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Gmail CRM Workflows for Teams

It’s not easy to stay organized. And if you have a team, it’s exponentially more difficult to manage everyone.

 

 

That’s why we love using shared Gmail labels. For our small team, they let us keep track of our work easily, and in a way that everyone on the team can follow.

Using Email to Help

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working hard to expand the features of our free cloudHQ Gmail Label Sharing Chrome extension.

It all started with our release of Slack-style chat capability, directly within Gmail so that noone needs to leave Gmail to chat in a separate service like Slack or Podio to chat about a project or comment on an incoming email.

5 New Features in This Free Team Productivity Powerhouse Tool

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Today we’re happy to announce a host of upgrades to our free Gmail Label Sharing Chrome plugin.

Several weeks ago, we introduced “Gmail Label Sharing and Chat” for the plugin, giving every Gmail user a way to have Slack-style chat conversations, without leaving their email.

Today’s feature upgrades expand the capability of Gmail Label Sharing by adding:

  • Status Commands
  • Private Notes
  • Team Icons
  • File Command
  • Backup Command

Each of these features will work for anyone who uses Gmail and has the free Gmail Label Sharing Chrome extension installed.

The 50-20-50 Productivity Hack that Will Add Hours to Your Week

 

 

 

 

You need time to build great things. Specifically, you need blocks of “focus” time, especially if you’re creating something new.

Unfortunately, many of us aren’t good at carving out this kind of time in our daily schedules.

Consider: one study showed the average office worker changes tasks every three minutes. After an interruption, it took people an average of 25 minutes to fully regain their focus.

In other words, that 60-second “check Facebook” break doesn’t just cost you one minute. It costs you 26.

The 50-20-50 Productivity Method

If you struggle with distractions or procrastination, 50-20-50 might be the cure, especially if you do work that demands blocks of “focused” creative time.

How to Manage Multiple Google Accounts (Without Logging Out)

 

Manage Multiple Accounts

 

 

For various reasons, many of us have multiple Google accounts, so this blog post will cover 4 methods you can use to keep track of your multiple accounts.

Three of the methods are clumsy and frustrating. The fourth one works like a charm.

Let’s have a look:

Clumsy Method 1: Logging In and Out of Accounts

The most common method for managing multiple Google accounts is logging out and then logging back in.

The 10 Best (Free) Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Gmail

 

When Google launched Gmail, it exploded onto the market, offering a fast, intuitive interface and a radical (at the time) 1 GB of storage space. Hotmail, by comparison, offered just 2 MB of storage.

There are now over 900 million Gmail accounts, making it the most popular email service by far.

Gmail has retained its lead in the email market because—well—it’s easy to use and has an amazing set of features. Gmail has also been improved in countless ways by companies who’ve built Chrome extensions to supplement its features (Like us).

Here’s our countdown of the top 10 amazing free things you can do in Gmail (that you might not have known were possible):

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Remote Employees

 


 

 

When your employees work from home, it can be a challenge to keep track of what’s going on.

It leads many managers to wonder: should we let employees work from home at all?

Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom had the same question a few years ago, so he put together a study to find out. What he found was startling:

Bloom found that companies could save as much as $2,000 per year per employee by hiring a remote team or allowing employees to work from home.

Before you shut your office and send everyone home, however, you should be aware that hiring remote employees comes with its own set of unique challenges.

If you’re thinking about building a remote workforce or introducing more flexible work arrangements for your employees and contractors, here are seven common mistakes to avoid:

1. No Face-to-Face Contact

One of the most common problems remote workers face is feeling disconnected.

If your remote employees work locally, have them come to the office a few times a month just to catch up. If they work in a far away location, use video calls as much as you can.

Hide Your Smartphone (And 6 Other Ways to Be More Productive)

Until scientists figure out the whole time-travel thing, you and I are stuck with just 24 hours each day.

Learning to be more efficient is one of the only ways to free up some of your time. Thankfully, getting more efficient doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to look in the right places. Here are a few tips to help you get more out of the day:

1. Understand Procrastination

Procrastination is not laziness. It’s more like a mental block. In our experience, procrastination happens when:

  1. You find a task tedious or unpleasurable.
  2. You don’t think you’ll do a good job, and you don’t want anyone to criticize your work.
  3. You’re a perfectionist, and this is a task you’re not an “expert” at.

All of these are common reasons people avoid doing the work they know they should be doing.

If this is you, try scheduling tasks for certain times (instead of just keeping a to-do list). Block off your calendar to make time for the task—just like you would for a meeting.

If there’s a task you really despise and are always putting off, outsource it.

3 Power User Tips for iCloud Mail

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By some estimates, there are over 450 million iCloud users worldwide.

That means at least some of you are using iCloud Mail.

The Problem with iCloud Mail

iCloud has advantages and disadvantages.

It does a good job with photos, and it provides an easy way to backup data from your iPhone or iPad.

However, linking iCloud to services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Office365 can be a major challenge.

For example, what if you use Google Drive for storage and want to create a backup folder for all your emails?

If you use iCloud for your email, there is no direct way to connect your email to a Google Drive archive location. It only works if you use iCloud’s storage; which, as we all know, is not free.

