I was really pleased with the results of my post yesterday. There were a couple of suggestions for other minimalist tools for blogging with WordPress so it’s always nice to start a conversation around these things.
As I was playing around with another utility, I ended up doing a similar search looking for a number of things “minimalist” and happened to run into Minimalist Gmail in the Chrome Web Store. I went into discovery mode very carefully. There’s nothing worse than tinkering yourself out of productivity.
At the same time, I was very interested. My Gmail account is home to most of my web subscriptions and a certain element of my email. I spend a great deal of my time there using the mail component (duh), but also use the tasks lists to have my to-do list in my face when I check my mail. Despite all that I do there, I don’t use all of the bells and whistles provided. It’s not that these features aren’t great in themselves – they just don’t currently fill a need for me.
I was also thinking of those people who use Gmail with students. With so many features, what’s a student to do if they just need to get into email. That’s where Minimalist Gmail struck me as providing a solution.
Essentially, what the extension does is allow you to selectively go through all of the features that are provided by Gmail and hide many of the things so that you don’t see them and remove the distraction. Focus on what’s needed. That’s always important.
As you’ll note in the image above, Minimalist Gmail provides you with a menu of areas within the Gmail environment. Making it work is as simple as selecting an area and then determining how much or how few options within each area that you want to see. And, customized highlight colours and the ability to control desktop notifications are features that I immediately gravitated to.
If you’re a Chrome and Gmail user, I would encourage you to take a look and see if heading towards a minimalist interface might actually increase your happiness with dealing with email.