Gist for Gmail

Yesterday, Gist released their new Gist for Gmail Firefox plugin (the Chrome plugin will be out in two weeks).  As a long time Gist user and investor, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this as it makes Gist available to anyone using Gmail (vs. previously just Google Apps users.)

Since I just finally completed my move over to Google Apps, I decided to start over with Gist (by resetting my account) and document the experience of getting it set up.  Over the past year I’ve found Gist to be increasing indispensable to me and with the Gist for Gmail implementation, I think it’s in a position to become a critical use application for many people.  If you haven’t tried it in a while, or have never tried it, give it a shout.  Here’s how.

  1. Go to and sign up.
  2. Verify your account via the email Gist sends you to confirm.
  3. Grant access to Gmail for Gist.
  4. Connect Gist to Facebook and Twitter.
  5. Download the Gist Firefox plugin.
  6. Reload Firefox, load Gmail, and click the little (G) icon in the bottom right.

Five minutes from start to finish.  Give Gist a try – feedback welcome!

  • Been using Gist for about 5 months now — the more I use it, the more I find it becoming a tool of first choice. The iPhone application is a great way to get to my data when I am on the go. Great tool!

  • A small description of what exactly Gist does would be useful for those of us who haven’t heard of it (and are too lazy to click on yet another link :-))

    • Gist creates a central database for all of your contacts (email, Twitter,
      Facebook, LinkedIn), builds a social graph implicitly from your email
      interactions, enhances your contacts, and then provides regular news and
      feeds (including Twitter streams and FB news feeds) for them.

  • Definitely looking forward to the Chrome plugin. I’m eager to compare Gist to Etacts, the latter of which I have been favoring since it already integrates with Gmail.

  • For you, does Gist replace any other apps such as a CRM app or something?

    • I’ve been able to eliminate a lot of my other information filters such as
      keyword alerts (Google and Yahoo) as well as the need for a blog reader on a
      daily basis.

  • I love Gist. It’s really nice to have a tool that allows you to see details about contacts while you read mail, but for me, this tool holds high hopes that are a little different.

    For those of you who don’t know, Gist has an iPhone app. It’s very useful, since Gist allows you to view ALL information about your contacts (that is also constantly updated) on either mobile or web, but what it is still lacking for me is being the ultimate contact management tool.

    I’ve tried so many apps for my iPhone that can show me what the long time player Xobni have done for my Blackberry before and the closest ones to get there seems to be Gist and the all new Twezr.

    On the web, Gist is very good for viewing every bit of information about your contacts, but on my mobile, the first things I need are:
    1. Make phone calls
    2. Send texts (SMS)
    3. Check Emails

    It’s true that Gist allows you to do all that using the mobile app, but it isn’t as snappy as I would expect. For instance, when I launch Gist on my iPhone it takes clicking on the People tab (1), Clicking Search (2), Searching the contact (3), Clicking the found contact (4), Carefully clicking the little text that shows the contact’s phone number (5), Confirming I want to call (6).

    When I first downloaded the Gist iPhone app, I thought that these 2-3 extra clicks are worth it, but I came to realize that this process is tedious. In a day and age of Facebook announcing that Email is too slow, every click counts. At least for me it seems to.

    Question remains if Gist is just a tool for contact information management, or is it also a tool for creating quick calls, texts and emails?

  • Between Gist and Rapportive, I’ll choose the second for Gmail. The user experience provided by Rapportive is superior.

    • Have you tried the new Gist plugin for Firefox? I find the user experience
      to be equivalent and the data from Gist to be far superior.

      • Yes, I was talking exactly about the FF plugin. Raportive integrates in a very sleek way with Gmail. It gives you the feeling that it belong there, it’s light and natural in the context.

        Gist is too colorful, too heavy, it’s like a widget. And I don’t like the fact that it moves the scrollbar to the left. It adds a 4th sidebar instead of using the 3rd. This is the first issue.

        I love the data and I agree that is superior but I don’t want to see all that info all the time. Rapportive shows you the data only when you hover an email address. I love that. I use Gmail 30% of my work time, that is around 3hs daily, I want it to be fast, light and simple. So it’s ok if I need to make a little extra effort (hovering an address) if I really want the data. This is the second issue.

        I know that these are subjective issues, I’m trying to help with my feedback (btw, english it’s not my main language) but a more “facebook-ish” approach (cut/hide all you can cut/hide) it’s better. That way I can focus on my task which is writing the email fast.

        BTW, 80% of emails are actually replies/conversations, so you already know with who you are talking to. That means Gist/Rapportive add value in only 20% of the cases, think about it. Not everybody receive so many emails from strangers as you, Brad 🙂

        • Excellent comments – thanks for taking the time to write them.

          1. 4th Sidebar. Theoretically the sidebar within Gmail is not
          supposed to be used by third party apps / browser plugins. So far
          Google hasn’t called anyone out on this but they may some day.

          2. Too colorful / too heavy. Good, direct feedback.

          3. Email address hover. Agree – that should be an option that is user

          4. Only show non-cc’ed emails. Agree – that should be an option that
          is user configured.

          • My pleasure, glad I can help.

            Agree, but till that day that sidebar is the best location.

    • Anonymous

      Tell us more – we want to learn and deliver superior value.

      T.A. (CEO of Gist)

  • Signed up yesterday and I am loving it today