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Capsule contextual gadget for Gmail

Friday, February 04, 2011 by Duncan Stockdill

One of the projects we've been busy with recently is the development of a Gmail contextual gadget. A Gmail contextual gadget is a gadget that is triggered by clues in Gmail, such as the contents of Subject lines and email messages. For example, Gmail already provides a YouTube contextual gadget. If the body of an email contains a link to a YouTube video, a clickable thumbnail view of the video appears at the bottom of the email.

Rather than replicate the CRM functionality in a small window at the bottom of each email, we've designed the Capsule contextual gadget to improve the workflow around receiving an email and the actions that you need to take as a result.

Here's a summary of Capsule contextual gadget functionality:

  • Add new contacts straight into Capsule
  • See details you hold about the sender and click through to their page in Capsule
  • Store messages in Capsule without using the dropbox
  • Create an opportunity or case linked to the email
  • File the email under an existing opportunity or case
  • Create a follow-up task

If you are already using Capsule and want to take advantage of the gadget you'll need an administrator of your Google Apps domain to grant access to the gadget for the new information required to support the gadget. To do this visit your Google Apps dashboard by following Manage this domain from Gmail. Scroll down to the Service Settings section where you will find Capsule listed and follow the View and grant access link:

Then accept the new data access requirements by following the Grant data access link.

It can take up to 10 minutes for the gadget to propagate through Google's caches and appear in your account so hold tight if it doesn't appear straight away.

Here's just a sample of the positive feedback we've had from users of the gadget:

The gadget is phenomenal. If we had known about this beforehand, we would not have hesitated to use Capsule. It's a gamechanger for our business.

I think Capsule just gave me the excuse I needed to finally ditch Outlook!

This is great productivity tool. Really integrates your email with Capsule

It has by far pushed the use of Capsule here to a higher level due to the simplicity of connecting the emails to the contacts and opportunities.

We hope you find this addition useful. Thanks as always to our beta testers and customers on uservoice for their feedback and suggestions on this.


Helen Stothard Sat Feb, 5 2011 at 12:10 am

What a fantastic idea and how much simpler keeping my inbox in line with Capsule will be, I only saw this this morning as a beta but was blown away by this extra functionality.

Thank you

Adrien Sat Feb, 5 2011 at 02:07 am

Cool feature but there is a bug on Chrome (Mac OS X) it just displays “Capsule CRM” for existing contacts.
I works well on Safari !

Craig Sat Feb, 5 2011 at 01:12 pm

Despite the fact that my domain is integrated with Google Apps, when I go to /Manage MY Domain/Service Settings - Capsule doesn’t appear.  Can somebody please advise me what I might be doing wrong?

Duncan Stockdill Sat Feb, 5 2011 at 04:53 pm

Adrien: I meant to mention that the gadget isn’t fully compatible with the current beta of Google Chrome (i.e version 9).  We’re looking into that but in the meantime the gadget will work with the stable release of Chrome (i.e version 8).

Craig: Can you drop us a note on support with the details of your Capsule account and Google Apps domain and we’ll investigate.

David Stegmann Sun Feb, 6 2011 at 03:30 pm

Excellent - another great addition to productivity!
Thanks guys.

James Buzzard Mon Feb, 7 2011 at 03:28 pm

Just wanted to say how much I appreciate this addition. I’ve been wanting this for a while with Capsule, and it’s a brilliant add.

A comment though - it would be brilliant to be able to add/edit contant info from directly within an email. It would also be brilliant to have the option of ‘open this contant in capsule’.
It would also be brilliant to have alerts available, like ‘this contact has an overdue account’  or similar.

Otherwise, an absolute ripper of an addition. Congrats guys.

Duncan Stockdill Mon Feb, 7 2011 at 03:36 pm

Many thanks for the all kind feedback. 

James: It should already be possible to open the contact in Capsule. Just click the link that shows for the contact name. Or perhaps I have have misunderstood what you are looking for?

Hans Duedal Mon Feb, 7 2011 at 08:41 pm

Really nice widget and integration, only I would really wish it wouldn’t be visible for users not associated with Capsule, and in addition could be disabled for a specific user with either the Capsule or Google settings.

