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 !