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How To Make GMail The Ultimate Productivity Tool

By July 2, 2012 Posts 2 Comments

I am clearly a big fan of GMail and I have been for a very long time. With my clients I am always advocating switching to GMail and using the web interface as their primary email and productivity center. With a clean inbox you can accomplish some amazing things in terms of getting things done. Your email becomes your de facto to do list because anything in your inbox should either be deleted, deferred or dealt with. This is my step by step guide to making the switch as well as all of the tools and add ons you need to make GMail rocket you to the next level of personal and professional efficiency.

Make The Switch

Making the switch is really easier than you might think. Sign up for a free GMail account if you don’t already have one. Then go to Settings, and then Accounts and Import. There you can import mail and contacts from a variety of email services. You can do this for multiple accounts so not only can you receive all your mail in one place but you can send from any account, all from one interface. The benefit of at least using GMail as your interface is that you can benefit from all of its productivity magic even if you don’t completely abandon your other services. This also allows you to test the GMail interface with your current provider and if you get nervous or don’t like it you can immediately go back to your Outlook Exchange or Yahoo account without any interruption in service. If you are hesitant about doing the migration yourself, check out MigrationWiz, which will take care of the whole process for you.

Once you’ve made the switch, go through the list below. I use all of these services in some capacity or another. Read the descriptions, add in what you want, and get closer to GMail nirvana with each step. This list will be updated every time I recommend a new service so you can always refer to this post for a complete list. If I missed anything that you like, please mention it in the comments.

GMail Add Ons

All The Add Ons, Labs, and Plugins You Need for Gmail
Integrates Dropbox and Google Drive with GMail
Boomerang Calendar
Simple Scheduling Built Into Gmail
Chrome Web Store
Shortcuts for Gmail Shows You Relevant Keyboard Shortcuts as You Work
Cloud Magic
Better Email and Contact Search plus an iPhone App
Delegate Access for Your Virtual Assistant
GMail Labs
GMail has a number of great options built into it that you need to activate to use. Go to the labs page and activate the following features (each one shows a description of what it does): 1) Auto Advance 2) Background Send 3) Canned Responses 4) Google Docs Preview in Mail 5) Google Maps Preview in Mail 6) Google Voice Player in Mail 7) Send & Archive 8) Sender Time Zone 9) Signature Tweaks 10) Undo Send
One Receipt
All Your Receipts in One Place, Pulled from GMail
Power Inbox
Do More Without Leaving the Inbox
Automatically Shows Relevant Information About The Person You Are Communicating With
Right Inbox
Schedule Emails and Track When They Are Opened
The Easiest Way to Track Packages and Save Money
The Swizzle
Unsubscribe from Tons of Emails from One Place
Automatically Pull Travel Info from Your Inbox and Create Itineraries
Unsubscriber | OtherInbox
Unsubscriber is the simplest way to stop emails you don't want. Just move unwanted messages to the Unsubscribe folder and we'll take care of the rest. It's a satisfying way to simplify your inbox.
Supercharge Your E-Mail Signature
Automatically Add and Update Contact Info from E-Mail Signatures


Hi Ari, thanks for the valuable suggestions to enhance my GMail use! 


Just to let you know: the links to are broken. They miss the http-part.


Cheers, Robert