Chrome: Adding extra features to Gmail isn't a new idea, but Minimalist Gmail for Chrome is the best tweaker yet: You can hide items, add row highlights, and even change the five Google links at the
The Gmail team has just announced five new themes for Gmail:
- Basic Black: Shown above, it's a bare bones high-contrast theme; it's actually quite soothing.
- Basic White: It's the same as Basic Black, only in white.
- Android: This one seems like kind of a shameless marketing move (where's the "iPhone" theme?), but it's really a nice theme. You get a subtle circuit-board pattern up top, with a tiny Android hanging off of the Chat pane. It's very reminiscent of the Android theme for Google Chrome.
- Tree Tops: It's exactly what it sounds like. You get a bunch of foliage in the header, and the whole thing is very green. It's not particularly exciting.
- Marker: This theme takes a highlighter to Gmail. It basically makes it look as if the Chat window and various headers are just "markered in" by hand. This one is actually the coolest - I think I'll be keeping it.
The themes are already available for both Gmail and Google Apps users. Try them out, and if you can't decide you can always just click Random at the bottom right corner!
So, you go to a new website, and you want to leave a comment. Maybe you want to open an account, but just to check the service out. Of course, they want your email, ... but should you give them your real email? Perhaps you should head over to Mailinator and take a moment to create a temporary inbox.
On the one hand, going to Mailinator will take you a moment, and you might want that inbox in the future. On the other hand, you don't know the site all that well, and perhaps giving them your real email address isn't such a great idea. Decisions, decisions!
I've received almost 4,000 emails from Twitter, and I only know that because Graph Your Inbox told me so. Graph Your Inbox is a Google Chrome extension that reveals the stats about your Gmail account in graph form, based on any search you want, without even asking for your username and password.
Just fire up this Chrome extension, enter some search terms (boolean searches and Gmail advanced searches work, too), and away you go. Figuring out how many Twitter followers or Facebook emails you've received over time is just one possibility. You could search for a friend's email address and get an instant graph of your relationship (your email relationship, anyway), or you could see if you've been getting more emails from work lately.
Graph Your Inbox is a powerful tool that gives you a new way of looking at your Gmail account, and it's a lot of fun. It's a bummer that it only works with Chrome right now, though.
A while back, Google coders introduced drag-and-drop uploading in GMail (provided you were using a supported browser like Chrome), and there was much rejoicing. Today, they've introduced its counterpart: drag-and-drop downloading of attachments.
It might not sound like a big deal, but it's actually quite nice to be able to grab a file and pull it down directly to a specific folder on your desktop without having to deal with a "save as" dialog. It's the kind of functionality that Google hopes will help make web apps feel more like traditional desktop apps -- and make them more appealing to those who have been slow to adopt.
And, hey, if nothing else it's a nice way around Chrome's sub-par download manager -- maybe some day that'll get some love, too.
Chrome: If you like how Apple Mail adds sender's pictures to messages, or you're just better with faces than names, the Gmail Sender's Picture is a no-brainer. It simply inserts a person's Google Profile pic into your Gmail conversations with them. More »
If you ever thought previously mentioned Xobni looked cool, but you prefer Gmail to Outlook, free Gmail plug-in Etacts adds many of the same features. You get social information, conversation history, and advanced sending preferences right in your Gmail sidebars.
The Etacts plug-in automatically adds detailed contact information to the sidebar of messages, as shown above, similar to previously mentioned Rapportive, but Etacts takes it one step further. Not only do you get links to any social networks that contact is a part of, and some of the information contained therein (such as their occupation and location), but you also get a detailed summary of your mailing history with them, complete with nice little graphs and charts. All this information is also available in compose mode as well, so you know exactly who you're sending it to.
I think it's pretty safe to say that most people who are not using some kind of stand-alone todo list are using their email inboxes as their de facto todo list. While that clearly works for some people, it's not kosher in the Getting Things Done universe.
If you're a Gmail user and you're finding yourself overwhelmed with trying to keep track of things in your inbox, but don't really want yet another place to check on things, consider trying GTDInbox. GTDInbox is a Firefox Add-on that adds todo list functionality to Gmail that is far more functional than the pathetic Tasks functionality that is built in to Gmail.
The functionality of GTDInbox is impressive. It uses a set of pre-defined labels to track the tasks that are sourced from email messages. You can create new tasks that are not linked to email messages, and track them all in a very Getting Things Done compatible environment.