Having a multitude of email addresses, I thought of simplyfing my life and workflow one day. I realized I’ve been wasting too much time checking up on my email from various places. There are the different Gmail accounts, Yahoo mail accounts, and even those from my own domains.
As for domains, I actually had some applications for Gmail for domains activated already–this means I could use Gmail as the default mail handler for my domain email. No more of that crappy webmail that usually comes with hosting subscriptions. In my opinion, Gmail is simply the best webmail application ever. Just an opinion, of course, but who doesn’t like that threaded-mail view and the simple interface (no clutter like those of Yahoo! and Hotmail).
One mailbox to rule them all!
Hence, Gmail being the best for me, I thought of consolidating ALL my email under one account. The Gmail hosted solution is good, but face it, when you’ve been using a Gmail account for a long time (I’ve been using it since the first beta / “by invite only” stage) you tend to have a close affinity to that one. All your contacts are there. All your stored conversations are there. It’s like one big reference you simply cannot live without. And it’s such a hassle having to log in and out of Gmail accounts whenever you have the need to check up on something that’s stored on one of your accounts.
So my solution: keep them all under one account.
You need two things:
- Mail forwarding
- Gmail “send from” feature
That’s easy, isn’t it? Almost all webmail (and domain email) accounts have forwarding. And Gmail has a “send from” or “send as” feature that lets you send from any address you’ve proven to be your own. Theoretically, you can make use of your Gmail address to be your universal inbox, and also the account from which you send email from any of the other addresses you own.
Here’s how to do it step-by-step.
- Set up your other email to forward to your desired Gmail account. Most web-based emails have this. If you are using a hosted solution (for your own domain, for instance), you can control mail forwarding with cPanel, Plesk, or whichever control panel your provider uses. If in doubt, ask your host’s customer service.
- Set up Gmail to “send as” your alternative email address. Go to Settings–Accounts. Under “Send mail as,” click “Add another email address.” Enter your name and alternative email address here. You may also add a “reply to” address if you want your users to reply to a different email by default.
- Click “Next step,” then “Verify.” Gmail will then send your alternative address the verification link and code.
- Since you’ve already set up your alternative email to forward messages to Gmail, simply open up your Gmail inbox (in a new window, perhaps) to get the code. Click on the verification link, and your new “send from” address will be activated.
Sending from your alternative email addresses is simple. Everytime you compose new mail, you will be presented a drop-down box from which you can choose among the addresses your email will be using as “sender.” When replying, meanwhile, you can select under the Settings–Accounts menu whether to reply using your “default” address or reply using the address the email was sent to.
Now you can use Gmail to handle incoming messages to your alternative email address, and also to send messages from this address. You can set-up up to as many “send from” addresses as needed!
No more accessing multiple email accounts to get your mail!