Using Fluid to Make Gmail Its Own Application

I recently made the switch back to a laptop fulltime for all my work and communications. It’s awesome, and much better than trying to keep machines synced like I was doing previously. Coinciding with that switch, I also moved all my email to Gmail (and my calendar and office documents to Google’s Calendar and Docs web apps) and completely ditched using any desktop email clients. I’m more portable now, but I’m also less tied to the machine, too.

The issue I kept running into was trying to separate Gmail from the rest of my browsing habits. At any point in any given day, I’ve probably got a Safari window with at least 15 open tabs. These might be articles for me to come back to, potential links for this blog, or any variety of other things. While I’m glad that all my email is easily accessible online in a central location now, I still felt the need to have some separation between “browsing” and “communicating.”

Enter the free app Fluid. Fluid lets you create Site Specific Browsers to run a URL as a separate desktop application, dock icon, menu bar, etc. It provides that logical separation I was looking for. Fluid works in conjunction with Safari (sharing cookies) but if Safari crashes, your Fluid app doesn’t, which is mighty useful.