From sharing messages without forwarding to protecting privacy through email aliases, these tools will make Gmail and other email services better than ever.
The internet has hundreds of social networks, thousands of chat apps, and millions of ways to connect with people, but good old email isn’t going anywhere. Your email inbox still rules your personal and professional life, so it’s in your best interest to learn all the tips and tricks to get the most out of email. The good news is that all you need are a few free apps and browser extensions.
1. Moogle (Web): Convert Email Into Shareable Web Page or Bookmarks
Well, this is handy, and a little different. The standard thinking is that when you get an email that you want to share with others, you forward it. But let’s say you want to share it with people on social media, or with those whose email address you don’t have. Moogle will get it done by turning an email into a web page.
Forward an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll get a reply with a custom URL. Click it to see the original email converted into a web page. Now you’re free to share that URL with anyone in the world, or bookmark it for later use. That’s right, Moogle actually works as a way to bookmark emails and save for later. Neat!
The web page also includes a comments section, so that anyone with the link can share their thoughts on the email. It’s a nifty way to get a team’s view on a mail without clogging everyone’s inboxes. Plus, anyone with the link can also download the email as a PDF, without the comments. Moogle has all the bases covered, and is one of the best no-signup online tools you’ll come across.
2. Polycred (Chrome, Firefox, Edge): Create Aliases to Protect Your Inbox While Signing Up
For a long time now, tech experts have advised a simple hack to protect your inbox while signing up. If you add a plus sign after your username and a word after that, it creates an alias. It used to be a useful trick to keep your email secure, but scammers have caught on, and it’s not as effective any more. So instead, use Polycred for a similar effect.
Here’s how it works. You first sign up for Polycred with your legit email account. Then, every time you visit a new website and are asked to sign up, use the Polycred browser extension to create a new alias. The app allows unlimited aliases, letting you generate a new combination through usernames and domains. Use this email address to sign up. The activation link or any future emails will still go to your true inbox, but the site never knows your email address.
In the future, if you start receiving spam from other sites who’ve somehow found that email address, it’s easy to switch it off. Simply disable the alias in Polycred and all messages to that email will be halted forever. It’s a remarkably easy service to use, especially given how much it protects your email and inbox.
3. AutoSnoozer (Gmail): Snooze Emails Automatically From Chosen Addresses
Got an email that you want to check later, but will forget to? You can snooze messages in Gmail so that they come back into your inbox like a fresh addition later. This is a manual function at the moment, but AutoSnoozer makes it easier for certain senders.
Grant AutoSnoozer the permissions to your inbox and it will go through emails that you don’t check as soon as they arrive, or don’t read at all. With that, you’ll get a list of recommendations about which email addresses you can automatically snooze so that your inbox doesn’t look crowded or overwhelming.
At any point, you can check all snoozed messages in the AutoSnoozed label. It has a couple of nice features too, like ignoring threaded conversations, which indicates activity with another person on that email chain.
The Flesch-Kincaid readability test is a standardized formula to determine the ease of reading any piece of text. The developers at Summarly thought it might be a good idea to apply this to your inbox, so that when you open any email, you instantly know how long it will take and how difficult or easy it is to read.
For every email, you will see a score between zero to 100. The higher the number, the easier it is to understand. Generally speaking, any score above 60 is easily understood by 13-year-olds and above, making it easy-to-read for most people. Once you get an idea of which emails are going to take too long, you can prioritize your inbox accordingly.
Surprisingly, the extension doesn’t tell you this data when you’re composing an email. After all, it would be useful to hit that metric while writing messages too.
Download: Gmail Inbox Readability Score for Chrome (Free)
There are a thousand email tracking extensions and apps, but they are never truly free; there is always a catch. Snovio bucks the trend with its Unlimited Email Tracker, which removes all restrictions that you would usually find in such tools.
The Snovio Unlimited Email Tracker works with as many messages as you want, there is no upper limit. It also doesn’t make you sneak in a signature or a logo into the email, thus making it look less professional. It just works.
Snovio attaches a label to each email: white meaning unopened, purple meaning opened multiple times, and green meaning the recipient followed a link within the email. You can choose to receive notifications for each of these tracking metrics, and even switch between different Gmail accounts for live tracking. It’s a fantastic, easy-to-use tool with no fuss.
Download: Snovio Unlimited Email Tracker for Chrome (Free)
Don’t Be Lax About Email Security
The draw of apps like the ones listed above is that they make email easier. And when we spend so much time in our inbox, we want to use every shortcut to make life easier. But the very same thing can lead to a sense of complacency, especially with security and privacy.
More scams and phishing attempts happen through email than any other route on the internet. From protecting your address through aliases to double-checking security protocols, you need to be aware of all the best practices to secure your email and adhere to them. There is too much sensitive information in our inboxes, after all.
Struggling with Gmail? These free browser extensions and web apps make up for Gmail’s shortcomings and help you tame your overflowing inbox.
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