Show unread e-mail counts in your Mac menu bar

UnreademailSince today we’ll see if Apple really is launching a netbook (odds are pretty much against, regardless of what I might think), I thought it might be timely to address one issue I had using OS X on a smaller screened device. When I installed it on my MSI Wind, I set the Dock to auto-hide in order to gain more usable workspace from the 1024×600 display. However, I lost a very important item when I did that: my unread e-mail count.

Yes, I use Growl and sure I could simply mouse down to wake up the Dock, but I found another solution and it’s free. Mail Unread Menu is a 2.2MB plug-in for OS X 10.4 or better and I’m liking it so much that I’m using it on my MacBook Pro. It’s pretty simple in that it just shows the unread count of e-mail in my Mac menu bar, but aren’t the best solutions typically the simplest? You can customize which Mailboxes it monitors and the look of the unobtrusive icon as well. If you want a quick glance at the subject lines of unread messages, you can do that as well. All in all, a nice way to take advantage of screen real estate, plus I get the rare opportunity to show that I’m all caught up on my e-mail. See that zero in the screen shot above?

MoreemailUpdate: That was quick. No sooner did I hit publish when e-mail arrived. Hey at least you get to see the icon when there’s mail waiting.

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