Too many Gmail accounts? Try this desktop app to bring them all together
Kiwi for Gmail can help you sort your work and home life now that the two have collided for so many. Here's how.
Alison DeNisco RayomeManaging Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Since moving to a work from home setup last March, my laptop and monitor have become a bit... unwieldy. I've got at least three different windows open for my professional
and personal Gmail account, each with a variety of tabs. Add on to that a new Outlook account for work and things are getting a little crowded on my desktop, even with a monitor attached.
Enter Kiwi for Gmail, an app that lets you move all of your
products that would normally live in your browser -- Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides -- to your desktop, as one separate, standalone application. The app acts as a hub for your personal and professional Google accounts, including calendars, files and documents, letting you work in the Google ecosystem without opening a browser. Version 3.0, which launched in February, includes new features such as browser extensions like Zoom, an offline mode and calendar notifications.
In 2020, amid the pandemic and the surge in remote working, Kiwi for Gmail saw a more than 70% increase in the number of daily average users of the free version of the app, according to parent company Zive.
If you're a Mac user or Windows user, you can sign up for a basic membership to connect one Gmail account for $9 a year, or a premium membership for $34 a year to connect up to six (there was previously a free "lite" version, but it's since gone away). Both plans come with a 15-day free trial.
Here's how to get started with the free version of the app for Mac. If you like it, you can always upgrade to the paid version.
How to set up Kiwi for Gmail
Here's how to get the basic version of the app on your Mac.
2. Under Basic, click Sign Up. At the end of the sign up process, click Download.
3. When finished, hit Open.
4. Click Next through each of the instructional pages. Then click Get started.
5. Next you'll get some pop ups to adjust your settings. Choose whether you'd like to send anonymous usage data back to the company, how you'd like the compose button and window to appear, and any extensions.
6. Sign into one of your Gmail accounts. It'll appear in the app the same way it does in the browser, but with additional options along the left sidebar, letting you access your calendar, Drive and contacts directly.
7. The account will appear as a tab in the top right corner, with the number of unread messages appearing within the tab. If you upgrade to the paid version, you'll see multiple tabs, and can toggle back and forth between them as you like.