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Coming soon: The Insightly Sidebar

The Insightly Sidebar is Insightly’s newest Gmail integration that is currently in closed beta (production release is coming soon!).

This Chrome browser extension allows you to quickly and easily save important emails or get a customer’s information without having to switch a tab in your browser. Once you add the Insightly Sidebar Extension to your Chrome browser and log in to your Insightly account, all the rich information about your contacts, leads, opportunities, projects, and other Insightly records will be available right in your Gmail window, saving you time and effort. Insightly Sidebar could be used by any Gmail user in the Chrome browser in conjunction with any Insightly plan and does not require a Google Apps account.

You can read more about what you can do with the help of the Sidebar here: https://docs.google.com/a/insight.ly/document/d/1v1ytTXbEO_4tWXHr3FRcd36rNJn1pZjG0VFUBobm7BY/edit?usp=sharing

Let us know what you think!

 

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Comments

41 comments
  • Official comment

    Hi everyone. Thanks for your comments and a special thanks to those who participated in the Sidebar beta.

    We have hundreds of thousands of Insightly customers and while we've seen that many of you share our excitement over this new feature, we also realize that for some this just isn't for you.

    As we continue to listen to our customers and work on bug fixes, we hope that there's a feature that's right for you in one of our future releases.

    In the meantime, please continue to leave your suggestions for improving Insightly and vote and comment on those feature requests that are important to you.

    Thanks!

    Brenda

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  • As a paid user for a good amount of months now, seeing these type features being developed no longer excites me. There are still hundreds of issues / needs that the community here has brought up that seem like they will never be addressed by your company. Things that are very important for us to be able to use your software to run our businesses in the way we need to run our business. People need Insightly itself to be better, more flexible, mobile friendly, with better reporting / sorting / etc,... rather than have other ways to put things into the system. You already offer a way for me to add a lead, org, contact, in to my account by using your current website. Why should I now use Chrome to do the same thing? And who uses sidebars anymore anyway? What I need is better reporting, tagging on tasks, custom fields within email templates, text areas to allow pasting without my formatting being stripped out and more. I need your current software to be better. Please stop adding in extra/additional/different solutions for things you already have for us, and concentrate on improving what is already here.

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  • I agree with Jeff above.  Not everyone uses Chrome so for these basic features (like saving a web to contact email as a lead) to only be available via an add on only available in one browser...well...there is work to do. 

     

     

     

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  •  I'm looking forward to it! I use Chrome and Google Apps and this type of functionality/tight integration is what almost made me decide for a certain competitor. I hope that this will provide even deeper automatic data aggregation from the emails than the present widget--for example, aggregating all emails from a particular sender within the sidebar (rather than having to manually add each one individually to Insightly) and better harvesting of contact info from within the email and social/web info on the sender. And the ability to actually work in Insightly from inside Gmail (instead of having to change tabs) will be a huge time saver for us.

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  • DMS, your points are very valid here. If the new tool has "everything" in it, I would consider switching to chrome for a few weeks to try it out completely. But my overall point is still the same. Their current system needs improvement with the most basic of functionality. Adding new bells and whistles will save some time in some situations for some users. But it does not address large flaws already in their system.

    To the Insightly support: Your mobile app is not very good. Will this work within the browser on my Android tablet? If not, when will your current website layout actually be mobile friendly? What is the plan for this, and how does the sidebar help people work faster when on their mobile devices?

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  • The new sidebar feature looks great. 

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  • Jeff--if I didn't use Google Apps, I would not be overly thrilled about the release. But this has the potential to add at least some of the functionality of ProsperWorks, which has slick integration with Google Apps--but which also is missing out on some of the key functionality in Insightly. If this sidebar works much like that one, it has the potential to be pretty slick itself. And for what it's worth, I too reluctantly, but eventually, changed to Chrome because of the enhanced integrations--turned out to be a good move (after the inevitable transition period).

