I have four email accounts. All four are google/Gmail accounts and I utilize all four on a daily basis. I have managed to only use one calendar (I import all my calendars to my work google account). I do utilize google docs for each of the accounts as well. This means that at any given time, I have 5-10 tabs open dedicated to my google/Gmail accounts (four email tabs, one or two drive tabs, one calendar tab and usually several open docs. For someone who always has a lot of tabs open, this doesn’t help. That’s why SHIFT has been a real solution for my tab dilemma.

Shift is a free-ish app for your windows/mac computer.

Shift is an email client you actually download and run on your desktop. Essentially, it opens google/Gmail within the client window – it looks exactly like it does if you had it open in you browser. Everything operates exactly the same. However, what makes Shift different is how easy everything is to access right at your fingertips.

Along the top of the window, you’ll see buttons for mail, calendar, and drive. No need to open up separate windows, it just toggles to those apps as you click the buttons. Along the left side of the screen, you’ll see all your separate accounts. I created simple icons so each account is easily recognizable. So, if I want to look for a document in my work google drive, it’s only two clicks away. Need to get back to your personal email, two more quick clicks. Shift also remembers what app you’re in from each account. So if you’re looking at your calendar in your personal account and then switch to your work email, whenever you go back to your personal account, your calendar will still be up. You have access to everything Gmail/google without having all the tabs open.

Lastly, the way Shift handles google docs is pretty interesting. When you open an actual document, it opens it as a new tab in your browser. At first, I was surprised and maybe a little disappointed. I figured the document should open in Shift. However, I tend to work out of multiple docs at a time. The fact that it opens as a tab in my browser works for me, so I’m good with it.

The Good

  • It’s a really simple interface to your google docs, calendar, and email experience
  • Less tabs
  • Free/very inexpensive

The Not-So-Good

  • Extensions and add-ons don’t work with Shift.
    • I use Boomerang for my work email. Everyday. With Shift, it doesn’t work which means I’d have to open the email in my browser to set an email to come back or schedule and email for later.
    • I use the Grammarly chrome extension to help me with typos/grammar. It doesn’t work within the Shift environment.

The Deal

Shift is great. I used it for the 30-day free trial and it seemed to do everything I needed it to do. I was somewhat skeptical since I didn’t have access to Boomerang and Grammarly, but as soon as my free trial expired, I missed it. So, the jury is still out on me.

Once the trial expires, you’re allowed to use Shift with two separate Gmail/Google accounts. That may be all some people need. To get full access to Shift, it will set you back $19.99 a year. That’s less than $2 a month – very affordable. The free version of Shift will add “sent with shift” to the signature of all your emails. If you don’t mind that, it’s a pretty good deal. Lastly, you can share Shift and get access to everything you want. Share shift with one person and they’ll remove the signature from your email. Share Shift with 5 people and you’ll get Shift Pro for a year for free.

What are you waiting for? Gmail like a boss! Check Shift out for yourself!