Notification Center is a new feature in OS X Mountain Lion that helps you keep all of your important alerts and notifications in one place. The claim of convenience can only be true if it's truly convenient to access and use. Luckily, there are a few different ways to access the tray of notifications hidden under your desktop. Let's take a look at four of them.
The most obvious way is by clicking on the Notification Center icon in the menu bar. You can click the icon to reveal and hide Notification Center. There's nothing fancy about it, just click.
To do so, go into System Preferences > Trackpad > check the box for Notification Center.
The gesture is simple, but can take some getting used to -- with two fingers, swipe from the right edge of your trackpad toward the center. When done correctly, your notifications will be revealed.
One issue with the gesture shortcut is that it doesn't provide a solution for Magic Mouse users. Thankfully, there's two options that do.
To set up Hot Corners, go into System Preferences > Mission Control > click on the Hot Corners button in the lower-left corner. You'll then be able to assign revealing Notification Center to a corner of your choice.
I selected the bottom-right corner, leaving my mouse pointer on the same side of the screen as the notifications should I need to take action on one. Selecting the top-right corner is pointless since the menu bar shortcut is basically in the same spot.
To set a keyboard shortcut, launch System Preferences > Keyboard > click on the Keyboard Shortcuts button.
Next, you'll see Mission Control in the list of options, click on it. Then check the box for Notification Center.
After turning a keyboard shortcut on for Notification Center, you'll need to enter one by pressing the keys you'd like to use to access it. You can set it to whatever key combination you'd like, but be conscious of not using a shortcut from another app or system option (you'll see a caution symbol next to the shortcut if you've assigned one that is already in use).
You should now be ready to access Notification Center with ease, using a method that works best for you. If you want to customize what notifications, and how many of them show up be sure to check out our getting started guide.