The Search for My New Email App of Choice: Notify

Before we get into this series, I want to reiterate that this is a search for my new email app of choice. The idea behind this exploration is so you can get a sense of not just what will work best for me, but what will work best for you.

There have already been a few other options brought to my attention (including the forthcoming dotmailapp and a “yet-to-be-unveiled client courtesy of a reader named Herry Lian who left a comment yesterday), all of which I will look at when they’re ready. After all, I’m always looking for more efficient and effective ways to do my work. Some may call that fiddling, I – like Ben Chinn – call it ”tweaking”. Regardless of what you call it, I’m cool with doing it…and I’m not the only one either.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way…on with the hunt!

The first contender in my search for a new email app of choice is Notify by Vibealicious.1

Notify sits in your Mac’s menu bar and essentially “notifies” you every time you get an email. You can set up multiple email accounts pretty quickly (with the main types of email services and types supported to boot), and despite it taking up very little space in the top corner of your screen initially, you can drag the window to make it larger (or smaller) if you wish.

While I do like the minimal aspect of Notify, for someone who gets as much email as I do it is almost too minimal. If I received less email – especially the type that didn’t require actions involving task management tools – I’d give it a better chance at winning the role of my email app of choice. The other problem – which is difficult to work around because it is built right into the app’s name – is the notifications I received whenever an email arrived.

Basically, I like how Notify gets out of your way, but I don’t like how it lets you know it’s there so often.

The cost of Notify can be off-putting as well. Considering that you can get a more full-featured email client for the same price in Postbox – and further considering that a lot of folks who are looking for a new client (raises hand) because they already paid $10 for the late, lamented Sparrow – it might be tough to persuade those who aren’t into a tremendously minimal-looking email experience to fork out the cash. That said, Notify has more features under the hood than it first appears, and you can use the free version as more of an email notification system if you prefer to use webmail to deal with actually handling the email you receive.


  • It’s about as minimal as it gets
  • Simple and doesn’t take up much in the way of resources
  • Bring email to the background, which is where I think it should be
  • Actively developed


  • Its cost ($10) is a steep price when compared to more feature-filled apps like Postbox
  • Accounts aren’t automatically dropped in, like in other apps
  • If you use something like Bartender, it gets really out of your way
  • Might be too minimal for many (especially heavy email users)

If you really liked the look of Sparrow, then Notify is worth a look. But if you aren’t into constant notifications (or just notifications) and need a more full-fledged looking (and feeling) email app, then my experience says that Notify isn’t going to cut it for you.

1 Well, that was a bit of a waste. Even though Notify shows up as a decent mail client to choose from, it is no longer in active development — nor for sale — as of May 2011. Thanks to “blomma” in the comments below for bringing it to my attention, although I’m kind of miffed at myself for not picking up on it before. Ah, well. Moving on…