Going Pro with Gmail: 6 Add-Ons and Hidden Features
By Colin Ryan
About Ratings and Reviews
Google’s Gmail recently became the world’s largest email provider, and with good reason: it’s fast, free, easy to use, and packed with great tools that can save you tons of time.
Still, many real estate pros don’t take advantage of everything Gmail has to offer. With that in mind, here are six lesser-known features and Chrome add-ons that’ll help you spend less time emailing, and more time closing.
Despite what tablet and smartphone makers might have you believe, the physical keyboard far from irrelevant. In fact, with Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts, you’ll hardly need a mouse at all.
Once you’ve enabled shortcuts in Gmail’s settings menu, you’ll see a blue bar to the left of your emails, indicating which message is selected. You’ll find all the standard shortcuts: (k) and (j) for scrolling, (c) to create a new message, (r) to reply etc. There are also more advanced commands like (* + u), which selects all unread messages. Check out the complete shortcut list here.
Another way to save time on emails? Put them off. With Snooze Your Email, you can set Gmail to remind you later about emails you’re not ready to answer just yet.
Just install the add-on, then click the snooze button at the top of the window and decide how long to put it off: an hour, a day, a week, etc. When the time comes, Gmail will mark the message as unread and send you a desktop reminder so you don’t forget to follow up.
Office workers spend an average of 2.6 hours a day on email—and not all of that time is productive. Luckily, Gmail Meter can give you insight on your email habits. Just install and authorize the add-on, then request a report. Gmail Meter will send you a full work-up, with charts and graphs on everything from weekly traffic to response time to word count.
Whether you take an average of six hours to answer an email or spend an excessive share of your Sunday on your inbox, you can use Gmail Meter’s findings to better allocate your resources and serve your clients.
Another third-party add-on, Rapportive uses the right side of your inbox (previously reserved for ads) to display rich profiles for your contacts, complete with headshot, title, and location. Connect your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Gravatar accounts, and you’ll get links to your contacts’ social media profiles as well.
Rapportive’s sidebar switches automatically when you expand or hover over a contact in a conversation. You can also make notes about your contacts and add them to profiles, so you’ll always know who you’re talking to, and why.
Managing all those notifications and newletters from Twitter, Dropbox, Zillow, and Trulia can be a real pain. With filters, you can set Gmail to file these messages automatically, bypassing your inbox altogether.
To set a filter, start by clicking the down arrow in the search bar at the top of your page. You can filter by sender’s address, subject line, attachments, or timestamp. Once you’ve entered your criteria, click “Create filter.”
Now you can decide what you want Gmail to do with these filtered messages. You can mark them as read, archive them, apply a label, forward to another address, or (careful, now) delete them.
Attachments to Google Drive
If you use Google Drive frequently to edit and collaborate on documents and presentations, Attachments to Google Drive is essential. Simply install this add-on and refresh your email, then click on an email with an attachment. Beside the file, next to “View” and “Download,” you’ll see a new option: “Save to Drive.” Click to upload and open Google Drive in a new browser tab—it’s that easy.
Do you swear by a Gmail feature or add-on we haven’t mentioned here? Tell us about it in the comments!
Published on November 14, 2012
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