Gmail: The super-duper email tool

Right now I’m writing about All Things Google in book #3, and I just got through the Gmail section.

Oh boy. What can I say about Gmail – or rather, what can’t I say about Gmail? In my humble opinion, it’s the strongest tool in my Google toolbox, followed closely by Calendar. I could write a whole book about Gmail functions, and with the addition of the new Gmail Inbox, it gets even better.

By the way… I have THREE Gmail Inbox invites! Leave a comment below, and I will do a drawing at COB on Halloween 2014 for three lucky Gmail addicts.

google-gmail-logo

Five Things to Know about Gmail

  1. Gmail is a cloud-based email system from the powerhouse that is Google.
  2. You get a Gmail address when you register with Google, but you can also import your other email addresses into the reader. Each email address can have its own signature, and you can choose which email to reply from no matter the source of the email.
  3. Gmail’s spam filter helps keep your inbox clean, and its classification system for promotions, updates, important emails and more helps keep you organized.
  4. About a kabillion third-party apps integrate with Gmail to make it better (see below for my favorites).
  5. Google works very hard to make email management better and better. Last week, they released a new tool called Inbox, which makes it easier to organize your inbox and get things done faster and easier. And because the system analyzes your email, you’ll see quick links to track packages when you get a postal mailing confirmation, or check your travel schedule when it sees a flight registration.

Here are a few of my favorite Gmail connections:

  1. Boomerang
    Use Boomerang to schedule an email to pop back into your inbox at a certain time. This helps you remember to follow up with clients, write back to your mom and more.
  2. Unroll.me
    If your Gmail inbox (or Yahoo! or AOL or more) overflows with subscriptions, promotions and just plain old junk, Unroll.me can help. It analyzes and categorizes your email, making it darn easy to unsubscribe or organize. You can gather all the regular updates you get into one digest and get rid of all the rest.
  3. Cirrus Insight
    I pay $5 a month for the basic level of Salesforce (it’s really hard to find… go here) so I can keep track of conversations without having to save everything in my inbox. But it was a pain to go back and forth from Gmail to Salesforce to log information. Cirrus Insight charges me $19 a month to connect my Gmail to Salesforce with a menu that sits to the right of the inbox. Every time someone writes, I can enter them into Salesforce without leaving Gmail, and I can save all the correspondence with a click. Another handy tool is a little creepy – Cirrus Insight tracks my outgoing mail and lets me know when and where it’s opened. Another tool called Yesware has tracking as well with a free version.
  4. Discoverly
    Wouldn’t it be helpful to see critical info about your contacts without having to leave your inbox? Discoverly pulls in social media profiles and other info into a panel right near your contact’s name as you’re corresponding. You also get bonus info when you visit your social media sites, like the box below my buddy Bruce Turkel’s Twitter profile (Bruce is kinda famous and completely awesome).

 

Bruce Turkel Discover.ly

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