Gmail Notifiers Compared

This entry is part 21 of 27 in the series Black Belt

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Using webmail makes sense. It’s easy to access from any computer, and you don’t need to worry about installing and maintaing software, but the drawback is you have to keep a browser window open to know when you have email. The solution to this is to have a small application installed on your machine that monitors your Gmail account and pops up an alert when you get a message.
For notifiers, I found a few options. Gmail Notifier for Windows from Google, Google Notifier for Mac (same thing for Mac with a slightly different name, also available straight from Google), Gmail Notifier from http://gmailnotifier.com, and Notify for the Mac from Vibealicious (http://vibealicious.com/apps/notify/). I know, the names are all very similar.

Let’s start with the one that Google provides at http://toolbar.google.com/gmail-helper/notifier_mac.html called the Gmail Notifier. It’s pretty basic. It supports Windows and Mac, sits in your system tray or menu bar, monitors your Gmail account and pops up when you get a message. Pretty simple to download, install, and be up and running to monitor your Gmail account.

Let’s say you have more than one Gmail account and you chose not to use the multiple account feature on the server to send and receive all your mail in one place. That’s where you might want to use Notify from Vibealicious. It allows you to monitor multiple Gmail accounts at once. It’s only available for Mac, but looks beautiful. It sits in the menu bar with a little icon and number of unread messages next to it. When you click on it, you get a full interface. Like the other tools, Notify is free.

Finally, there is Gmail Notifier from http://gmailnotifier.com. Like Google’s product, it supports both Windows and Mac. Similar to Vibealicious, it also supports multiple accounts. It runs in the system tray (or Mac menu bar) like Google’s tool, and when you click on it, you can pop up an index of all your accounts and how many unread messages are in each. It has simple controls to let you manage the message index and select messages for deletion, mark them as read, etc. It even supports Google Calendar alerts. I was caught off guard by the default alert which announced in a female voice “Incoming messages” with my laptop volume a little high. And of course, it’s free.

Of the three, Gmail Notifier from gmailnotifier.com is my pick for feature robustness and platform compatibility.

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3 Comments

  • Thanks for your opinion, ill have to check out Google Notifier. I have a visual disability and i had to read your site with a screen text to speech reader. But a suggestion, i think the text is kinda small visually with your narrow style website. I think you could (and i dont know how much time this would take) make it a little wider and make the font a little bigger. I dont know really, im just an artist. Not a graphic designer so take my suggestion as you desire. (My website isn’t anything compared to yours but we have different needs. Hope this helps, you said you wanted us to write. =)

  • Chuck Tomasi says:

    Christopher,

    Thank you for the feedback. Plans are in the works for redoing the Gmail Podcast website. We’ve been doing this for four years and I feel it is time for an update. I will keep your comments in mind as we redesign.

    Take care.

  • Chuck Tomasi says:

    Christopher,

    We are trying out a new theme on the Gmail Podcast site. I would appreciate your feedback to see if it addresses your previous feedback. The page is http://www.chuckchat.com/gmail. A few more minor tweaks are pending.

    –Chuck

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