For years I’ve had 2 Gmail tabs pinned in Chrome: personal and work. This took care of email, IM and calendar, which was quite convenient. I’m tired of waiting for those 2 tabs to load when I spin up my browser, and I also WANT MY RAM BACK!

So, I’ve decided to go native for a bit. 3 concerns:

Instant Message

Pidgin is king here, especially on Linux. While the buddy list is overpopulated with people I don’t chat with, or have never chatted with, it’s easy to clean it up. I need to learn the keyboard shortcuts, otherwise I think it’ll work out well.

The only thing I’d like to add is SMS support. I already use MightyText and luckily there is already a pidgin-mightytext plugin. Just need to compile it and get it set up. Hopefully it works.


Gmail is fast and powerful. Evolution and Thunderbird are both too bloated and ugly for my tastes, so I’m left with Geary from the Yorba Foundation. I installed it via the daily PPA and easily set up my 2 email accounts.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/daily-builds
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install geary california


Again, Evolution was too bloated and ugly, so I’m giving California a whirl. It’s fast, sleek, and has natural language parsing like the quick add in Google Calendar.

It was simple to get it set up with a normal Gmail app, but in order to get it working with my Google Apps acct for I had to install Evolution. I got that tip from this bug report. The crux is to leave Evolution alone once set up. If you remove it, your Google Apps integration with California will also disappear. I’m sure it’ll get fixed soon.


So far I’m enjoying the speed and minimal system resources by switching to Pidgin, Geary and California. The native notifications have been missed too!


- Jesse