16 E-Mail and Instant Messaging Boosters

Gmail and Outlook

Outlook is one of the most used e-mail clients on the planet, and Gmail is among the most used Web-based mail services. As to be expected, there's plenty of software to help you work with each. The following downloads add nifty features to Gmail or Outlook.

gAttach

Because Gmail is Web-based, it suffers from one very annoying deficiency: It doesn't integrate with Windows. So you aren't able to right-click a file and then send it via Gmail.

gAttach solves the problem. Install the software, and from then on, whenever you right-click a file and choose Send To, Mail Recipient, it will create an e-mail in Gmail and attach the file to it. You then open Gmail, finish creating the message, and send it on its way.

You can set the program up to log you in automatically whenever you attach a file, or you can log in manually via your browser.

If you run into problems with the program, you might not have set Gmail to be your default e-mail application. To fix that, go to gAttach's options screen, choose the Computer & Internet tab, and click the Make Default button. If that doesn't solve your problem, go to the gAttach FAQs page for more help.

Download gAttach | Price: Free

Gmail Notifier

Just about any Gmail user will want to download and use this neat little freebie from Google. It automatically checks your Gmail account on a schedule that you specify, and displays an icon alert in your system tray when you have new mail. You'll also see the header of the message and a snippet of the text. To look at the mail, you'll have to open Gmail, so this isn't a mail reader. But for getting alerts, it's ideal.

Download Gmail Notifier | Price: Free

SyncMyCal

If you use Outlook's calendar for your personal items, but Google Calendar for a work or group calendar, you're in trouble. You need to check both calendars regularly, and you have to copy events back and forth between them--a time-consuming task that's prone to error.

This little utility synchronizes your Google and Outlook calendars and offers many different options. You can fully synchronize the two in both directions, or synchronize only your Google calendar to your Outlook calendar, or vice versa. Other options let you select how many days, weeks, or months of your calendar to synchronize.

The free version of this software won't perform synchronizations automatically; you'll have to tell the program to do it. And if you want to synchronize more than seven days of your calendar, you'll have to use the for-pay version.

Download SyncMyCal | Price: Free

SynchPST

If you use Outlook on multiple PCs, you might have noticed that it offers no easy way to keep all your e-mail in sync. You could try to copy Outlook's .pst files--which contain all of your messages--between PCs manually, but that's a recipe for disaster, since you'll most likely make a mistake and overwrite a new file with an old one, killing much of your e-mail.

This program will synchronize your .pst files so that you always have your latest messages on whichever PC you're using. It does more, too, such as copying and synchronizing individual folders instead of entire .pst files. Note that the makers offer two versions of this program, a basic one (registration fee is $40) and a professional version (registration fee is $70). The professional edition can schedule automatic syncs, works with Microsoft Exchange, and has other extras.

Download SynchPST | Price: $40

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