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How to add Gmail notes

How to add Gmail notes

min read

For most of us, email is the backbone of our workplace communication. We email clients, we email colleagues, we sometimes even email ourselves. 

But what happens when you need to remember additional information related to your email exchanges? For some people, the result is a desk covered in post-its or information stored in three different digital locations. 

Gmail notes are an ideal way to keep information gathered in one central location, all centered around the email messages that are driving your business. As of right now, Gmail doesn’t offer a direct way to add notes to your emails. Fortunately, there are at least a dozen ways to work around this missing feature. Let’s talk about why you might need to add notes and a few ways you can do so. 

<a href="#leave-notes" class="anchor-link">Why leave notes in Gmail?</a>

<a href="#native-options" class="anchor-link">4 Native Gmail notes options</a>

  • <a href="#google-keep" class="anchor-link">Google Keep</a>
  • <a href="#google-tasks" class="anchor-link">Google Tasks</a>
  • <a href="#google-chat" class="anchor-link">Google Chat</a>
  • <a href="#gmail-drafts" class="anchor-link">Gmail Drafts</a>

<a href="#external-apps" class="anchor-link">6 External apps and tools for Gmail notes</a>

  • <a href="#simple-gmail-notes" class="anchor-link">Simple Gmail Notes extension</a>
  • <a href="#gmail-notes-cloudhq" class="anchor-link">Gmail Notes by CloudHQ</a>
  • <a href="#missive" class="anchor-link">Missive</a>
  • <a href="#notejoy" class="anchor-link">Notejoy</a>
  • <a href="#right-inbox" class="anchor-link">Right Inbox</a>
  • <a href="#streak-comments" class="anchor-link">Streak Comments</a>

<a href="#make-most-of-inbox" class="anchor-link">Making the most of your inbox</a>

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Why leave notes in Gmail?

Here are just a few reasons you might want to add a note to an email:

To enhance collaboration

When working on a project with others, Gmail notes can provide context or updates on your progress. Notes can become an additional form of communication, especially if you communicate primarily through email.

To plan strategic follow-up

Instead of setting reminders on your calendar or covering your computer with sticky notes, you can simplify and use Gmail notes instead to remind you to follow up on specific emails or tasks at a later date. 

To document decisions

If an email involves decision-making, notes can document the process and outcomes. Gmail notes are also a great place to jot down decisions you make over the phone or during in-person conversations. 

To draft responses

Sometimes, you need a place to capture your ideas before you write a formal response. Gmail notes are a great place to organize those thoughts as you write a reply. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="native-options" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

4 native Gmail notes options

If you’re a diehard Google Workspace fan, some Google apps and features can help you create and attach notes to your emails. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="google-keep" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

1. Google Keep

To add a note using Google Keep, open the email you want to add a note to, then open the sidebar by clicking the arrow on the left of the screen. Select the Google Keep icon, then add your note. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="google-tasks" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

2. Google Tasks

With Google Tasks, you can leave notes for yourself in the task descriptions. All you have to do is right-click on the email in your inbox, then select Add to tasks. Once a task appears, you can click on the section that says Add details for yourself here. There, you can add whatever notes you want to include. Once you’ve added your note, you’ll be able to go to Google Tasks and click on the mail icon below the task to open up the related email and see your notes. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="google-chat" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

3. Google Chat

Google Chat can make your notetaking a more collaborative effort. Just open Chat, located in the sidebar of Gmail, and add the team member(s) you want to chat with. Then, copy and paste the email content you want to talk about, and get the conversation going. You can also add a link to your Gmail thread for future reference. 

It may not be the most straightforward way to collaborate through email, but it can be one of the quickest. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="gmail-drafts" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

4. Gmail drafts

For short-lived notes, you can create a draft reply. Select reply and type your notes. Once you hit the escape button, your reply will close and be saved as a draft. You can access it by going to your Drafts folder or by opening the email thread.

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6 external apps and tools for Gmail notes

Until Google releases a way to add notes directly to your emails, several extensions and add-ons have been created to help you do so! Be sure to read to the end for our favorite. 😉

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="simple-gmail-notes" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

1. Simple Gmail Notes extension

Simple Gmail Notes is a free extension that allows you to add notes to email threads in Gmail. Notes are stored in your Google Drive and can even be added to your calendar. The free version does include ads, or you can upgrade to avoid them. 

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2. Gmail Notes by CloudHQ

Gmail Notes works much like the commenting feature in Google Docs. You just have to highlight the email text you want to add a note to, type your comment, and press OK to save. You can also add notes to the bottom of your emails. The extension is completely free unless you want access to email and phone customer support. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="missive" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

3. Missive

Missive is an email and chat tool that automatically syncs with Google. With Missive, you can:

  • Add private comments for yourself to your emails
  • Tag your team members in email comments and carry on a conversation
  • Assign tasks to yourself or your team members with a comment
  • Attach documents in your comment including PDFs, links, zip files, and screenshots
  • Style your comments using bold, italics, strikethrough, and code blocks
  • Automate your comments using rules
  • Add comments from a mobile device using the Missive app

Missive offers a free plan, but their best features are only available with upgrades. Their plans range from $14/month to $26/month.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="notejoy" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

4. Notejoy

Notejoy integrates with Gmail so you can use it directly in your Gmail inbox. After you install Notejoy, you can click on the icon from the sidebar and add your note to any email. You can select a title for the note, and add tags by inserting #hashtags in the title. 

The free Notejoy plan is perfect for teams just starting out, with premium pricing going up to $12/month per user. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="right-inbox" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

5. Right Inbox

Using the free Right Inbox extension, you can add a note to any email. You can then access that note at any time by hovering over the Notes icon in your message, or adjusting your settings so that notes automatically display when you open your emails. Plus, if you label your notes using this extension, you can easily access them all in your Notes folder within your Gmail sidebar. You’ll also see a label in your inbox indicating which emails have a note attached to them.

Right Inbox offers a free plan, but it only tracks five emails a month. Upgrading to the personal or professional plan allows unlimited email tracking and private notes, but costs $7.95/month and $14.95/month respectively.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="streak-comments" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

6. Streak comments

We saved the best for last! Streak’s commenting feature is an exceptionally easy and intuitive way to create Gmail notes. 

a screenshot of Streak’s commenting feature which is an exceptionally easy and intuitive way to create Gmail notes

Here’s how it works: When you’re emailing with a prospect or customer who you’ve added to a Streak pipeline, you always have the option—right in Gmail—to display the right-hand menu in the screenshot below to get a quick glimpse of what’s happening in the account and leave comments for yourself or others.

a screenshot of Gmail's right-hand menu with a glimpse of what's happening in the account and where you can leave a comment for yourself or others after adding a prospect to your Streak pipeline

So in this screenshot, you can see that 21 days ago, someone left a comment tagging Franklin with a question. To learn more about that comment or the latest in the account, I’d simply click that Open a new window icon beside Cafe Oasis at the top, and I’d be taken to the full view of Cafe Oasis’s customer profile, complete with all comments that have been left on that account throughout the deal cycle.

And the best part is, adding the Streak extension is free for anyone who wants to explore it. The ability to view shared pipelines and comment right in Gmail like this comes with our $49/month plan

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Are you ready to make the most of your inbox?

Commenting is just the beginning of what you can do with Streak in Gmail. You can create powerful and efficient sales pipelines for your revenue teams and broader organization, as well as:

Think Streak could help you and your teammates? We think so too, and we’re ready when you are.

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