Tag Archives | Gmail

Essential Firefox Add-ons for Google Reader

My RSS feed reading application of choice is Google Reader.  I have been using it for several years now, and it has never let me down.  Now, that is not to say it could not be improved though.  Here are a few ways you can make your RSS feed reading in Google Reader even better.

Instant Google Reader Updates

The Google Reader Watcher add-on is handy to have, because it will check your Google Reader for unread new posts.  You can use this to keep track of how many stories you have yet to read.  Checking Google Reader with this add-on is much more practical than visiting the Google Reader web site several times a day, for those RSS feed addicts out there like me.

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Create and Store a More Dynamic Signature

Better E-mail Signatures Want to be able to create a much more dynamic signature for your webmail accounts and more, the will show off your instant messenger names, social network links and more details about yourself?  WiseStamp is a pretty awesome addition to Firefox, that will let you do that and so much more, in a very stylish way.

Once installed, you get your own WYSIWYG editor to create and edit your own signature collection.  You can add links via RSS, instant messenger service or social profiles from around the Web too.

Still need more information?  Check out this awesome video tutorial demonstrating what all you can do with this amazing add-on for Firefox.

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Use Gmail as Your Default Mail Application (Quick Tip)

Change Your Default Mail Handler

There are a lot of Firefox features that don’t get much press, or are quickly forgotten about.  For example, did you know that you could switch to using Gmail or Yahoo! Mail as your default mail client (to handle those mailto links)?

To chance your settings, go to Tools, Options and then click on the Applications tab.  From there, type “mail” into the text box to go to the default mail handler settings.  From the drop down box, you should get several choices, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail being two of them.  Choose the webmail application of your choice, hit the button labeled, “OK” and you are all set.

Now you are ready to use the webmail provider of your choice as your default e-mail application, as far as Firefox knows.

Perfect Add-on for Webmail Addicts

Stay up to Date on Your Webmail

Are you a webmail addict? 

Maybe you share a browser between family members, and you both use different webmail clients?  No matter the reason you need to use it – one thing is for sure.  This plugin is one of the best to make sure you stay up to date with your latest e-mails.

You can also use multiple accounts in a same host. The Web Mail Notifier currently supports:

  • mail.google.com(Gmail & Google Apps)
  • mail.yahoo.com (yahoo.com, ymail.com, rocketmail.com, yahoo.co.jp)
  • mail.live.com(hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com)
  • www.daum.net(hanmail)
  • www.naver.com
  • www.nate.com(nate.com, empas.com)
  • and more!

You can pick up the Web Mail Notifier add-on on the Mozilla Add-ons web site.  By far one of the best webmail tools for Firefox.

Instant Google Shortcuts with GButts

Do you use a lot of Google services?  The Firefox add-on, GButts, will help you get quick and easy access to any Google service you want, next to your address bar or anywhere else you might need it.

Here are all the Google services you can quickly show or hide via the extension.

Add a Google Service Button, Anywhere!

You can customize how much space you want to save with the options across the bottom (by making the menu a toolbar or a drop down menu).  You also have the option of a horizontal or vertical menu.  You can then right-click on your toolbar, go to “Customize” and then drag and drop the GButts Toolbar you created on to your toolbar layout – anywhere you might need it.

If you are a heavy Google user – the GButts add-on should be right up your alley.

Shrink the Left-Hand Links in Gmail

Wanting to save some space in Gmail, or perhaps you’re just tired of the text-based main links to browse around your e-mail account?

The GMail Compactor user script will help you reclaim that space with style.

Shrink Gmail's Main Folders

As you can see, from the picture above, after you install this Greasemonkey user script, everything from your Compose Mail link down to your Contacts link are now minimized into very pretty icons.  As an extra benefit, you also still get the count of how many new messages are in some of your folders, such as Spam.  If you want to maximize the vertical real estate in Gmail, then pick up the Gmail Compactor user script.  (found via Lifehacker)

Add Gmail’s Unread Count to Your Tab

unreadWant to quickly see how many unread messages you have in Gmail?  Well, with a little help from Firefox, Gmail and one creative userscript author, that can easily be done.  Gmail FavIcon Alerts 3 adds an unread message counter to the Gmail favicon in your browser.

