7 useful extensions and plugins for GSuite

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GSuite (previously known as Google Apps for Work) 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 more than 4 million paying businesses, and the number definitely grew a lot since then. Some of the biggest companies using GSuite include Salesforce, Atlassian and Verizon. With such an impressive portfolio, GSuite is really keen on sharing its success stories.

The GSuite 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 GSuite 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. 

When users are asking for new functionalities, Google is not able to implement them fast enough. Instead, third-party plugins are built to meet the most urgent needs much faster. Thanks to an active community of GSuite users, a huge choice of add-ons is available on the GSuite Marketplace. It’s not a niche source by any means – many plugins boast millions of users!

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

Ready to improve your experience and boost your productivity? Let’s jump right in!

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, 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.

Mailtrack

Source: Chrome web store
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 which will show you if, when and how many times some 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 which 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 which will correct them for you is a huge time saver!
Easy Accents


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 which 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 GSuite 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, 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, GSuite, 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.

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).

Summary

As you can see, there are plenty of different GSuite extensions, plugins and add-ons available on the market. They have quite a wide range of applications, too, 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 GSuite for whatever reason, be sure to check the Marketplace first – it’s quite likely that the fix you need is already there!

Nina Kozłowska

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