As more and more companies are moving their IT into the cloud, and more freelancers start working from the comfort of their homes, the use of Gmail (or Gmail for Google Apps) for work is becoming more widespread.

Now, Gmail is an awesome tool in itself, with Google Hangouts being part of the in-built video chat system, Google+ profile integration, and of course, the Google Labs that never fail to surprise with added functionality, but still – there are a few areas where Gmail needs some help. Luckily, help is on the way!

gmail must have addons.

1. Rapportive
Rapportive is an intuitive CRM, which shows up on the right of your Gmail (neatly covering up the ads there). Connecting your social profiles with your Rapportive account gives you even more information, as simply mousing over new Gmail contacts provides you with a wealth of information about what and where they are active. With options like seeing recent email, taking notes and more, Rapportive (which is free) is a must have addition to your Gmail inbox.

2. Yesware
A huge boon to sales and marketing people everywhere  – and in fact, to anyone who sends out email for a living (all of us? :)) Yesware has a number of features that make it a must. First of all, you can easily create an endless amount of email templates, complete with subject. So you can send ‘first contact’ to your lead, follow up with ‘greeting, earthling’, and continue from there. Second, Yesware detects when and where people open your email – so you can tell which templates work (‘3 steps to a new Facebook page’), and which don’t (‘Make mega $$$$ in your spare time!’). And third, you can connect Yesware to your CRM, for even more magic!

3. ActiveInbox
ActiveInbox is the last tool on the list, but it is by no means the list. ActiveInbox makes sure that you get your emails in place and organized. From creating tasks to project folders, it is an excellent tool that features simple task management, organization, makes it easy to rapidly sort your email and make sure you don’t miss out on the really important stuff – in short, a life saver. For a few extra bucks you can also get the Pro deal, which gives you a few more possibilities, but you can just try it out for free, and decide for yourself.

Got any sweet Gmail apps you want to share yourself?

Author Bio:
Avi Kaye is a freelance consultant, currently working with MeetingKing (Link removed on request)