- Organized email is possible thanks to plugins for Gmail and Outlook.
- Prioritizing your emails can save you time and energy that would otherwise be spent sorting through junk emails.
- Daily to-do lists can be overwhelming when switching from email to lists, but there are apps that can help.
Despite predictions that email would eventually be replaced by something better, that just doesn't seem to be happening. No matter how hard companies like Slack try to kill it off, email keeps winning.
The best way to manage the daily deluge is to get some digital elves to assist in powering through those tasks. With third-party inbox plugins, you can get some help with writing better emails, improving the system you use to keep in touch with your contacts and saving essential messages for quick retrieval.
There are many plugins for Gmail and Outlook that can help you with these tasks. If you want to email smarter and spend less time doing it, here are 10 solid options to check out.
Boomerang is common among both Gmail and Outlook users because of how much data it can give about your inbox and those who respond to (or just ignore) your messages. This plugin lets you schedule emails, snooze them for later, get those all-important read receipts and create follow-up reminders for those who put your emails on snooze.
The free tier gives you the basic feature set, but the real essentials, like mobile tools and advanced machine learning, require one of the premium subscriptions that start at $4.99 monthly.
This one's exclusively for Gmail, and it offers a 21st-century version of what was once known as a tickler file – a file folder where you put the stuff you need to get back to. FollowUp.cc lets you pull up old messages, add notes about contacts and schedule nudges to keep in touch with others.
After the 14-day trial, you'll need to pony up for a subscription plan, which starts at $18 per month. There's also an edition that integrates with Salesforce data, though that's priced at $40 monthly. There's deep integration with the popular CRM software, so if your company is a heavy user of Salesforce services, FollowUp.cc may be worth a look.
3. Just Not Sorry
The business world requires that you use confident language, even if that's not exactly how you're feeling. This handy Chrome extension (Gmail only), called Just Not Sorry, aims to help you do that. Phrases like "I just wanted to know" and "sorry about that" are flagged so you can avoid using them in your messages. You might be surprised at how often such phrases can creep into your language, and this app helps you banish them.
Evernote remains a popular organizational tool that also includes several collaboration features. Given how much information comes via email, a one-click way to save something into Evernote can be very valuable.
Evernote makes a plugin for Outlook, as well as another for Chrome that will perform this same function with Gmail. Once you save a message, you can add it to a notebook, tag it and throw in a few notes for yourself.
The process of printing out, scanning and returning a document that needs to be signed feels like it belongs in the last decade. DocuSign is a workable solution. There's a plugin for both Gmail and Outlook that allows you to add your digital signature to a document without the need to fire up the printer.
The plugins streamline the process so you can both send and receive such file types. Sending files requires one of the company's monthly plans, but it could be worth it for those in real estate or other industries that require a lot of authorization.
If your inbox is cluttered with unimportant emails, SaneBox will weed out the unimportant ones and put the communications you want to prioritize at the top. The tool can be trained to move miscategorized emails. It also provides a feature that notifies people who don't reply to your messages. There are a few price options, ranging from $7 to $36 a month.
The Yanado plugin allows you to control your inbox instead of your inbox controlling you. Yanado brings your to-do list to the inbox, allowing you to organize and prioritize communications. You no longer have to jump back and forth between your email and your to-do list. The price is free for one user and ranges from $6 to $15 per month for 100 to 1,000 users.
If you need to send a client or a vendor sensitive information or password details, Snapmail prevents you from having to stare at your inbox, waiting patiently for them to get it. The longer you wait, the greater the risk is of a security breach. To avoid this anticipation, simply hit the Snapmail button to encrypt any text mails, and once the recipient opens the email, they will have 60 seconds to gather the content before the information is gone for good.
Batched is a free plugin that allows you to control when your emails reach your inbox. The tool filters emails in your Gmail account under a specific label, and then you select the times when the selected emails are moved to your inbox. You will always have access to your important incoming emails, but the tool allows you to get out of the habit of continuously checking your email in case something important has arrived.
The Todoist app allows you to convert messages in your Outlook or Gmail inbox into tasks for your to-do list, and it automatically syncs with all of your devices. The app also allows you to assign tasks to other team members, set deadlines and provide reminders to help you stay on track. Once the plugin is installed for Gmail, it creates a tab that accesses your to-do list within the inbox, so you don't need to download another program just to view the list. The basic plan is free, or you can upgrade to premium or business plans.