Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gmail notifier curiosity

Hello everyone!

I've been an avid user of Gmail for at least four years. When I switched over completely to Gmail in 2006, one of the things I didn't want to give up was the "notification" of new email I enjoyed through using Outlook (I wanted to use webmail alone, I didn't know about IMAP then).

Later, I found out about Gmail notifer which is a great solution. It sits in your system tray and once provided log in information will notifier you of new email. This worked great since my school email account was routed through gmail so I never had to check either by hand.

About 6 months ago, I created a second email account for more "official" communication. Since I hadn't been using it much, I wasn't checking it as often and got a wake up call when an important email came through that should have seen sooner (it worked out in the end anyway). Still, I wanted to be able to be notifed of email from both accounts. One obvious solution was to imply foward (or import) email from one account into the other: but I was hesitant on this for two reasons: 1) Despite Gmail's excellent searching abilities, I really wanted the accounts seperate; 2) I've had trouble in the past sending email out of a gmail account "from" a different account. My school email had a lot of trouble with spam filters because of this.

I was sure there would be a way to make Gmail notifer be able to handle two accounts: simply running two copies in my tray seemed the simplest solution (since each would have its own log in credentials). This seemed to work all right except for one cavet: Notifer would get "confused" on which account it was supposed to handle. Meaning that even if notifer would check two accounts at once, if I tried to open an account by double clicking the icon, it would go the the default account (what ever account I was logged into on the browser, regardless of what one was clicked).

My solution was then to always keep one account logged into in Firefox, and IE always logged into the other account. Again...this didn't quite work. If I had notifer "pointing" to account A and IE "pointing" to account B, then notifer would always notify me of the account that I was logged in with IE, regardless of what credentials I had actually supplied to notifer.

Strange huh? I thought so too, it seems as though somehow the IE login over rides Gmail. Oh well, seems as no matter what I would have to check at least one account by hand. I did try using another POP-tray notifer, but just couldn't find the simplicity of notifer with multiple accounts.

Don't get me wrong, I still think Gmail notifer is a great solution in many cases. Personally, I've gone back to using Outlook so that I can easily manage both accounts (and get notifications from both on time) along with my calendar. And using IMAP, they continually stay syched, so I always have access to my email history regardess of if I'm using Outlook or the web interface. This is a pretty good solution and I'm happy with it.

Take care everyone!


  1. Hey,

    You've switched to using Outlook. Tisk Tisk :-)

    You might want to try Evoulution (

    There are windoze ports too if you really need to use them :-)

  2. Nice! It looks snazzy. When I don't need it for work any longer, my plan is to turn my old Gateway into a 100% Linux machine, after a few upgrades, so I'll try Evolution then.

    BTW: I ran Ubuntu from the Live CD on my Tablet and the WiFi worked PERFECTLY =D. No tablet capabilities though :(.