment.
- Picasa and Flickr previews – view photo previews when an email contains a link to either image sharing website.
- Undo send – we’ve all been there before, ‘reply all’ mistakes ring a bell?
- Yelp previews – is the place any good? Emails with Yelp listings will show a preview and avoid opening a new tab or window.
I don’t pay for any of these additional features. Some services give you the option to pay for additional capabilities, but my FREE setup works just fine. Leave me a comment once you implement these changes and they blow your mind. Let me know your favorites that I’m missing!