Two dirt-cheap ways to solve your email hassles

Shift may be the ultimate solution for Gmail users, while Mailbird Pro offers loads of smart mail-management features. I've got great deals on both!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

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Cheeps! I'm rapidly closing in on 20,000 Twitter followers! If you love me, help me get there. Heck, even if you just sort of tolerate me, I'd be grateful for a follow.

Let's talk email. If you're anything like me (read: insanely awesome), you have more than one account, and you like to manage your accounts using a desktop client. Thunderbird is the preferred free option for some, and I've long been a fan of Em Client -- though the freebie version of that limits you to two accounts.

So today I bring you two alternatives. One is a brand new tool for Gmail users, the other a popular and proven app with the lowest price to date.


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Screenshots don't really tell the whole story, but Shift Pro lets you switch between Gmail accounts with a single click, while still affording you the Gmail interface you know and love.

Rick Broida/CNET

If you're strictly a Gmail user, you know that juggling multiple accounts is a colossal pain. Newcomer Shift (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) takes away that pain, letting you shift (aha!) between accounts with ease.

The software costs $19.99 per year, which is reasonable given that there's nothing else quite like it. Luckily, you've got plenty of time to decide: Although the normal trial period is 30 days, Cheapskate readers can try Shift Pro free for 90 days.

However, if you try it and love it, you can get one year of Shift Pro for $9.99. To do that, you'll need to upgrade your account within the app and apply promo code CNETCheapskate (case-sensitive). Just don't wait long to make your decision: The code expires at midnight tomorrow.

Shift duplicates the browser-based Gmail experience, but in a desktop-client wrapper. It affords access to not just your mail, but also your Google Calendar and Drive. Switching between multiple accounts is literally a one-click affair. And because the interface is exactly what you'd find on the Web, there's pretty much zero learning curve.

I don't think this will appeal to everyone, but I guarantee there are some Gmail users who will weep for joy upon discovering this tool's existence.

Mailbird Pro

Designed for all manner of mail accounts, Mailbird Pro is smart, pretty and -- for a limited time -- cheap. The deal: A lifetime Mailbird Pro subscription for $19.99. Regular price: $45.

I first wrote about the software last April, so I'll refer you back to that article if you want the full skinny. The lifetime option then was $22.50, so it's not like this is a major drop -- but it's still a lower price on a product I consider excellent.

Favorite feature by far: snooze. For any email you want to deal with later, just press Z and choose a time for it to return to the top of your inbox.

Your thoughts? What's your preferred method for juggling multiple mail accounts? (Personally, I think an iPad and Apple's Mail app offer arguably the best solution.)

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Bonus deal: Smartwatches are dead. (See: Pebble.) But fitness bands with smartwatch features? Alive and well. For a limited time, and while supplies last, A4C has the refurbished Fitbit Blaze for $99.99 shipped. It's available in black/silver only in your choice of large or small. Price for a new one: $199.99.

The Blaze is one of Fitbit's higher-end models, noteworthy for offering heart-rate monitoring among various other features. It also provides notifications, which I consider essential for anything strapped to my wrist. Read Scott Stein's review to learn more.

I have no personal experience with the Blaze, but I'm really tempted to get one of these for Mrs. Cheapskate, who's been diligently tracking her steps of late. If you own one, let me know your thoughts on the product!