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Google Apps + Chrome Efficiency Pro Tips

Anyone who knows me knows I really stress being able to play a computer like an instrument (and if you think you can, then prove it).  Us geeky types are in front of our computers for 12+ (often 16+) hours per day, so every loss of efficiency translates into a huge cost in time -- and time is the most precious asset of any hardcore entrepreneur.

One thing I've done is to really customize my Google Apps email pane, with functionality from Rapportive (THANK YOU for the Highrise raplet, guys!), Boomerang, TwitterGadget, Gmail Auto BCC, Labs custom keyboard shortcuts, Send & Archive, etc.  I've also found some great Chrome extensions, including 1Password, Bit.ly, Awesome Screenshot, and by far my favorite -- a Basecamp text auto save extension that saves what I've written in Basecamp when the page is closed.

You might also like my blogs on playing a computer like an instrument, cloud app + vanity URL, and switching to Gmail from Mail.app.

Here's what my email pane looks like, with a detailed video below that walking you through how I use everything.

My favorite feature?  The awesome picture of my wife, of course!  If I'm going to be looking at email for hours each day, I might as well make it enjoyable!  I just replaced the standard Gmail logo with a custom image.

Anyone who knows me knows I really stress being able to play a computer like an instrument (and if you think you can, then prove it).  Us geeky types are in front of our computers for 12+ (often 16+) hours per day, so every loss of efficiency translates into a huge cost in time -- and time is the most precious asset of any hardcore entrepreneur. One thing I've done is to really customize my Google Apps email pane, with functionality from Rapportive (THANK YOU for the Highrise raplet, guys!), Boomerang, TwitterGadget, Gmail Auto BCC, Labs custom keyboard shortcuts, Send & Archive, etc.  I've also found some great Chrome extensions, including 1Password, Bit.ly, Awesome Screenshot, and by far my favorite -- a Basecamp text auto save extension that saves what I've written in Basecamp when the page is closed. You might also like my blogs on playing a computer like an instrument, cloud app + vanity URL, and switching to Gmail from Mail.app. Here's what my email pane looks like, with a detailed video below that walking you through how I use everything. My favorite feature?  The awesome picture of my wife, of course!  If I'm going to be looking at email for hours each day, I might as well make it enjoyable!  I just replaced the standard Gmail logo with a custom image. >

Tweet and you shall receive: Chrome Extension for Highrise Deals

I'm a power user of multiple 37 Signals products, including the Basecamp project management system (much less so since Socialize moved to agile scrum methodologies company-wide)  and its Customer Relationship Management system, Highrise.

Highrise is kind of like democracy:  Not great, but definitely the best thing out there, especially if you want a lightweight CRM.  (Salesforce is what you'd probably turn to for a more deeply integrated, enterprise-level CRM).

The biggest problem I have with Highrise, though, is its poor Deals section.  The entire reason a CRM system exists is to manage customer relationships, and part of that is an uncanny ability to manage sales opportunities.  I've hacked Highrise to make it better, but I wasn't satisfied.  I put a request out on Twitter and that's how I met Alexey Panteleev.

Alexey of Yoxel.com (great service, by the way -- check it out) created a Chrome extension that's absolutely killer with Highrise.  In this post I'll talk about how I've hacked Highrise to work well for me, and how Alexey's extension makes it even better.  If you want to try Alexey's extension too, just leave a comment below and I'll connect you to him.  If he gets enough interest in it, he may productize it and offer it to anyone using Highrise.

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