Google has just enabled Add-ons in Gmail so you can do things like create Trello cards from a message, generate an invoice on the fly, and create Wrike tasks all without leaving your browser tab.
The new feature works on desktop and Android for personal Gmail and G Suite accounts, and you don’t need to install anything – just visit Gmail in your browser, click the gear icon and then ‘Get add-ons.’ Once you’ve turned on the ones you need, they’ll be invoked automatically across your devices.
There’s just a handful of productivity-focused apps you can use right now, the more popular among them being Trello and Asana. I found the Trello add-on useful for quickly adding story ideas and embargoed leads from my inbox into the board I use for planning my publishing schedule; it automatically fills in a card with the subject and body text from the email, so you only need a couple of clicks to use it.
The rest are targeted at salespeople and customer relationship managers; it also looks like certain add-ons, like Quickbooks for invoicing, aren’t available everywhere in the world yet (Google mentioned it in its blog post, but the option doesn’t show up for me in India).
That makes Gmail more useful and indispensable for people who juggle a bunch of apps to get things done. And given the service’s massive user base, it’s safe to assume that many more apps will eventually become available.