Gmail Compose Extension for Chrome

Update 28 Nov 2019 – This extension is no longer available. Google’s lawyers sent me a cease and desist letter because it used the word “GMail” which is trademarked. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to argue.

Whether you like it or not, email remains at the core of online communication for most of us. There are plenty of opportunities to use it more effectively and one of those is to use it solely as a communication tool – and not as a filing system or to do list. I’ve made a few changes to help me better manage email and central to that was establishing a routine of only checking for new messages three times a day, at 9.00, 12.00 and 4.00.

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is that between those times I still need to send emails, but when I open Gmail I get distracted by the messages in my inbox. Even if I do manage to leave my inbox without looking at the new messages they weigh on my mind, distracting me until I give in and deal with them.

Sometimes the simplest of solutions can make the biggest difference and so for the last couple of months I’ve used a bookmark to directly open the Gmail compose window, so avoiding being distracted by new messages.

Today I converted that bookmark into a simple Chrome Extension that opens the Gmail compose window in a new tab. Hopefully others will also find it useful.


9 thoughts on “Gmail Compose Extension for Chrome”

  1. Pingback: Open Compose Takes You Straight to Gmail’s New Email Window to Avoid Inbox Distractions

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  2. Pingback: Open Compose Takes You Straight To Gmail’s New Email Window | Lifehacker Australia

  3. A very useful tool, Barry. Thanks. Is there something similar for Outlook? In fact, is there something similar to add to one’s head when shopping?

    1. Thanks Jane. I haven’t found anything similar for Outlook (or any other app) but it seems like somebody should develop it!

      If only we cold do something like that for the brain!

  4. hi Barry
    nice one.
    Another Gmail extension I find very useful is Mailto: for Gmail™ though I can’t make the claim to writing this one myself 😉
    You know when using Gmail and you click on a ‘mail to’ weblink which usually says ‘click here to email us’? Well what is meant to happen is your default email software is launched with the compose email box all ready. But if your default email software is Gmail, nothing happens.
    So this extension makes it happen for you…neat.

    1. Hi Richard, glad you like it.

      Thanks for the suggestion of the other extension. In recent versions of Chrome I think you can set the mailto: handler to gmail without an extension (although I am have imagined that). I use Google Notifier to do the same thing, although I have Gmail notifications switched off as that would rather spoil my three times a day email routine.

  5. Thanks Bary for the extension. At last I have all the tools to keep my mail organized.

    It would be nice to have one for hotmail as well but if it is complex then I’m happy with this.

    1. I’m not a regular Hotmail/Outlook user, but I did look at this out of curiosity a while ago. Gmail has a very simple URL scheme which means that it simply uses the currently logged in account when the window is opened (or prompts you to log in). Outlook seems to need a specific ID in the URL and I haven’t put any serious thought into how to address that.

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