At Make Do, we have recently moved away from having client projects split between BitBucket and GitHub to exclusively using GitHub, while considerably increasing our use of GitHub issues as part of the overall project/task management process.
One of the by-products of this is that the amount of email generated by the various projects we work on — some within the confines of our team and others with our B2B partners — has increased exponentially as a result of the increased activity.
Simply killing email notifications from all the various repositories isn’t really practical, given that you are then left in a situation where you are completely in the dark regarding their activity. Another solution is required to avoid having an inbox that is constantly overloaded with GitHub notifications.
One of the tools I’ve grown to love in recent months is Gitify, from Emmanouil Konstantinidis which has helped me keep up to date with the activity on GitHub whilst retaining some degree of control over my email inbox.
The app itself is built with ReactJS & Redux and is based on the Electron framework, which means allows it to be packaged up into a usable, native app. Gitify is also available on the Apple App Store and Google Play for use on mobile devices, however at the time of writing this isn’t available to install if you are a user in the United Kingdom and potentially a number of other regions. Fingers crossed this changes in the near future.
Gitify lives in your dock/menu bar and notifies you when there has been some kind of activity that justifies a notification based on your GitHub settings. The notification itself is very subtle; a basic visual notification as well as a simple tap/click sound that doesn’t break your concentration.
Upon clicking the icon in the dock/menu bar the app expands (see above) and presents you with a list of your notifications broken down by the user/organisation and repository from which they came. The UI itself went through a major overhaul in the last major release, and although I do miss the old layout somewhat, the current version works just as well.
In the settings you can control whether or not you see only notifications for issues/pull requests that you are participating in, change notification preferences, set how you’d like the mark as read behaviour to work as well as decide whether you want to load the app at startup and where you want the app icon to exist.
Gitify is a simple, effective and completely open source solution to the problem of GitHub Email Horror™ and I strongly recommend you give it a try if you would like to keep GitHub activity out of your inbox without falling behind on the action.