10 Ways to Pimp Your Gmail


I don’t think I’m alone among web workers in my love for Gmail for its speed, ease of use, spam filtering, searches, conversation threads, filters and more. It’s the go-to email program for many people.

However, as great as Gmail is, it can be made better and cooler. We’ve written recently about getting the most out of your Gmail, but today we’ll take a look at some ways to pimp your Gmail, for more functionality and a nicer look. [digg=http://digg.com/software/10_Ways_to_Pimp_Your_Gmail]

Note: to make these changes, you’ll need Firefox (to add extensions) and for some of them, you’ll need the Greasemonkey extension for Firefox.

1. Super Clean Gmail. This is one of my favorite ways to change Gmail, because it makes an interface that’s already fairly clean into a really aesthetically pleasing interface. Clean, white and simple. Greasemonkey script here.

2. Integrate Google Reader. My second favorite script for Gmail, this Greasemonkey script is perfect if you also use Google Reader, as I do. It puts a “Feeds” link in Gmail’s sidebar, and it shows your unread feeds count. Click on the Feeds link, and you can read your feeds within Gmail.

3. Integrate Google Calendar. Gmail recently integrated GCal a little better, allowing you to add calendar events from an email. But with this Greasemonkey script, you can add a sidebar section that shows your upcoming events in Gcal.

4. Gmail manager. Do you have multiple Gmail accounts, or perhaps you and your spouse/roommate/life partner both use Gmail on the same computer? If so, you know that it can be a hassle to switch between accounts to check for new messages. This extension allows you to have quick access to multiple accounts and quickly see how many new messages are in each.

5. Persistent searches. Fans of Thunderbird, Evolution and Mail.app love their smart folders or saved searches. Gmail fans can too, with this script. Allows you to save searches like labels.

6. GTD Inbox. For GTD aficionados, this extension allows you to integrate David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” into Gmail.

7. Quick compose. Don’t have Gmail open but want to compose a quick email? Instead of having to open Gmail and then go to Compose, set up a quick compose bookmarklet: 1) click on “compose” in Gmail, and then click on the pop-out button in the compose area to bring it to a new window; 2) right-click on some blue space and select “Bookmark This Page” and save it in your Bookmarks Toolbar folder; and 3) right-click on the new bookmarklet you’ve created, select Properties and check “Load this bookmark in the sidebar”. Now just click on this bookmarklet at any time when you want to send yourself a new task, or send someone else a quick email.

8. Power user shortcuts. If you’re like me, you love the Gmail shortcuts — it just makes for a much faster email experience. But this Greasemonkey script adds macros with even more shortcuts, for the power user.

9. Filter assistant. Gmail’s filters are awesome, but sometimes it takes a few clicks too many to set one up. Instead, set one up with a single click with the excellent Filter Assistant, installed with this script.

10. One-click conversations. In the Quick Contacts sidebar, you can scroll over a contact’s name to get some options, including the option to see recent conversations with that contact. Well, this script allows you to add that functionality to every email. Very nice.

How do you pimp your Gmail? Let us know in the comments.


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