5 Email Hacks That Will Boost Your Productivity In A Big Way

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
If you tally up how many hours you spend answering and sending emails each day, the number might give you nightmares. The more shortcuts you can find the to boost your productivity, especially when going through a seemingly endless inbox, the better.
This is where browser extensions come in. These software programs, usually available on Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, are often free to download and can make the process of composing emails — and dealing with unanswered ones — much faster and more pleasant. Whether you want to know when your messages are read or need help catching grammatical errors, there's an extension for you.
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Make your emailing as effortless and enjoyable as possible with these five email helpers. Once you start using them, you’ll wonder what you ever did without them.
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Mailtrack for Gmail

Ah, the dreaded anxiety that comes with wondering whether someone has seen your email or not. Especially for more pressing matters, Mailtrack is a life-saving tool that will let you know whether an email has been read, when it’s been read, and how many times it was opened. You can also set up real-time alerts to let you know the second an email is opened, and make those did-they-or-didn’t-they butterflies go away.

Available on Chrome and Firefox. For Safari, try Rocketbolt.
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Photo: Courtesy Boomerang.
Boomerang

Boomerang is a useful tool for a variety of message-related nightmares, from scheduling emails that need to go out at a specific time to alerting you when you need to follow up with an email you’ve sent. If you’re dealing with hundreds of inbound messages a week or work with teams in different time zones, this extension is ideal for keeping you sane. An AI assistant within Boomerang, called Respondable, will offer advice on how to craft the best email — i.e. one that is sure to be opened and read.

Available on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for Gmail and Outlook.
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Chrome Web Store.
Just Not Sorry

This is an important extension for those of us that tend to undermine our writing with weakening phrases like “sorry,” “just,” and “I’m no expert….” Just Not Sorry will underline expressions that diminish your authority and let you know why in a short explanation when you hover. It’s crucial for empowering your work conversations and making your vocabulary more assertive.

Available on Chrome.
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Grammarly

It’s often necessary to quickly take care of an email on your phone outside of work hours, or to compose one rapidly so you can get back to whatever it was you were doing. But when you write briskly, you’re usually not carefully reading and re-reading your messages for mistakes, which can look unprofessional if they happen often enough. Grammarly takes care of those language slips for you, checking off both grammar and spelling errors so that all of your communications are clean and polished.

Available on Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
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Hunter

If you're actively job-hunting, you know how important cold emails to potential contacts can be. But in order to reach out to someone, you need their email address, which can prove tricky to find. Hunter can help. The extension produces email addresses on LinkedIn and elsewhere so you can get in touch directly. No more endless hours of searching for the right .com.

Available on Chrome.
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