The 7 Best Google Productivity Extensions and Add-Ons

September 3, 2020 / new_gsc / 0 comment

Google Workspace (previously known as GSuite and before that Google Apps) is one of the most popular sets of cloud-based business tools worldwide. 

According to Datanyze, it has a market share of more than 55% – which means it’s even more popular than Office 365! As of January 2018, it was used by millions of users, and the number has definitely grown since then. Some of the biggest companies using Google Workspace include Salesforce, Atlassian, and Verizon. With such an impressive portfolio, Google Workspace is really keen on sharing its success stories

The Google Workspace universe is truly extensive. You could say it covers all kinds of business needs, from communication (Gmail, Hangouts, Google Calendar) and file storage (Google Drive) to productivity (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites). 

This wide array of options doesn’t mean that Google Workspace is a completely finished product. A large community of users is dedicated to creating different extensions and add-ons to get even more out of Google’s powerful tools.  

Instead of building all features on its own, Google has embraced a marketplace thinking in which third-party add-ons are built to further enhance the user experience within Google tools.

Thanks to an active community of Google Workspace users, a vast amount of add-ons is available on the Google Workspace Marketplace. In this article, we’re going to cover 7 of the most useful extensions, add-ons, and plugins for different Google Workspace apps. Ready to improve your experience and boost your productivity? Let’s jump right in!

In this article, we’re going to cover 7 of the most useful extensions, add-ons, and plugins for different GSuite apps.

Gmail plugins – our top picks

Shared Contacts for Gmail

When your customer service (or sales) team is growing, so is your contact list. With the volumes increasing fast, your agents are no longer able to share all the contacts with each other manually. 

The bad news is though, Gmail doesn’t offer a solution to synchronize all the contacts within an organization. The very good news is, there’s a dedicated app for that! Shared Contacts for Gmail was designed for companies who would like to share common contacts within their organization. The main advantages of this plugin include:

  • Simplicity: in one click, you can share Google contacts lists the same way you share folders in Google Drive or Google calendars.
  • Flexibility – Once synchronized with SCFG, your shared contacts will be synchronized with your mobile or your Microsoft Outlook.
  • Different access levels – Just like with Google Drive, certain users may be allowed to edit or only view the contact list
  • Cross-domain support – You can share contacts with users of your G Suite domain, but also with users of other domains or @gmail.com users.
  • Advanced administrative features: Administrators can restore lost contacts at any point of time or check logs of who has shared, deleted or removed contacts anytime.

In short, this plug-in really will improve time management across your organization.

Mailtrack

Imagine a situation that probably sounds familiar: you’ve sent an email and got no response at all. Then you’ve sent one follow-up. And another one. 

Still, you feel like you’re talking to a brick wall. At this point, you find yourself wondering: did someone even bother to open these emails at all? Well, this question doesn’t have to remain unanswered. 

Mailtrack is an email tracking app that will show you if, when, and how many times someone has opened the email you’ve sent them. The double checkmark sign visible next to the email means that it has been opened already. 

If you wish to stay updated all the time, you may also choose to receive push notifications on your desktop.

Google Docs plugins – our top pick

LanguageTool

If you write for a living, you’re well aware of how hard it is to proofread yourself. 

Fortunately, there’s a tool that can do that for you! LanguageTool is a smart proofreading add-on that supports more than 25 languages! 

Apart from English (together with regional varieties), the list covers German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, as well as smaller languages like Polish, Slovak, Danish, Tagalog, and even Esperanto. 

It’s a brilliant tool not only for non-native speakers. Typos and grammatical errors happen to everyone – having a plugin that will correct them for you is a huge time saver!

Easy Accents is a really useful plugin if you’re writing in different languages often, or even more if you’re using words in different languages within a single piece of content. Instead of switching from one keyboard to another, you can insert different accents (e.g. German, French or Spanish) directly from the Google Docs sidebar.

That’s right – no more typing “u umlaut” and copying from Google Search results.

Google Slides plugins – our top picks

Pear Deck

Our best tip for successful workshops and lectures? After you share the knowledge, make sure your audience remembers the main points. Pear Deck is a Google Slides add-on that can add interactive questions and quizzes to your presentations. 

This way, your lectures will instantly become more fun and memorable. You can choose to add multiple-choice questions, true/false buttons and even drawing modules to unleash creativity. 

While most of the extensions featured in this article (and most Google Workspace add-on in general) are based on one simple concept, Pear Deck is quite an extensive tool. 

It offers many customizable features with a wide range of applications, from primary school lessons to employer branding events. Highly recommended!

Lucidchart

Having plenty of data is one thing – presenting it in an attractive way is another. Drawing ideas on paper is a natural way of explaining a concept – why not make it digital, then? 

Lucidchart Diagrams is an intuitive plugin for creating diagrams and charts. It is used by many brands from the prestigious Fortune 500 lists, including Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Netflix, Amazon, and General Electrics. 

Lucidchart comes with 500 different templates, a drag and drop menu with elements in all shapes and sizes, as well as a wide range of integrations with other tools. Apart from, obviously, Google Workspace, the tool can be integrated with Slack, Jira, Salesforce, and other popular 

SaaS products for business. To top it all off, there’s a free version available – if you’re not creating particularly large diagrams, it will be enough for your needs.

Google Forms plugins – our top pick

Form Notifications

When you create a survey on Google Forms, you’re probably not opening it every day to see if there are any new answers – unless you’re very passionate about it. 

It’s much more convenient to receive notifications instead – you won’t need to keep refreshing your form every now and then. 

The Form Notifications add-on was created to make your life easier. This add-on can send email notifications to both form respondents (e.g. thank you messages) and form creators (e.g. when you meet a certain response threshold).

Choose the add-on that fits your needs and boost productivity in your team

As you can see, there are plenty of different Google Workspace extensions, plugins, and add-ons available on the market. 

They have quite a wide range of use cases from education to business analytics.

This is the power of the community at its best – when there’s a problem that needs to be solved, someone is going to come up with a solution in the form of a dedicated plugin. If you’re struggling with Google Workspace for whatever reason, be sure to check the Marketplace first – it’s quite likely that the fix you need is already there!

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