Gmail is, without a doubt, one of the most popular free email services. Yet behind the incredible space, functionality and integration features, some of us require applications to make Gmail more pliable to our specific needs. If you happen to be one of those brilliant souls, then here’s a list of the best apps and extensions for your Gmail account.
Rapportive. If you ever find yourself writing an email and you need extra info about the person you’re writing to, what’s the solution? Save the email as a draft and switch to your contacts to look them up. Not with Rapportive. This app shows you contact information of the person you’re writing to—both from the inbox and from the compose screen. You can link the information from your Facebook, LinkedIn to enhance the information, add notes to their profiles or use the “recent mail” button—a one click search feature. Fast, powerful and organized, Rapportive is an app to consider.
Boomerang. Created for Google Chrome and Firefox, Boomerang is an app to give you the option of when to send or receive emails. Schedule that important message to send to your boss at 2am, so she knows you’ve been working through the night. Just use the “send later” button, set the date and time and you’re done. Boomerang is also great for follow up reminders. Schedule messages to reappear in your inbox when you’re ready to respond to them, or have Boomerang remind you when it’s time to follow up on that important email. Bommerang even has a mobile app, giving you the same features on the go. Your emails will always arrive when you need them to.
FollowUpThen. A fast and simple way to follow up by typing in a single line into your “To:”, “Cc:” or “Bcc:” fields. FollowUpThen provides a reminder service for both you and your recipient. By typing firstname.lastname@example.org into the “Cc:” field, for example, a reminder will be sent to both you and your recipient if thatrecipient doesn’t respond in 2 days (the allotted time). The follow up is a clear, clean message—which includes the original you sent. Use of the “Bcc:” sends a reminder only to you after the allotted time. The possibilities of this program are virtually endless.
Hotspot Shield. A program for those who travel and use Gmail outside the USA, and are unable to gain access, due to being blocked with a firewall. Hotspot Shield will create a virtual private network between your device (laptop or phone) and its Internet gateway, so you can connect while in countries like China and access your Gmail. While in this network, you’re invisible to hackers and ISP’s, allowing you to download and use your credit card info…even on a public Wi-Fi connection.
Backupify. Scared about being hacked? What would you do if you lost all your collected data because of your own error? Not a pleasant thought. Well that’s where Backupify comes in. This app backs up your Gmail on regular intervals, including your pictures, contacts, Google Apps and messages. You can restore any of your lost content with a single click, the set up takes only minutes and Backupify does nightly backups using Amazon S3. Not enough? Well then you’ll be happy to know that it can also be used to back up your social networks: Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Blogger, Google Docs, even Blogger and WordPress.
Courteous.ly: Ever wish people would understand how much email clutter you have to sift through each day? Well, with courteous.ly you can do just that. By placing a custom line of code in your email signature, people who get your emails can actually see your real time email load. This can help them determine when the ideal time is to send you a message.
About the Author: Lisa is an avid yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing in her spare time.