Ode to the early days of Gmail
One of the biggest appeals to early Gmail (first offered in early 2000s) was how minimalistic it was compared to AOL and other junky email services of the late 90s, but as Google has grown, so has the visual clutter of the user interface. Most people have colorful themes and buttons and links all over the place and it can make for a very distracting email experience.
We want to introduce you go a Google Chrome browser called Minimalist for Gmail that not only helps you hide dozens of interface elements (like links and options you don’t use) and customize your Gmail.
If I were a broker, I would offer a branded Gmail to all of my agents since you can load a custom logo to a Gmail account with this extension. Imagine your agent opens their email in a Starbucks (we all know wandering eyes abound over coffee) and sees your logo? Fantastic.
You can add attachment icons and even upload your own custom CSS, this makes the Gmail interface fully customizable and lets you decide what it looks like and how it works.
- Your first step should be to go into “Mail Settings” then “Themes” and select “Basic White” which is the most minimalist setting. It’s been the easiest to modify.
- To make changes with this extension, in your browser click the wrench at the top right, select “Tools” then “Extensions” and find the Minimalist extension, select “Options.”
- It was actually quite difficult to upload a custom icon. We uploaded it to our website to get a legitimate URL (their uploader is awful) but the size they suggest is too big, we used 150×48 to make it fit. We recommend your logo on a white background.
- There is no “save” button when you make changes, simply click boxes and in a separate tab refresh your Gmail (when you see changes, they’ve been saved and you can move on to other settings).
This is one of those tools you have to play with first hand for it to make sense, but don’t worry- you won’t break anything. Play with it and remember you can undo whatever you’ve done (including if your brand changes, you can upload a new custom logo).
How will YOU use this extension?