There are dozens of third parties developing Gmail plugins and other software (including both standalone apps and web browser plugins) to make your Gmail experience even better. They’re easy to install, and most of them are either free or offer a free trial, so they’re worth considering if you want to improve your Gmail performance.
The Top 25 Gmail Plugins
The following Gmail plugins are the ones we’ve found to be most helpful in boosting productivity and saving time. Check them out!
EmailAnalytics is our flagship tool; it’s a standalone analytics app meant to provide you more transparency into how you write, read, and exchange emails. You can dig into your history and learn how long it takes you to write up emails, how long it takes you to respond, and the average length of your email threads. You can use this information to see where your weak points are, and hopefully improve so you can email faster and more efficiently. It’s quite a bit different than the other Gmail plugins in this list, as it provides unique insights you can’t get anywhere else.
2. Simple Gmail Notes.
Simple Gmail Notes is exactly what it sounds like, and one of the best Gmail plugins for beginners. It allows you to write up, save, and manage notes about your messages and conversations, so you can remember key items or remind yourself to do things in the future.
Virtru is one of the Gmail plugins on this list that aims to make your email data more secure. If you find yourself frequently sending confidential, proprietary, or other types of sensitive information, this is a must-have. Virtru encrypts your data, and allows you to set your messages to expire or revoke them entirely.
4. Batch Reply.
The aptly named Batch Reply extension is a variation on the “canned response” theme we explored in hack #42. With it, you can mark a group of messages in your inbox and reply to all of them with the same outgoing message. Just be careful not to send the same message too many times, or your coworkers are going to catch onto you.
One of my favorite Gmail plugins is Boomerang, which allows you to schedule emails to send later—which is ideal if you want to make it look like you’re working later than you are, or, you know, accomplish something more ethical, like sending emails while you’re in a meeting or during someone’s in-office hours. For more ways to do this, see our in-depth blog post on how to schedule an email to send later in Gmail. You can also set Boomerang up to give you automatic reminders to follow up on emails that haven’t yet gotten a response, so you never have any emails fall through the cracks.
Another Gmail plugin for added security is Digify, which helps you track attachments you send over the app and “unsend” them after a certain period of time. With it, you can also track who’s seen the document, and enable an auto-self-destruct sequence, which in the brand’s own words is “Mission Impossible style.”
If you ever get anxious to know if and when your recipients have seen your messages, Mailtrack is the perfect Gmail plugin for you. Each message you send with Mailtrack’s functionality gives you two checkmarks—one when the message is successfully sent and another when it’s read, with details on when and how it was read.
Gmail has a built-in task list, but for the task-oriented perfectionists in their user base, it doesn’t provide enough functionality. Todoist takes things a step further, giving you the ability to turn emails and conversations into a streamlined task list that helps you stay organized and focused on your highest priorities.
9. Strikethrough Etc.
Strikethrough, Etc. is a Chrome extension that can give it to you, along with additional options like upside-down text and arrows to enhance your text flavor.
If you’re used to the project management stylings of the popular project managment app Trello, Sortd should look familiar to you. This plugin turns your Inbox into an interactive series of columns, which you can use as a card-based task management paradise—if anything in task management can be referred to as “paradise.”
Gmelius offers a few different interesting features, including post-dated scheduling, automatic reminders, to-do list integration, and even tracker detection. It’s an all-in-one platform, which is free to install—so it’s worth checking out.
If you’ve ever wanted more streamlined functionality to record video and send it in Gmail, BombBomb is the Gmail plugin you’re looking for. Its PowerWheel allows you to easily record video, and embed that video in your email, then track the number of people who open that email and play the video. If you’d rather just initiate a Gmail video call, be sure to check out our step-by-step guide on how to Gmail video call!
Yesware’s main functionality is email tracking. Each email you attempt to send will have a “track” option. If checked, you’ll get a notification when your email is opened, so you can be sure that your messages are going through—and find out when they’re being read.
If you’re a veteran of using Gmail keyboard shortcuts, you’ll know that there’s a learning curve to using them reliably and consistently. KeyRocket is a Gmail plugin that alerts you when there’s an action you took that could have been done faster with a keyboard shortcut. It’s like having a live assistant to help you learn tricks for saving time.
Gmail offers you the ability to create a custom email signature within the Settings menu, but if you really want your signature to pop, you’ll need WiseStamp. WiseStamp helps you build out a custom email signature, complete with a headshot and professional design, should you choose, so all your emails look spiffier (and you become easier to contact).
ActiveInbox is another app designed to convert your traditional Inbox into something more akin to a task management platform. Its ultimate intention is to help you, the Gmail user, track all your emails to true completion, and someday get to that fabled state of “inbox zero.”
Have you noticed how many of the tools on this list track when your emails are opened or read? That’s great for you, but you don’t want someone to do that with your emails, do you? That’s where PixelBlock comes in. It’s a Chrome extension that effectively blocks other people from tracking the emails you open or read, and informs you of the tracking attempts that have been blocked.
18. Checker Plus.
If you don’t want to open Gmail every time you get a new message, consider getting Checker Plus. Checker Plus exists as an icon in your top browser bar, which informs you when you get a new message, complete with a headshot of the sender and some brief information about the message. You can even have emails read aloud to you.
19. Just Not Sorry.
Just Not Sorry is an interesting Gmail plugin that has the potential to make your Gmail messages more powerful. It automatically identifies linguistic cues that might undermine your message, such as “I’m sorry,” “I think,” or “I’m no expert.”
Back to the security side of things, FlowCrypt is a Gmail encryption extension that can help you secure your email. It’s free and simple to install, so it’s worth considering if you want a bit of extra protection.
Discoverly is a handy Gmail plugin for salespeople, and anyone else who wants more detailed information on their email contacts. It automatically links to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks so you can learn more about the people emailing you—all without leaving Gmail.
22. FollowUp CC.
FollowUp CC was made for forgettable people, busy people, and anyone else who needs a reminder from time to time. With a click, you can set the app to automatically follow up with you on any email you send or receive. You’ll get to track whether your sent email is opened, and follow up after a specific interval, regardless of whether it is or isn’t opened. It’s one of the best ways to stay on top of your most important messages and tasks.
23. Rename Email.
Let’s face it. Your coworkers suck at coming up with good subject lines, and it’s dragging your team’s performance down. Fortunately, the Chrome extension Rename Email is here to help. With it, you can customize all the subject lines in your Inbox to your own personal taste, so you don’t have to be confused about what “Thursday??” means anymore.
24. Auto Text Expander.
If you find yourself taking too much time to draft emails, you might want to use Auto Text Expander. This app allows you to create your own custom keyboard shortcuts, but for words and phrases rather than app functionality. For example, you might tie a short snippet like “co.profile” to automatically turn into a paragraph-long description of your company. It could shave hours off your email drafting time each month.
We’re all subscribed to far more marketing and promotional lists than we want to be, but it’s so hard to manually unsubscribe from them all. Unroll.me makes it simple. You can link your account to the service and see which lists you’re subscribed to, then unsubscribe from everything at once. Those few seconds you spend manually deleting emails each day can really add up, so don’t miss this opportunity.
If you’re a Gmail power user and looking for Gmail plugins that will enhance your productivity while emailing, then there’s bound to be a plugin on this list that can benefit you. Give them a try and let us know which ones you like most in the comments below!
And while Gmail plugins are a fantastic way to improve your productivity, there’s no better way than to visualize and understand your email habits that are leading to losses in productivity. That’s what our tool, EmailAnalytics, helps you do. Check it out with a free 14-day trial!
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics.