Gmail Notifier for Mac

Since I made the switch to Gmail as my primary e-mail tool I had settled into what I figured was a good model. I would leave Safari running Gmail up in a window and then have Mail running in another "Space", polling my e-mail through the IMAP interface.

I liked this because Mail then kept all of my mail synchronized locally. If I unplugged for a bit and needed to grab a message, most of my mail was current and I could get to it. I still use Safari and the Gmail interface to create and generally read my messages though.

The problem is Google's implementation of IMAP apparently leaves much to be desired. What I found in Mail was that if I sent it from Mail a new label was created in Gmail called Sent Messages. I didn't really like that. In addition the Junk Email filter in Mail was getting false-positives on some of my e-mail, and a new label called Junk Email was created in my Gmail account; Mail would move what it considered junk into that label.

So, in the end it has become a little painful. Not too bad mind you, but enough to make me look around. What I really wanted was near instant notification of a new message arriving in my Gmail account.

I had already been using Gmail Notifier on my Windows XP machine and found it quite handy. Sure enough Google had a Mac version when I checked so I figured I'd give it a spin.

I won't go into too much detail talking about it because this little video does a great job walking you through it:

I've now put Mail on the back burner and am using this to keep track of not only my e-mails but also my upcoming calendar events. It's pretty cool.


Steve said...

Dave, I have yahoo as my email client and to be honest I have no idea about the details of making it work in iMail on Leopard. But the gmail notifier looks very cool!

bdavidson said...

You can fix this problem in by:
- Going to Mail:Preferences
- Select Accounts
- Select your GMail Imap account
- Select the Mailbox Behaviors tab
- Uncheck all the "Store on server" options

You can also uncheck "Move Deleted Messages to the Trash Folder" if you want to use the default Gmail behavior to archive messages.

To actually delete a Gmail message from, drag the mail item into the GMail trash folder. or and another

Jeff Bellamy said...

I think it might be time for some ad revenue

Martin said...

Have you tried using Growl? It can give you customisable notifications for a huge number of apps. I just set my Mail to check every 5 min or so and Growl pops up in the corner if there's something there.

David Alison said...

@bdavidson: As always, great feedback man. Thanks!

@martin: I've heard a couple of people mention Growl. I'll check it out.

Paul said...

I am a recent switcher too, and am enjoying your blog. I would like to recommend some software:-

Mailplane - an app for Gmail. It sounds unncessary, but is very handy. Download the trial.

Disk Inventory X - great way to find where hard drive space has gone.

Remote Buddy - use the Apple Remote (you do have one, don't you?) for all apps.

App Fresh - quickly download app updates.

Google Earth - obvious, but not many people know there's a Mac version

VLC Player - video player for all formats

Hope this helps

Groomsy said...

Hey David, I'm enjoying your blog. I'm on my phone, so excuse the shortness in my comment. However, someone posted that lifehacker article on here: please read over that article. If it's the one I believe it is, it explains how to control email box behavior within mail. This will fix your problem with Mail creating the GMail labels for "Sent Mail" and "Junk Mail". If you don't find it, let me know and I'll try to find a better link for you. Hope you are enoying your new Mac, as I am a switcher myself. Switched two years ago and glad to help out whenever possible.

MikeZ101 said...

Martin is right growl is a nice program.

Pual is also correct about disk inventory x.

Both are really good programs. I also like XCode which is free from Apple.

David Alison said...

I'm working on a write up of Disk Inventory X right now. Thanks for the tip Paul!

Johann said...

I found a better solution for the Gmail IMAP issue. Go into Mail, click on one of the folders inside the [Gmail] folder (such as "Sent"), and then do "Mailbox -> Use this Mailbox for -> Sent". Mail will change it's icon and put it up towards the top. Now when you send mail it sticks it into the correct folder (and therefore label).

Not that it matters for Sent mail. Gmail will automatically create a message from anything sent through its SMTP server from you. But it works great for Trash and Junk.

kermitx19 said...

Another option is Fluid. It is an SSB (Site Specific Browser) application that uses the Webkit engine. If you are happy to work with your email online then this is a great way to wrap GMail as a standalone application.

A. J. said...

I have been using Notifier for years. Recently, I have been getting notices that my "Flip4Mac" was out of date. Today, my Notifier would no longer allow me to access mail directly from the menu bar. It would bring up an "invalid page" message. So I resigned myself to having to update the Notifier. Why "resigned?" Because in my experience, updates to applications are almost always more trouble than they are worth.

So I updated, and sure enough, the new "Notifier" puts a red envelope on the menu bar (always red, not grey when there's no mail and red when there is mail), and it doesn't actually notify me when I have mail. Just a red envelope, pretty but completely useless.

Any ideas as to why the new "Notifier" will not notify?


David Alison said...

@A.J.: I actually stopped using Google Notifier a while back. I now use as my primary mail client and have installed the Growl notifier to pick up new mail as it comes in. It's worked really well.