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  • I also agree with Jeff on increasing the functionality or deepening the integration with the Android app and Gmail. Doesn't seem to be a good way to get emails into Insightly from the app (naturally, there's no plug in for Gmail's app, but the Insightly mail-to-project email address doesn't seem to show up on the project information page in the app, so I end up waiting until I get back to my desktop/browser).

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  • DMS: Just for clarification, I do not want a deeper integration with Insightly and anything / everything else. I simply want a better web based solution, that runs in all browsers, on all mobile devices, desktops, tablets, etc. One that has consistency between all types of assets (why can't we tag tasks?, and why do some pages allow different types of sorting?), that allows for better content management formatting (why can't we post into a text area without formatting being removed), and has a mailing system that offers more. I simply want Insightly to be better, and not require we use more and more third party/outside solutions to actually get things done. Just think about this plugin. Instead of just making their UI better, I now have to use Chrome, and use their somewhat intrusive sidebar to do more in their system. Think of the tens of thousands they spent on this solution. But can we use their system on our mobile phones and tablets any easier? Not at all. Very frustrating.

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  • Agreed.. we need insightly to get better and more robust with basic CRM functions.. Like allowing data from custom fields to move when contacts / leads are converted to opportunities and then to projects. 

    REPORTING... is all im going to say...  We basically convert every contact and lead to an opportunity because that is the only place we can pull reporting easily.  We need project pipeline reporting.. Hard to make the claim you have a project management module when you have NO reporting built in for projects. 

     

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  • Thank you all for your feedback's. I am very excited to let you know that all points mention above are either in our road map or are part of our bug database. 

     

    Thank you again,

     

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  • As a company that recently moves away from Streak, this is very exciting to us - throw us into the beta if possible :)

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  • We do not use Google products at all so I agree with what has been said so far in regards to any feature related to any Google product or service. I would rather you fixed/improved basic CRM functionality rather than giving me numerous ways to do the same thing.

    In my opinion there are much more important things to address such as, better reporting, data transfer/pipeline between custom fields so that data is moved to new entity when converted, multi-select in a custom field drop down etc etc

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  • We use google apps and having a slick Insightly integration with gmail is crucial for us. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what this sidebar has to offer. 

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  • I keep seeing Insightly push the Sidebar as the next big thing, and is being added as a response within many other posts here saying "the sidebar is coming".  But I feel like I am missing something.

    What does it get us users that is not just deeper integration with GMail? As in... if I am not in GMail, on my laptop that has a somewhat small screen, what will the sidebar allow me to do easily? My screen is already somewhat small... so taking away 300px from the side just sounds useless.

    My biggest needs are having a way to get information into Insightly quicker. Usually content I have found somewhere around the web.. a lead I need to get to know/contact.. a new project.. etc. Right now the only thing from keeping me from doing this quickly and efficiently is the actual Insightly interface right now. How will the Sidebar help me manage both new and old daya/leads/contacts any easier?

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  • Please include the ability to save emails to Insighlty with the option to "Save Email and remove all embedded graphics". (embedded, as opposed to attached files).

    This will save heaps of time (in having to do it manually) and our client server space!

    The same in the Gmail Gadget would also be much appreciated.

    "Save email and remove all embedded graphics and file attachments" would also be nice... ie. just save the raw text.

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  • Looks really good so far! Great work.

    Few little teething problems but that is why it's called beta!

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  • For some reason the hover over email does nothing and it's not creating a contact.

    I also don't understand why adding a task does not show a way to link it to a contact.

    It also seems to be crashing my email constantly as I'm having to close and reopen email a few times a day since using insightly.

    I like the side bar idea to work closely with email but just need it to be smoother.

     

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  • Jeff - one thing it does get you that the Gadget did not is Save an Email as a LEAD. (ie, that completely new inquiry for and existing Contact situation). and it does look super slick... less having to change between email and insighlty is nice.

    Zan - with the hover over, depending upon your connection speed it might take a 1 or 2 seconds to load (so you may need to stay on the same email and give it a chance)... was my experience.