Duncan Stockdill Mon Feb, 7 2011 at 08:50 pm

Hans: Agree it would be useful to be able to disabled the gadget for specific users.  We’ve minimised the footprint of the gadget as much as we can for users who aren’t registered on Capsule, but the ability to hide the gadget completely is under the control of Gmail so it’s not something we can control at the moment.  I’ll pass on your feedback to the Google team.

Duncan Stockdill Tue Feb, 8 2011 at 02:12 pm

The gadget is now compatible with Google Chrome 9

Daniel Mason Thu Feb, 10 2011 at 07:18 pm

This really is a great add on, just as I was wondering how to make myself more efficient using Capsule, perfect timing!

Great work, keep it up!

Pashmina Thu Feb, 10 2011 at 08:27 pm

Nice going!

This new add on dramatically impacts the flow and productivity. It also influences, and helps your users create better habits, by reminding them to track all emails, and all client interactions in the CRM. Because it’s now a click of a button, I think it will lower the barrier for participation for those that aren’t as anal and vigilant. No more lost threads because someone forgot to forward an email.

Btw, I hope you plan on announcing this somehow to all your users. Are you still waiting to clear the bugs? An announcement via a news update on the Dashboard would be nice when you release features like this. I’m surprised that I had to find out about this via my Google Domain admin panel.

Graham Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 07:44 am

Just curious—we are signed up for Capsule but not through GA.  We are using GA though.  Is there any way for us to get access to this gadget?

Phillip Haines Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 01:35 pm

Graham: If you’ve got an existing Capsule account you’d like to hook up to your Google Apps account, please get in touch with us on support.

Thor Vollset Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 05:25 pm

This is a really great extension. Add values to cases and opportunities in a way i could not imagine - 12 points from the norwegian jury

Trevor Jobling Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 08:28 pm

It’s very nice indeed, well done.  I agree with Hans though - the non-capsule users on my domain aren’t happy with it.  Hopefully Google will give you more control over this.

Jaden Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 08:50 pm

So you can only use this if you are business paid GA user?  Not the average person using the consumer version of GA and Gmail?

Duncan Stockdill Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 08:55 pm

Jaden: The contextual gadget is available when you install Capsule in Google Apps (the free edition) or Google Apps for Business (the paid edition).

However, contextual gadgets aren’t supported by standalone personal GMail.

Alan Hart Fri Feb, 11 2011 at 10:04 pm

I’m excited about this but we are not on GA yet. I guess this renews the incentive to get round to it…

Ross Dunn Sat Feb, 12 2011 at 02:00 am

Is there any way or any inclination to create a gadget we can use for regular Gmail accounts? I use Gmail exclusively but we haven’t made the leap to GApps due to the headaches involved. Some sort of plugin would be wonderful for regular Gmail.

Jim McGregor Sun Feb, 13 2011 at 04:47 am

I started the integration process and came to a payment screen. I am an existing Capsule customer, is this going to cost me an additional $12 per user per month? 

Also , does this help in achieving bidirectional sync of contacts between google and capsule. at the moment it is only one way, a big program when on the move.

Adam Sun Feb, 13 2011 at 06:16 am

Great addition, looking forward to many more fantastic google apps centric features like this.

Graham Robson Sun Feb, 13 2011 at 05:39 pm

This level of integration into everyday workflow is a game changer - well done.

Do you have any plans to provide similar gadgets for other email clients like Apple mail or Postbox? I have to admit I’m not a great Google mail fan.

Thanks,  Graham

Scott Barrington Mon Feb, 14 2011 at 03:46 am

nice job! now we just need that iPhone app wink

Duncan Stockdill Mon Feb, 14 2011 at 01:39 pm

Ross: No plans at this stage.  Most of our Google customers use Google Apps Gmail rather than individual Gmail. At the moment the Google’s contextual gadgets aren’t supported for individual Gmail, but maybe in the future.

Jim: The Google Apps integration including the gadget is available at no extra cost.  If you drop us an email on support with your Google Apps domain and Capsule account details we can get the two integrated for you.  The gadget focuses on improving the workflow around handling email.  Separately we are working on a mobile application which depending on your phone will help with accessing your contacts on the move.

Graham. No plans at this stage for an AppleMail/Postbox plug-in.

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