Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Introducing the Insightly Gmail Gadget

Introduction

We just put the approval stamp on the shiny new Gmail gadget so it's now all official and out of beta, and we're proud as punch of how it turned out. When we initially designed and conceived Insightly, one of the things we modeled our process workflows around was email. An awful lot of important business communication these days is done via email, and recording and actioning email messages in an efficient and productive way is a big part of Insightly.

With the introduction of our Gmail gadget we can finally bring the productivity advantages of Insightly much closer to the source, right within Gmail itself. We are big fans of Merlin Mann's 'Inbox Zero' email management system and we kept the principals behind that in mind when developing the gadget - we wanted to make Gmail emails more actionable.

We had two overriding design criteria in the development of the gadget: make it simple to use, and make it fast. I think we achieved both.

Right from within an email message in Gmail you can create a new task, create an opportunity, or create an associated project. Insightly will also cleverly link up the email sender to the task, opportunity or project if they are already in Insightly.

The gadget can also retrieve and present all the information Insightly has on the sender of the email. You can see at a glance the recent history for the contact or organisation, and the date and time of the last actions you had with that person. It also displays the contact details, photo, and background information, all very conveniently shown right beneath the email itself. It also conveniently links to the contact or organisation's information page within Insightly so you can quickly pull up Insightly at exactly the right page.

Setting Google Apps Domain Permissions

In order to allow users within your Google Apps domain to use the gadget, the domain administrator has to set permissions for Insightly within the Google Apps domain administration. Click on Insightly in the list of applications for your domain, then click on 'Grant data access' to enable the new gadget features for users in your domain.

Once you set the permissions, the gadget make take up to 20 minutes to appear at the bottom of each users email, as it takes time for Google's Gmail servers to propagate the settings. Also we've found users may need to log out of Gmail and then log back in for the gadget to appear.





Adding Tasks, Opportunities and Projects

You can add tasks, opportunities or projects associated with the email by clicking on the appropriate button. Insightly will automatically fill out some of the details in the form from information contained within the email to make things a bit quicker.



Viewing Sender Info

To see what information Insightly has on the sender, just click the Sender Info hyperlink next to the buttons, and the gadget will retrieve all the latest information for the contact or organisation associated with the sender's email address.


We spent a lot of time designing and building our Gmail gadget with the hope of making our users a lot more productive in their day to day work, so we hope you like it as much as we do !

28 comments:

  1. We had those features in an early beta but found their operation problematic with foreign languages users and some Google Apps premier deployments, so we removed them from the final version of the gadget. We may reinstate them in a future version.

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  2. Please do bring those features back. The greatest thing about the gadget was to be able to save the email directly in insightly!

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  3. Please bring them back!!! I would love to be able to click "view sender info" and then be able to directly add tags in the tags field.

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  4. I'd love to have the add contact to Insightly using this gadget

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  5. I don't see where to add this.

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  6. It seems logical that the gadget should let you add the e-mail to Insightly, and if you have created a project, automatically associate it, no?

    Still, really nice work and a terrific product with more capability than expected!

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  7. Just found out about insightly and I really like the Google apps integration! I'm excited to start using this knowing it may be just what I was looking for.

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  8. Hi Insightly team,
    I'm not really a fan of adding things to the clean Gmail interface I like.

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  9. Google plan to allow Google Apps domain administrators to selectively enable gadgets for only some Gmail users next year - so you will get the choice to have the gadget show up or not.

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  10. what is the purpose of email in insightly ? I would imagine that all the correspondence with some customer can be tacked within insightly. However, this does not seem to be the case.

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  11. Why is gmail's auto-forward not supported ?

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  12. Hello all,

    I started using this app just a few days ago and find it very useful. I use google apps but forward everything to me gmail account, is there any way to add the gmail gadget on gmail and not google apps?

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  13. I tried this briefly, and it seemed like it could be very useful. But I quickly had to revoke access since it was showing up in every user's email, whether they wanted it or not. I guess we will have to wait until Google permits per-user addition of services.

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  14. You know what would be really useful?

    An extra button in the Gmail Gadget that allows the user to link the current email message to a task, a project or an opportunity!

    What do you think?

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  15. Can you add a couple of buttons to the gadget to let you add the email to an existing Project or Opportunity? Only alternative now is to forward the email to insightly drop box. Thanks - good product!

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  16. Not working for me - http://hirny.home.pl/jing/2011-01-04_1631.png
    What can be the problem?

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  17. I too need to be able to attach emails to clients so I know what was said, and when, etc. Emails are a HUGE part of business nowadays. Thanks guys!

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  18. This is great but having to BCC and forward my email to attach them is a pain!! Just add the button already...you have the API and Gmail access.

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  19. I'll throw in my two cents and say I love the gadget, but agree with nearly every other poster here that without an incoming email AUTOMATICALLY attaching itself to the appropriate record within Insightly, the usefulness of this whole app is severely mitigated.

    By the way, when will we know how much all of this will cost once you start charging for the service? I don't love the unknown when it comes to money. It is great as a free app, but would rather pay for it to get support and have some reason to believe it will stick around.

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  20. Is there a know issue with Gmail Labs and this gmail gadget as it disappeared after adding Labs to my gmail.

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  21. It seems that the issue with the Gmail gadget is caused by the Offline feature of gmail.

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  22. I have the same issue. How can I remove the gadget?

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  23. How do I remove insightly gadget from gmail?

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  24. The insightly gmail gadget is confusing my gmail users. You really need to figure out a way to have it NOT show to users who don't need it.

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  25. I usually do not like to complain publicly about the failings of software products/services; however, after trying to obtain assistance from Insightly support over a long period of time and without any resolution, I find that this is the only avenue that I can take to "get their attention".

    Insightly has a major problem integrating their Gmail Gadget with Google. The gadget simply will not display in Gmail for many of my users. Insightly blames this on Google without specifying a way to fix this. One of the major reasons that we chose Insightly was because of the Gmail Gadget and Insightly's inability to live up to displaying a properly functioning gmail gadget in gmail seems to be false advertising.

    It is my hope that Insightly will see this posting and understand the gravity of false advertising.

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