Free online tools to help your productivity

With access to the internet comes access to an overwhelming pool of tools, programs, and websites. Even if you zoom in to your work and business needs, you’ll find that there’s a myriad of online resources and tools that aim to increase productivity, simplify tasks, and optimize data.

We’ve been there and we’ve done (much of) that. We are sharing our team’s must-haves starting with those for your inbox. The best part: they’re freemium! Despite having priced plans, their free features can already keep you rolling out emails like a pro.

Streak CRM

Type: GMAIL EXTENSION

Streak allows you to manage projects and tasks right inside your inbox through its intuitive labeling and pipeline development function perfect for entrepreneurs and sales teams, BUT we love it more for email tracking!

 

This underrated extension tracks if and when your emails are opened by your contacts. Once integrated with your inbox, an eye icon will appear in each of your recent emails and it turns green when the email has been opened.

 

Streak works best for email exchange with only one recipient since it does not identify who opens an email (unlike email blast platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact). It only shows when and how many times it was viewed and we’ll still take it for our everyday email needs! Streak gives us a better idea of when to send those follow-up notes.

 

Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM)

Type: GSHEETS ADD-ON

 

Think of YAMM as your stripped down Mailchimp it’s your savior for sending and tracking email blasts.

 

YAMM gets the job done for templated emails. It uses Google Sheets to house your email address directory, customize your emails through merge tags, and track the most recent email activity (bounced, opened, responded) and timestamps per recipient.

 

It may sound intimidating but you can find a number of articles and video tutorials online about YAMM.

 

Note: A free account is capped to 50 emails per 24 hours but you can increase your limit for free by inviting others to use YAMM. It also has a priced plan if you want to skip the invites and head straight to sending out emails.

 

Grammarly

Type: GMAIL EXTENSION (Beta Testing on Google Docs)

 

Grammarly is a know-it-all extension and we are thankful for it. Let’s admit it, something as small as typos can give the impression that we lack thoroughness.

 

Different from your average spellcheck tools, Grammarly flags errors and offers context-specific suggestions for your emails (and Google Docs plus social networking websites posts). Its free plan identifies common mistakes while a premium plan can spot more complex inaccuracies.

 

Grammarly enables you to improve your writing — something more crucial than simply serving as an extra eye for your notes and outputs. It delivers weekly progress reports to your email which tracks your productivity (number of words checked), mastery (accuracy), and vocabulary (use of unique words). The report also lists your top three mistakes and it offers tips and stories published in Grammarly’s blog. Talk about dandy.

 

Tip: Subscribe to Grammarly’s newsletter to catch promos for its premium plan. We’ve seen discounts for annual plans as high as $70 which is about 50% off.

 

Boomerang

TYPE: GMAIL EXTENSION

 

Chances are, you’ve heard someone gush about Boomerang. What can we say? It allows you to schedule emails and it snoozes those you want to be reminded of at a time and date you pick. It’s terrific for anything from tabled emails to bill payment reminders.

 

Boomerang recently added Inbox Pause to its bundle of functions. This neat feat lets you do just that, it pauses your inbox giving you control in two ways: a) you pause and hold off incoming emails which will only pop in your inbox once you’re ready for them and have unpaused; or b) you set time for email deliveries in batches. This new addition aims to ward off constant interruptions to increase productivity and decrease stress.

 

You can say that the obvious and more straightforward option is to close the email tab on your browser but a likely scenario is that you have business to take care of over email.

 

If you find yourself frequently scheduling emails and leaning on Inbox Pause, consider buying a plan. It gets rid of your monthly limit, offers you more integration, and allows you to set priority emails that can cut through your inbox when it’s on pause.

 

Boomerang Respondable

TYPE: GMAIL EXTENSION

 

We’ve added Boomerang Respondable to the list to complete the Boomerang combo. If Boomerang manages your email by scheduling and snoozing emails and pausing your inbox, this one takes care of what you say in your email in a non-Grammarly way.

 

Boomerang Respondable pushes you to make your emails actionable and effective. Using AI, it analyzes the subject length, word count, question count, and reading level for free accounts while paid accounts get an extended criteria that includes positivity, politeness, and subjectivity.

 

Respondable determines the likelihood your email can prompt a reply based on your your scores across each of the criteria. Its meters are displayed right on your email pop-up window making them convenient to refer to just before you hit send.


 

Do you have a well loved tool? We’d love to hear it! Come over and exchange tips and tricks with our team and our friendly network of entrepreneurs and startup founders who work in our spaces. Visit one of our 7 locations around the Metro and get a free day pass.