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  • @Zan, thank you so much for testing the Sidebar! We are still in beta and are about to release a couple of fixes, including better hover response. Not immediately but in time we will add ability to create a Task Project, etc. from the email with appropriate links.

    Crashing does not sound good, sorry about that, but we have not heard other reports of this. If this happens again, would you kindly file a support ticket documenting exactly what happened? I will be on the look out for that. Thanks again, super helpful!

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  • How can more of us test this out?

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  • Ditto...I'm happy to beta the Sidebar.

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  • We're excited to announce that The Insightly Sidebar (production) is live! 

    You can install the production version by going directly to  this Chrome web store link.* Feel free to share this link with other users in your company or friends.

    Here are supporting FAQ articles to help you learn more.

    Thanks!

    *Note: Beta testers will first need to uninstall the Sidebar beta by going to Chrome Settings > Extensions and tapping on the trash icon next to Insightly. If you need help, please consult this help article about removing the Sidebar.

     

     

     

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  • Brenda, your comment is "sticky" at the top of this thread. With this many comments it is lost. If people (like myself) scroll to the bottom to see new comments we will miss yours... like I did this evening.

    I installed it and see it can do some good things. I do wish that we had a little more flexibility on creating tasks / projects without having to be in an email to do so. It is kinda silly that we HAVE to connect the new task to the contact(s) in the email. Sometimes I just want to make a new task. Since I can not just "make a task", I have to go out of GMail and back into Insightly. Or, I have to find an email to myself and add one that way. Once again, you guys have added extra steps instead of just letting us just get things done in anyway that works for us.

    Also, when on smaller screens (like my laptop), when adding in a new task, the bottom "Description" textarea gets cut off. The sidebar does not allow me to scroll down far enough. Here on my desktop, I can make the window taller and I can see the whole thing. This forces me to add the task, and once again go into Insightly to finish the task. I have attached a screenshot of the very bottom of my browser...

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  • Hi Jeff, good day to you and thanks for checking out the Sidebar.

    1) You can add a task independently in the Sidebar, just go to My Tasks and click on +Task.

    2) Good catch on the usability issue with the description field. Already on our radar and queued up for fixing. Cheers.

     

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  • #1 ... Thanks. Though I viewed that tab, I missed the button. Thank you for the clarification.

    #2. Good to know.

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  • I am new to Insightly and just testing it for my business after helping a client who uses it. I am used to using Streak so it is great to see the sidebar tool since it appears a lot better than the apps widget and I also chose to not use my apps account due to restrictions with who I can create as users. 

    I like the new sidebar tool but I am not sure why projects and several other sidebar options are grayed out under some circumstances and not under others. I can't put my finger on what it is but how can I just create a project from anywhere within my gmail interface? 

    FIXED - I realize you first need to search a contact that is relevant to the project so it has something to link to inside Insightly. Perhaps a tooltip that pops up over the 4 light grey icons to explain why they are light grey would help. Something like "You must first search/select a contact before you can access the projects panel". would be perfect.

     

    Other thing I spotted - Did the wysiwyg tools disappear from the description box, I notice if I paste an emails contents in there the formatting does not remain.

    Thanks

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  • I'm perplexed. I have installed the sidebar, but it seems like it's just a way to view a contact's basic info without any connection into the single most important function of a CRM: Notes. Am I missing something, or is it really not possible to view notes for a contact or company through the sidebar? Is there some way to see activity history? All I can find is a short link to the most recently saved email, which in many cases is far out of date compared to notes from phone calls.

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  • Hi Sean,

    I think I had that problem at first, it is not instantly logical how you connect the email to the contact but you have to first connect the email recipient 

    This article helped me: http://support.insight.ly/hc/en-us/articles/205223040-Insightly-Sidebar-overview

     

    See how you can see the tasks and activity? It may be a case this tool takes some getting used to and would benefit from some help tool tips to make it more user friendly when first using it. That help at all?

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  • Moderately, but I still can't find any way to view Notes in the gadget. This makes it almost useless for quickly checking records for a contact, since most of my conversations with customers are entered in Notes (i.e. not email conversations).

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