Email correspondence plays a large role in how journalists meet deadlines and land stories, but it can be time consuming.
If you are a regular Gmail user, check out these free plug-ins, available to download on the G-suite marketplace, to help with those everyday tasks.
Do you ever find yourself trawling through emails for contact information, or wanting details from an unknown sender?
Full Contact shows you more about your Gmail contacts in one place. After installing the plug-in, hover over the contact in your inbox or go into their message, and you will see any social profiles and job titles associated to the account come up on the right hand-side.
It pulls up information from the e-mail signature – and is all interactive. If you have calls set-up on Google Hangout, you can use the number provided directly to call from that platform.
Alternatively, clicking the location will take you to a Google Map of the location. This can be a useful way of getting more contact information and connecting on other platforms.
How much of your life do you spend chasing up PR contacts? Boomerang is the Gmail plug-in that allows you to schedule e-mails ahead of time, instead of pouring time into follow-up correspondence.
After installing the plug-in, when you head into the e-mail compose section, you will notice a large red box that says ‘send later’. This is followed by a ‘tick box’ option to ‘Boomerang’ the message with two drop down options: a selected timeframe, and a number of conditions.
For example, you can schedule a follow-up e-mail in two days if they have not replied — perfect if you need to give someone a polite nudge. You can use Boomerang to let them do the prompting, while you take care of other errands on your to-do list.
With some inspiration from messaging apps, Mailtrack allows you to see whether a recipient has opened an email, indicated with the double green tick that appears in the inbox.
The plug-in will also confirm this with an email notification, which you can turn off if it clutters up your inbox too much, just as you can manually disable Mailtrack for any recipient you are about to message.
Struggling to stay in touch with good contacts and in need of something to jog your memory? Levitate is the plug-in that reminds you to keep your contacts close on a regular or semi-regular basis — anywhere between a month and a year.
Once you have installed the plug-in and registered an account (the only plug-in on this list that requires you to do that), the Levitate option will give you the option to set reminders on any contact, either on its standalone dashboard or within Gmail.
In Gmail, head into a message from your inbox and you will find a menu on the right-hand side. The drop down menu that appears in the 'keep in touch' option will allow you to set the frequency of reminders for that specific contact.
Also, you can group your contacts into 'tags', for example, PR contacts, and add key facts and notes for future messages — which you can copy other contacts into.
Do you use any plug-ins in your newsroom? Let us know @journalismnews.
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