I don’t like Google’s Toolbar, or really toolbars in general. Maybe it’s because it brings back memories of horrible IE interfaces with way too many, or that the logos are just bright and don’t fit in at all, or maybe it’s just that I like to see as much page as possible. But for whatever the reason, it’s got to go.
But I run into a problem, I like some of the features, mainly Web History and showing the current PageRank. Finding out about unread gmail messages. And even though I still mainly use regular old bookmarking, I guess the ability to bookmark the page might be useful. Thankfully, there are alternatives to them all.
First, Web History and PageRank can easily be fixed by the Search Status plugin. This shows the PageRank and Alexa rank for the current page/site. What’s good about this, Google records the Web History by using the PageRank lookup, meaning that we don’t need anything else for us to use the Web History app.
Next, getting unread count of Gmail messages. There are a few plugins that do this, but the best one, imo, is Gmail Manager. This allows you to check multiple accounts (better than the toolbar), set the refresh rate, and won’t take up valuable toolbar space, since it sits at the bottom of the browser.
Finally, the bookmarking. There are quite a few extensions out there, but I didn’t like any of them, so I wrote my own Greasemonkey script. You’ll still need something to view the bookmarks, but bookmarking a page is as simple as a key press. Hit the Pause/Break button and the current page will be saved to Google Bookmarks. Nothing else. You need Greasemonkey to use this.
And now I don’t need the Google Toolbar anymore. Yay!