5 Lightweight Gmail Tools That Solve a Few Pesky Problems
The headstone for email has been kept ready for a long time. No one has come to claim it, yet. In the age of free video chats and instant group messaging, email still stands with its feet dug into the grounds. Gmail is not without its problems too. But pick a simple problem or something more vexing, you can bet there’s an app for your inbox that will solve it.
Here are five more Gmail apps and tools that make a few inbox annoyances vanish.
1. Rename Email (Chrome): Change the Subject Line
It’s not a major problem. But wouldn’t you still love to handle emails like everyday files and folders? For instance, change the name of an email and it a subject line that’s more recognizable. It might make email threads easier to manage and help you retrieve the right email with a glance down the queue. Or search your inbox with keywords.
This simple Chrome extension works with Gmail. You can even use different titles for emails within an email thread. The free version should be enough for most of us, but there’s a premium version which comes with backend support.
Download: Rename Email for Chrome (Free, Premium version for $4.99)
2. Gmail Reverse Conversation (Chrome): The Newest First
Gmail does not give you the flexibility to re-order a thread and bring the newest conversation to the top. This tiny extension does exactly that. It reverses your Gmail conversations and places the most recent reply at the top. It thus goes chronologically downwards. Do note that it does not work like a toggle switch. To bring the oldest thread back to the top, uninstall the extension.
This simple move could save you a few scrolls and help you quickly catch up with updated conversations. Just one of the little ways you can make Gmail behave like Microsoft Outlook.
Download: Gmail reverse conversation for Chrome (Free)
3. Timezone.email (Chrome): Stay Aware of the Time
Timezones and conversations go together in a global world. For instance, if you can send an email at just the right time, it will arrive when your teammate is alert and awake to respond immediately. You can have a to and fro at the right time with your collaborator. There are many timezone converters, but this Chrome extension puts it right inside your inbox.
Timezone.email works with Gmail and Inbox by Gmail. Add your contact emails and set their timezones in the options page of the extension. It will convert your timezones to theirs and you can use it to schedule chats or meetings at agreeable hours.
The free plan allows you to pair timezones with three others. For more, look at the paid plans.
Download: Timezone.email for Chrome (Free, Paid)
4. Explain and Send Screenshots (Chrome): Capture and Send
Gmail does not need a screen annotation tool, but it is an important part of communication. This extension solves that problem without invading your privacy. You just have to capture or record a video or take an image of your screen, write text or point with arrows, and then share it. Full or partial screenshots are supported.
Keep things private, delete the sections you don’t want others to see. You can save the screen to Google Drive or bring it into your email to share. For swifter screen captures, use the right-click menu or the shortcut keys.
Explain and Send Screenshots is a lightweight screenshot and annotation tool in a small package. It is also available for Firefox.
Download: Explain and Send Screenshots for Chrome (Free)
Gmail is the most popular email service and it’s a no brainer if you have simple needs. But Gmail may not be right if you run a business or run a marketing campaign. Free Gmail has its limits. Business choices can get confusing. You can research your way to a solution or use this suggestion tool to find the first clue.
What email service should I use? asks you a few questions, takes your email address, and suggests a client. It is more suited for ecommerce which need features like list management, API integration, split testing etc. Each recommendation leads to a detailed review and that is where the value is when you trying to benchmark what to get.
Looking for simple alternatives to Gmail instead? Take your pick from this list.
Optimizing Your Life in the Inbox
Email is a big part of our lives. Even as Gmail and other alternatives get better, we keep asking for more ways to send a simple email. Keep discovering them and then sift through the pile to find the keepsakes. The world of Gmail extensions is a haystack, and here are a few more to help with your email productivity.