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Keep an eye on your Google account using Scott's Gmail Alert

26 March 2010, Software Publisher

If you have a Google account, it’s likely that you make use of not only the web based email service but also the online calendar and the RSS reader. Keeping up to date with your latest email, appointments and news blog posts can mean having to check three individual web sites, which is time consuming and seems unnecessarily longwinded. Scott’s Gmail Alert is a handy little utility that can be used to constantly monitor the Google services you use and notify you when they need your attention.

This system tray utility will check your Google Mail inbox for new messages, alert your when calendar appointments are due, and keep your informed of the latest posts to RSS feeds you subscribe to. Download a free copy of Scott’s Gmail Alert and run through the installation process. Launch the program and move to the third tab before clicking the Add Account button.

Enter the details of your Google account and use the Color settings section to customise the appearance of program alerts. Scott’s Gmail Alert will automatically use your default browser to access your inbox when requested to do so, but you can opt to use a different web browser if you prefer by selecting this option and clicking the Browse button before selecting the relevant executable file. The program can be used to send emails from your Google Mail account without the need to use your browser and you can use the Add Signature button to customise the signature that should be appended to messages sent in this way. Click Add when you have finished configuring settings.

Moving to the other two tabs of the Add new account dialog you can configure similar settings for a Google Calendar and RSS feeds. Remember to click Add for each account and then click Close when everything have been set up to your liking.

Click the fourth tab of the main Settings dialog and you can further customise the appearance of program alerts. You can choose where alerts should be displayed on screen, adjust the levels of transparency used, and change how long they should be displayed for. The next tab can be used to configure how frequently Scott’s Gmail Alert should check your Google account and in the Scheduling section you have the option of only performing these automatic checks during certain hours.

Switch to the next tab and you can set Scott’s Gmail Alert to start automatically with Windows and to log into your Google account straight away. The penultimate tab can be used to enable audio alerts in addition to the on-screen notifications. After just a few minutes configuration Scott’s Gmail Alert can be left to its own devices and you can be certain of never missing out on anything that is happening in your Google account.

The system tray icon can be used to instigate a manual account check and also provides easy access to your Google Mail inbox, the right click menu can also be used to send an email and access your contact list. Use Scott’s Gmail Alert for just a short time and you’ll wonder how you ever coped without it.

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