So, I’ve added a few utilities to help me churn through the vast wasteland that makes up Mail and its contents. Email. One way to help you know what’s going on in the inbox is a utility I once used, which mostly disappeared from view, but which is back again and better than ever.
It’s called DockStar and it does what Apple should already be doing in Mail and OS X. Alert you to how many messages you have. Wait. I know what you’re thinking. “Jeffrey, Mail already has a Dock badge which displays the number of unread messages in the inbox.”
You would be correct. But DockStar doesn’t just list the total unread messages, it gives you up to five different badges in the Dock icon, and each can be assigned to a specific email account.
DockStar installs as a Mail plugin utility, so you set up the configurations using Mail’s Preferences. Don’t let the simplicity fool you. This is powerful stuff.
Not only does DockStar setup badges for specific email accounts, you can assign a badge to Notes, or to to-do items, and even to RSS feeds. One glance at the Mail icon in the Dock and you have visual notification of how many messages are available.
You control the size and color of each badge in the Dock icon, as well as the shape of the badge. If you’re still not convinced of the value in DockStar, it also includes a Dashboard Widget and a screensaver (I know, right? I wasn’t impressed, either, but, hey, it was included).
The past few versions of OS X come with more notifications and alerts than ever, even interacting with iPhone and iPad, so it’s nice to see an upgrade to something simple that’s also used by many Mac users. Dock icon badges. Well done.