Trim the fat from Gmail

minimal gmail

Google’s Gmail is a highly viable option for email. With numerous features and options like widgets, a task list, labels, and chat, Gmail has a slight tendency to get overwhelming and might force us to loose focus on what it is really all about: email.

What can make Gmail better? For starters, how about no ads; they are cluttering and distracting. What about getting rid of the widgets and unnecessary features like labels and chat that we think are supposed to make us more productive but really only make us lose our focus to send, read and reply to email? Nobody knows Zen better than [Leo] at Zen Habits. We weren’t surprised that he and his friends (with Firefox and Greasemonkey) have found a way to trim all the unnecessary elements from Gmail and make it into an email powerhouse that focuses on a basic productive email client. The minimalist inbox for Gmail consists of Greasemonkey scripts for:

  • Removing gadgets
  • Hiding labels, chat and footer
  • Removing ads
  • Removing stars
  • Getting rid of the Gmail logo and searchbar
  • Removing menu navigation bar
  • Cleaning up and removing unnecessary buttons

To get started focusing on email, and only email, head on over to ZenHabits for a list of associated scripts and what exactly they can do to help you on your road to the minimalist Gmail.

Gmail without the cloud: tips for next time


Yesterday’s Gmail service outage is a hot topic on just about every news site right now. For so many of us that have always taken the reliability of Gmail for granted it was a real shock to lose all of the functionality of the web based system. Now that we’ve learned our lesson, here’s a couple of tips to help you out the next time there’s an outage.

Continue reading “Gmail without the cloud: tips for next time”

Prevent drunken emails with Mail Goggles

Google introduced a new Labs feature named Mail Goggles. If you turn it on, on late night weekends, the feature will ask you to perform some math problems before you can send an email. We’re not sure how widespread a problem drunk emailing is, but maybe the delay will allow you to sober up and realize when you’re about to CC your entire company on a rant about your boss, or your adventures with the cute guy or girl in the office. It’s enabled for late nights on the weekends, but once you’ve turned it on, you can adjust the time in the General settings.

Email notification via an RGB LED

This project provides LED feedback when an email is received. It uses a 4d-micro-USB module from Dontronics to interface serially and provide power to a Picaxe 08M. The PIC can control color and brightness of a RGB LED. The feedback is given by seven colors of the LED. The code is python script and picaxe basic, which he’s posted.