If you’ve used Google products for some time now, you’ll know the procedure. They start something with great fanfare, get you heavily invested in it, then they pull the plug and shut it down.

But some Google products are defying the odds in that they are actually thriving year on year. Google is pumping so much time and investment into them that you can see they are serious about making those products the best they can be.

One of them is Gmail which is now 15 years old, a lifetime by Google product standards. It was pretty amazing when it started but now with add-ons being slowly introduced, Gmail is starting to get much better.

Where Are The Add-Ons?

At the bottom of the right-hand sidebar of Gmail (once you have logged in) is a white plus sign (+). Clicking on that brings up the Google Suite Marketplace with the Gmail add-ons front and center. Alternatively, outside of Gmail, you can click here.

There are only a small selection so far, as the Gmail add-ons are a relatively new feature. But despite the limited selection, here are the ones all Gmail users SHOULD be installing.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud storage platform for files, images, videos, music, and anything else you can fit into your storage quota. First, you will need a free Dropbox cloud account, which you can get by clicking here. Then install this add-on and connect it to your Dropbox account by entering your credentials.

Now you will have a Dropbox icon inside your new email window and you can connect to attachments inside your Dropbox account. When people click on the attachment link in the email, it will download to their computer.

This is an ingenious way to get around the irritating 25MB attachment size limit that all email services impose on their users.

Streak

This is a MUST-HAVE if you like to track who is opening your emails, if you want to send emails at a specific time, or if you want to “snooze” emails to have them come back to the inbox later (although Gmail has now introduced their own snooze feature).

Streak is actually a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for salespeople but the snooze function, the email open tracker, and sending emails later can be used by anybody. It’s a delight to use.

Zoom

With Skype steadily going down the toilet, due to mismanagement by Microsoft, people are looking for alternatives. One which is gaining many plaudits is Zoom.

Using the Gmail plugin, you can start video meetings, schedule meetings, and see a list of all your upcoming meetings. Zoom is set to overtake Skype in the video conferencing wars.

DocuSign

Paper contracts are fast becoming a thing of the past, but with the rise of remote working, contracts are needed now more than ever. Electronic signing of documents is now the hot trend and DocuSign is the industry leader.

Using the Gmail add-on, you can quickly and easily open PDF contracts, add your electronic signature, and send the document back.

The Big Disappointment – Trello

Trello is an online project management tool with a free option that will suit most people. With this add-on attached, you can add new Trello project cards from emails you receive – without ever leaving your Gmail inbox. You can add text from the body of the email to the Trello card as well.

Which is all well and good – in theory. Because I could not get this add-on to work! Over a period of literally hours, it refused to log me into my account. Judging by the comments on this one, it looks as if you should steer clear of this one too.