Sold My Soul to Google

I’ve used Bloglines for years, preferring the clean interface of Bloglines Beta to Google Reader. Then a new Firefox Add-On, Integrated Gmail, changed all that. Integrated Gmail allows you to choose collapsible boxes displaying other Google Tools (Google Reader, Calendar, Notebook, Groups, Maps, Picasa, Sites, News and Portfolio) to display in the middle of your Gmail page. It also makes the GMail Inbox collapsible.


  • After you install the Integrated Gmail add-on, click the Tools menu in Firefox and choose Add-ons. Scroll to Integrated Gmail and click on it once to select it. Click the Options button. Click the tabs and indicate your preferences. You can set the order in which the boxes are displayed (mail on top followed by reader), and indicate some display properties. You can see my preferences in the screencaptures below.

mail reader

  • I accessed my Google Reader account in a browser window and set some preferences, rather than working through the Reader box in my Gmail webpage.
    • After importing all from subscriptions from Bloglines, I created a Start folder in which I placed priority feeds that I read daily, pretty much (Newsleader, Bob’s blog, WeatherBug, Woot, BradsDeals, etc.)
    • Access Google Reader Settings>Preferences
      • I choose my new Start folder for my Start Page.
      • For Scroll tracking I checked “In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them.”
      • For Navigation Pane Display I unchecked the box to “Always start with the navigation pane visible.” When the navigation pane is displayed within the Reader box on my Gmail page, it takes up too much room.
    • I choose to Show “New Items.”
    • For Folder Settings I choose Sort By Newest.”
    • I use both the List View and Expanded View, depending on which feed my reading.
  • When reading my feeds within my Gmail page, I use the drop down menu next to My Subscriptions to access different feeds.


  • To complete my new Google command post, I also use some Gmail lab features (Settings>Labs tab): Right Side Chat, Right Side Labels, NavBar Drag and Drop, Forgotten Attachment Detector, Custom Label Colors, Google Calendar Gadget, Google Docs Gadget, and Add Any Gadget by URL.
    • I love the new Google Calendar and Docs Gadgets that display in my right sidebar. Google Calendar and Docs are just two more Google tools that I can’t live without. The gadgets are convenient and provide reminders of appointments and current projects in a place I visit often throughout the day.
  • I’ve created several filters (Settings>Filters) to keep my inbox prioritized. I like the list of colored labels on the right which indicates any new messages. The easy way to create these filters is when you open a message you would like to filter, click the More Actions button and choose Filter Messages Like These.
  • I also use the Better Gmail 2 Firefox Add-on. I like the choice of skins it provides.

This Google command post is now my new browser start page at work. I don’t need my Pageflake anymore. Click the image to enlarge.


You can read about the known bugs and conflicts on the Integrated Gmail webpage.

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