Taking control of your notifications is nice, but sometimes you want to be able to customize alerts. For iOS there are apps such as Boxcar, Pushover, and App Notifications. These apps are nice and do the job, but they require a little more setup and/or they cost. As I was working on my iPhone for a replacement, I realized that the built in email app can have different notification types for each email account (such as sound, vibration, etc). So I started to play around, and set up a different Yahoo! account to use for notifications on my phone. My email accounts are set to silent, except for this new Yahoo! account and my VIP list. Now when I want to be notified right away, I use this email account. Under GMail I filter emails from various accounts and forward them to my new email account. As soon as I get them, I get a new notification.
This convoluted mess could be done with the VIP list feature of iOS, but I wanted to separate my VIPs from other notifications.