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Email extensions that help boost productivity

11/02/13

eMail overload

Email clients haven’t evolved greatly over the past decade with Outlook pretty much dominating the business scene. Personal emails have seen some innovation with Gmail leading the way with its threaded conversations and priority inboxes. So what extensions are out there that can help boost your productivity? 

Xobni

Xobni is one of the few cross clients on the market that really does turn your email client into an effective tool. Xobni turns your email client into a micro CRM system allowing you quickly search contacts and build full profiles including social links. Xobni claims to save you 30 minutes with its powerful searching index, threaded conversations and quick access to attachments. The main downfall of Xobni is that it requires its own separate pane rather than full integration with the email client and can be slow to load.

Roll up for Gmail

Rollup is a neat little app that curates the entire newsletter you wish to receive and sends you one daily (or weekly) email so that you’re not constantly distracted by them. It also works really well as a spam filter for those pesky newsletters you can’t unsubscribe to. 

Active Inbox

I’ve always used my email as some sort of basic to do list / project management tool with little effect. Active Inbox turns your Gmail account into a fully functioning project management tool that doesn’t disrupt your workflow as it doesn’t require the other party to use Active Inbox. You custom Active Inbox so it works with your workflow method making it ideal for most users whether you use it for document management or processing orders. You could even use it to create an Inbox Zero workflow. 

Boomerang

Boomerang acts like a snooze button for emails letting you clean up your Inbox without having to losing track of important messages and brings them to your attention at a later date. For example, if you receive an out of office what do you do with it? Do you just leave it in your inbox and forget about it or do you create another calendar reminder that just gets ignored? With Boomerang you can hide this message from your inbox and set it to appear as a new message at a given time, usually the day your contact is back in the office. 

Send & Archive

This is neat little feature that you Google have released through their Labs program, which I would like see integrated into more email clients. It’s very simple once you have responded to an email as it automatically archives. For example, if someone asks you to do something simple like send them a copy of your logo once you’ve completed this task the email is automatically archived saving you precious time and works as an ad hoc to do list for small tasks.

There are many other addons on the market and it really depends on what you use email for. All the above are great tools that can help improve your productivity but it won’t make a difference unless you change and improve your workflow so you spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on what matters. 

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