GearMage helps organize your mail and photos

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GearMage offers two separate programs to make your e-life a bit easier and more organized; Mail Attachment Downloader and Photo Event Organizer.

Mail Attachment Downloader downloads attachments from your mailbox according to your defined criteria.

Photo Event Organizer categorizes photos based on their date and offers user the option to label events by name.

First off is Mail Attachment Downloader, which does just what it sounds like. Using standard IMAP and POP protocols, it will download just the attachments from your mailbox, based on filters and parameters you specify.

It allows such filters as size and file type, and allows you, with one click, to download all mail attachments from all of your email addresses.

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This is handy for those of us with multiple addresses and makes it easier to keep track of attachments by downloading them all to one place. It also offers an option to download on a regular schedule in the background so your mail attachments are ready for you to peruse before you even read your email. This is an especially nice feature for those larger files that we don’t want to wait for when we see they are in the mailbox. Additional filters include subject of email, date received, and name of sender. This means you can easily download attachments only from those sources you trust and filter out the ones that you don’t recognize. That’s a nice option and a nod to security in a program like this, that offers automation. The Downloader is compatible with Gmail, Hotmail, Livemail, AOL, and Yahoo! Mail, with plans in the works to expand the available providers.

imageMy own test of the program proved it to be quick, as well as effective. It downloaded all the attachments I specified at the time I specified, without a hitch. I assigned three different email addresses and had no trouble with any of them. It even leaves the email in an ‘unread’ status so I am reminded to read the body and not just accept the contents. All of these are pros for the Downloader and the only real con I found was the memory it takes up running in the background, waiting to download my attachments on schedule. The amount of memory it used in the background was minimal, for a mid-range system, but low-end computers may notice some CPU slow-down when the program fetches the attachments. If you regularly upload files to yourself from, say, your iPhone or digital camera, this program can be useful when you send them through your email.  I upload files to myself using my email all the time, when I am out and about, not at my own computer. Sending a file to myself in email, with the Attachment Downloader running, means that the file will automatically be on my local hard drive by the time I get home. This is a nice way to stay organized without extra hassle and keeps those files in one place, which means they are easier to find when I need them, later. Personally, I can see using this program for a long time. It’s entirely free and there are no announced plans to ever make it a premium program costing anything. They do, however, take donations via PayPal from those that want to contribute to the freeware developers.

imageGearMage also offers a gem of a program called Photo Event Organizer. This program is great for those of us who love to snap photos at various life events but can never be bothered to organize them by hand, later. It will auto-scan a particular folder of photos, and then categorize them for you based on the date of the files. Additionally, it allows you to specify ‘gaps’ in the dates that it recognizes. This is useful if you have pictures from one event lasting more than one day. Once the photos have been scanned and organized by date (which the program calls ‘events’) it then offers you the option to label the events by name. Grandma’s 55th Birthday, for example, or Danny’s First Halloween, whatever title you want for the pictures of that date. Then, it will offer the option to rename the files based on the event title you chose, and then automatically organize them into folders separated by the even name or names you chose. All in all, it is a simple, but brilliant program. I even used it to organize my pictures that are just miscellaneous, based on when I downloaded them, into folders describing what they are; photos, art paintings, texture files, anything that is a picture file can be organized this way.

It supports and recognizes  all standard picture and photo file extensions, including .bmp .jpg .png and even .gif. It will also find and consolidate duplicate images on the system, if the duplicate has the same file name. The instructions for using the program are simple and laid out in very easy steps that are shown to the user when they start the program and press the button marked ‘Instructions’.  All in all, the interface is clean and simple, the program is effective and elegant in design and functionality. It’s a nice companion for those of us who use things like Picasa or other ‘album’ programs, that only place the files into a large folder and let us sort through them later. It would make a great organizational tool for a professional photographer or even for the enthusiastic amateur that wants to keep better track of their picture files. It’s also handy for those of us who just want to have less trouble finding a particular photo we took with our iPhone or digital camera a month ago and don’t know where exactly we put it afterwards. It would be nice if it had some expanded features such as auto-file tagging, but that didn’t really detract from it’s overall impression on me. I didn’t find any particular cons or downsides to the program, aside from it’s limited function. However, I will say that what it does, it does very very well.

GearMage has two solid winners here, in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing what they offer in the future. Until next time, my friends!

Versions tested: Mail Attachment downloader v 2.0; Photo Event Organizer v 1.2

Go to the Gearmage home page to download.