Activity Reports breaks it down for you. Activity Reports look at your Google activity and show you what you’re looking for the most, how many searches you do, how you use Gmail, and more.
What you do with all this data is up to you, and its usefulness is going to vary depending on how much time you spend on Google. Still, as a look back at how you spend your computer time, Activity Reports are a valuable resource that may help you figure out where you’re going wrong (or right) with your computer usage each month.
Google Bookmarks as an Integrated Read-it-Later Service and Browsing History
Before read-it-later services like Pocket and Instapaper, there was Google Bookmarks: a service that allows you to save web pages for later viewing without clogging up your browser’s bookmarks bar.
You can sort these bookmarks into labels so they’re easy to find, and you can add any page to the list with a simple bookmarklet. Google Bookmarks doesn’t have the flash of a service like Instapaper, but as a place to save links for research, or just to read later, it’s nice to have around.
Google Apps Scripts to Automate Everything You Do in Google Apps
Google Apps Scripts are essentially little Automator-style workflows you can create and share that automate tasks between your Google apps. The learning curve for making your own isn’t high, but the best part is that you can easily download and utilize other people’s scripts directly in your documents (open a new spreadsheet in Google Drive and click Tools > Script Gallery). Recently scripts have been integrated into the Chrome Web Store so using them is going to get that much easier. They come in a wide variety of flavors, but here are a few of our current favorites:
- Gmail Meter: The Gmail Meter script works a lot like the above-mentioned Activity Monitor, but with more data. Each month you get an email with a full list of all your Gmail-related activity. Gmail Meter breaks down your usage in crazy ways, including average word counts, email times, response times, and thread lengths.
- Gmail Attachments to Google Drive: This script sends every attachment sent to your Gmail account directly to your Google Drive. It’s simple, but handy if you do a lot of editing in Drive.
- Gmail Snooze: Gmail Snooze does one thing: gives your Gmail Account a snooze button so you can rest and not worry about getting email for a little while.
- Gmail Filter to SMS: You can set up this script and you get a notification you through a text message when an email is labeled a certain way. It could come in handy when you want to shut your email down, but need to keep in touch with one person.
In the past, Google Apps Scripts have been geeky endeavors. With the addition of Google Drive support and the ability to upload scripts to the Chrome Web Store, they’ll likely get a lot more user-friendly.
Want to check out a few more of the features tucked into your Google products? Here are a few of our favorite experimental features you add to your favorite Google apps.
Top 10 Gmail Labs You Should Enable
As if Gmail wasn’t powerful enough, you can find all sorts of goodies and extra features in Gmail Labs. The list is pretty massive, so we’ve narrowed down our 10 favorite labs to help increase your email productivity. Title image by Ben Krebs. We’ve actually gone through our 10 favorite labs. More »