Businesses are using Gmail more and more these days because it's easy and affordable. But more importantly, it's customizable far beyond what you can do with ordinary email programs. With the right tweaks, apps and add-ons, your inbox can become a well-oiled productivity machine. It seems like new third-party apps designed to save you time and energy roll out every day. So, it's easy to miss the good ones. If you use Gmail to handle your business (or personal) email, here are five great apps you should know about.
Have you ever spent too much time searching for an email attachment? I get them all the time from designers, clients and members of my team. Even though I always think I'll remember where I filed them, it still takes valuable time to search through all my messages for the right attachment.
Attachments.me allows you to search your whole account by keyword and gives you a visual display of all attachments that contain keyword matches. Now all you have to do is remember one or two words in the attachment, and a quick search brings the attachment to you. This app is free for most users. You can find more information at www.Attachments.me
2) Canned responses
This is an app from Gmail Labs, so it's experimental and may not be available forever. But if you find yourself typing the same responses over and over again, it could save you tons of time. You simply compose it once, save it, and then use it over and over again. You can also set up templates to format your responses just the way you like. To access this app, go to Gmail Labs and enable "Canned Responses."
Does it seem like every email you get turns into something you have to do? With Taskforce you can transform an email into a task with the touch of a button. What separates it from other task managers is you never have to leave your inbox to create or manage tasks. The toolbar lets you "convert to a new task" or "add to existing task" and you can add collaborators as well (even if they don't have Taskforce.) You can assign due dates and collect comments, as well as check on the activity surrounding a certain task. No more creating separate To-Do lists or searching for emails related to your tasks. They'll all be right there in your inbox. You can sign up at www.TaskForceApp.com
Email marketers are getting trickier with their required unsubscribe links. With Unsubscribe.me, you get a small button added to your Gmail inbox, which allows you to quickly and easily unsubscribe from lists and newsletters. No more hunting for the link or jumping through hoops. Just click that button and you're done. Plus, you can easily monitor which apps have access to your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
If you travel for business, or just take frequent vacations, chances are you still check your email for important messages from clients or vendors. This app frees you from obsessively checking your email by sending you a phone call or text message when an important message comes in. You just set up alerts for the emails you need to know about and AwayFind will let you know when they arrive. So you can spend less time on the computer and more time on the beach! You'll find complete details at www.AwayFind.com
Smart business people use technology to streamline their everyday operations, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your company. Give some of these a try and save your time and energy for the good stuff.