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Solve Gmail's biggest hassle for $59.99

ZDNet exclusive! Shift Advanced lets you juggle multiple Gmail, Calendar, and Drive accounts with ease and adds unified search.
Written by Rick Broida, Contributor on

ZDNet's Business Bargain Hunter scours the web for great deals on computers, phones, services and much more. Prices and availability are accurate at the time deals are shared. Some products and services may not be available outside the US. Follow BBH on Facebook and Twitter, where he's known as The Cheapskate.

Shift brings your Google accounts to the desktop, where it greatly simplifies accessing them. (Image: Redbrick Technologies Inc.)

Do you use more than one Google account? Then you've almost certainly experienced... the horror.

I'm referring, of course, to using multiple accounts simultaneously -- undeniably a common necessity among business users. Google doesn't allow you to access more than one at a time in a single tab, nor does it offer unified search. That means lots of jumping between tabs, signing in and out, etc.

There are workarounds, sure, but nothing that really simplifies the hassle of managing two or more Google accounts.

Actually, there is something; it's called Shift. Version 2.0 just debuted, expanding the tool's usefulness even further. And for a limited time, Business Bargain Hunter readers can get an exclusive deal: one year of Shift Advanced 2.0 for $59.99. That's after applying promo code ZDNet40 at checkout. Regular price: $99.99.

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. Version 2.0 adds support for other Google services as well, most notably Docs and Photos.

Switching between multiple accounts is literally a one-click affair. And because the interface is virtually identical to what you find in your browser, there's pretty much zero learning curve.

In addition to the aforementioned services expansion, Shift now lets you search across all your accounts in a single query. That kind of unified search can save considerable time when you're not sure where to find a particular email, document, photo, etc.

What's more, although Shift is a desktop tool, it now supports the use of Chrome extensions such as Boomerang and Grammarly.

Finally, Shift 2.0 integrates with a couple dozen third-party apps, including Asana, Jira, Slack, and Trello.

The client is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. After the first year, you'll be back to paying the standard $100 rate -- though my guess is you probably won't mind. Shift solves most of the big hassles associated with using multiple Google accounts, and $8.33 per month is an awfully small price to pay for that.

Now, if Shift could just do something about Gmail's hideous interface, we'd really be getting somewhere.

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