The story is similar if you try to share or backup your iCloud Mail. It only works if you use iCloud sharing; under no circumstance will the folks at Apple allow you to backup or share any document, email, or picture to a cloud storage service that isn’t Apple owned. But that’s okay, because we have a handy-dandy work around for you:

Salesforce Reports: Inside Conversations

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If you use Salesforce as your CRM, you have access to a powerful drag-and-drop report builder inside your Salesforce account.

Need to show your boss every sales opportunity created in the last 90 days? How about every closed sale? Or every opportunity lost?

Salesforce can handle all of these queries with ease.

You can even automatically run your reports on any schedule that works for you. These can then be downloaded as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or exported directly into Google Sheets, Office 365 Excel Online, or MS Office 365 Excel. However, not everything is that rosy.

The Problem with Automated Reports

Automated reports in Salesforce provides you with dozens of spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet a snapshot of a certain point in time. If you’ve scheduled daily reports, you’ll have a new report each day that’s generated by Salesforce; which in and of itself, is pretty good.

Unfortunately, Salesforce doesn’t merge sheets together or give you one master sheet that always has the latest information.

This collection of sales spreadsheets makes collaboration inside your reports extremely difficult.

3 Ways To Boost Your Business Productivity with Office365 Mail

boost your productivity

There are always unknown, obscure workflow tips that translate into the difference between a thriving business vs. one that’s eventually going to close their doors.

Below are 3 ways to think about using MS Office365 Mail to give you a leading edge on the competition.

1. Internal Project Management

Let’s suppose you’re a project manager for a marketing team, and your current project is to design a consistent process for your company’s social media accounts.

Several other teammates work on the project with you, including a copywriter, a graphic designer, and a web developer. As you work, you exchange dozens of emails back and forth, many with attachments.

Folder sharing will let you keep all documents and communications about the project together in one place.

New (and free) Team Chat Tool for Gmail Labels

Why do we use different applications for email and chat? Wouldn’t it be better if we could stay in one app that everyone uses for all communications?

We sure think so.

That’s why we’re excited to announce a brand new feature for all cloudHQ users: Gmail Label Team Chat—a way for you to chat with your team without ever leaving Gmail, and keeping an ongoing record of that chat, per label, as you go. In short- it’s pretty darned useful for projects by incorporating your chat and your email together.

 

 

What Is “Gmail Label Team Chat”?

Put simply, Gmail Label Team Chat lets you create a chat “channel” directly within Gmail. If you know how a Slack channel works, then you’ll feel right at home.

For example, if you’re using a Gmail label to track a project, a brand new Gmail Label Team Chat area will be set up automatically at the same moment that you create the label. Everyone who has access to the label will be automatically included in the chat.

The chat function for a label automatically launches when you create a new Gmail label. Just click on “open chat”:

Chat for Gmail Channel

 

Who Can Use “Gmail Label Team Chat”?

Anyone with a Gmail account, the Chrome Browser, and our free Gmail Label Sharing extension can use Gmail Label Team Chat for free.

This includes anyone with a free “@gmail.com” account and those who host a custom email domain through Google Apps.

10 Step Guide To Hiring Remote Contractors


 

When you bootstrap your business, every dollar counts—which is exactly why hiring help from overseas has become so popular the last few years.

2 Types of Outsourced Work

Outsourcing makes the most sense in two situations:

  1. Mundane tasks to free up your time for more important things.
  2. Skilled tasks when you need help doing something, because you lack the skills yourself.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the first situation: outsourcing to free up your time.

Here is the seven step guide to help you outsource effectively:

How To Integrate Your Cloud Apps

 

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For most business professionals, the most commonly used applications are email, notes, and cloud storage. For sales professionals, you could add their CRM application to the list.

The rise of cloud-hosted versions of these apps has led to the development of integration services, including ours: cloudHQ.

You might ask: what’s the difference between integration services?

What you may not realize is that there are two fundamental ways applications can be integrated:

  • Two-way syncing
  • One-way triggered action

At cloudHQ, we use both methods, for reasons you’ll understand in a few minutes. For now, let’s look at the differences between them:

7 Must-Know Rules for Communicating at Work

The internet and smartphones have given us hundreds of channels to contact each other, but which ones do we use, and when?

Urgency Levels in Communication Hierarchy

Choosing the correct channel is all about the urgency of the message. Here’s our rundown of the top 7 modern communication channels, ranked from the least to the most urgent.

7. Email (48 hrs)

Email is typically best for when you need a digital “paper trail” or are communicating with people outside of your organization.

The downside is that some people’s emails are overflowing with unread messages. In addition, some people will let messages sit in their inbox for days before responding to them. Gmail users have their emails sorted into 3 folders: Primary, Social and Promotions. If your email lands in the “Promotions” folder, it’s possible the person might never see it.

This is true for Google’s spam filter too, which occasionally snags email from legitimate senders and then deletes it after a few weeks.  Bottom line, if you have an urgent matter to discuss, email may not be your best bet.

Gmail tabs screenshot

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