Along with the unread message count, you also get a red Gmail icon when there is no unread messages:

read

…and a chat bubble when somebody is trying to chat with you via Gmail:

chat

Here are a few more things new in this version 3 of Gmail FavIcon Alerts:

Now, you can keep tabs on the exact number of unread messages you have! With the power of the <canvas> tag, the unread message count is now dynamically created for your number of unread messages. The font scales well up to 999 unread messages, but higher numbers are still rendered for those with massive unread counts.

If you have Greasemonkey installed, to get this userscript – just head on over to Userscripts.org and hit “Install”.  Gmail FavIcon Alerts 3 is well worth using, if you spend a lot of time in your Gmail inbox.

Xoopit for Gmail

Need a personal assistant for your Gmail account?  It might not make you coffee, but Xoopit is the next best thing.  Xoopit for Gmail gives you the ability to get a lot more out of your e-mail inbox.  For example, you can quickly browse photos, files and videos. 

Xoopit for Gmail

That is the only places where Xoopit for Gmail shines.  It also lets you:

  • Search your stuff, not your messages. Xoopit upgrades Gmail search to show you the photos, videos and files that match what you are looking for.
  • Browse photos and videos from YouTube, Flickr, Shutterfly, Kodak and Picasa. Links sent to your Gmail account are automatically collected, saving you the hassle of going to these sites.
  • Easily find and access your files in Gmail. Never misplace an attachment again.
  • Quick share to friends, Facebook or your blog.
  • Do a web search while composing a mail in Gmail and add results directly to your message.
  • Get information, contact details and more about the people in Gmail’s conversation view.

All this from your Gmail inbox.  In the long haul, this add-on will not only make your inbox more social, but will also make it more useful as well.  You can learn more about the service at xoopit.com or pick up the add-on directly on Firefox’s Add-on web site.

7 Easy Ways to Make Firefox Better

It is the little changes that make things better.  The devil is in the details, and when it comes to customizing some of the Web’s most popular tools, you can often make them better by combining some of the little changes out there.  Here are seven easy ways you can easily make Firefox a better browser – or at least the popular web site tools covered that you visit the most.

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Better Amazon – The Better Amazon add-on for Firefox highlights listings with free shipping, enlarges product images, cleans up book pages, shortens URLS and more on Amazon.com.  One of the best Amazon.com enhancers for your browser.

1215505433Better Flickr – A great complication of Greasemonkey scripts to make Flickr better for your average user.  You have the Flickr buddy icon reply, more user links, photo magnifier, page enhancer and a more feature rich editor.

1215377688 Better GCal – The Better GCal add-on for Firefox is a favorite of mine.  It allows you to collapse the header and sidebar, wraps event titles, color weekend days, give week numbers and even a few skins too.  Google Calendar never looked so good!

1226620693 Better Gmail 2 – A handful more of useful features you can add to your Google-powered e-mail client.  Here you have all kinds of useful additions, from macros to attachment icons.  You even have a few more skin choices and hierarchical labels.  Also don’t forget the first one, if your not yet rolled over to “Gmail 2″.

1219862724 Better GReader – Add a few more popular Greasemonkey scripts into your Google Reader.  You can preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar, get a Mac OS X like skin, add favicons and tons more.

1215233168 Better YouTube – Enhances YouTube with Greasemonkey user scripts, that offer options like the FlowPlayer “doesn’t start till you hit play” viewer, clean “theater” view, and links to download the video automatically.

1222129898 Better Lifehacker – I am a BIG fan of Lifehacker, so why not make them “better” too?  This extension enhances Lifehacker.com and other Gawker blogs–like Gizmodo, io9 Jezebel, Valleywag, Gawker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Defamer–with useful Greasemonkey scripts.

Which is your favorite “Better” add-on for Firefox or which area of the Web would you like to see Gina cover next?