There are very few of us that have just one email address anymore. You may well have one address that you use more than others, but the chances are that you have others relating to work, hangovers from old ISPs, and various free webmail accounts.
If you have a Gmail account, you can configure your inbox so that you can not only receive all of your emails in one place but also send emails using any of your address, keeping all of your correspondence automatically sorted.
Access All Your Email in Gmail – Getting Started
There are two key ways you can link your other email addresses to Gmail. If you have some very old email accounts that you do not really use, but still want to maintain to receive newsletters and the like, it makes sense to configure Gmail to pull in emails from these accounts. A large number of people primarily use Gmail but also have a Yahoo, Hotmail or Outlook account, as well as those from their ISP.
Receiving Your Mails Using POP3
Sign into your Gmail account, click the gear button to the upper right of the page and select the Settings option from the menu that appears.
Click the Accounts link at the top of the Settings section and then scroll down to the “Check email from other accounts (using POP3):” heading. Click the link labeled “Add a POP3 mail account you own”.
You’ll then be guided through the process of adding a new email account. Enter the email address you’d like to pull emails from and click Next Step. Enter your username — this could just be your email address — and password and make sure that the POP Server is set correctly.
You may need to check with your email provider to see what this should be, but Gmail generally does a good job of automatically detecting the server that should be used; the same is true of the Port setting.
There are a few settings to consider next. Firstly, if you want to still be able to access your POP emails using a service besides Google, you should tick the box labeled “Leave a copy of the retrieved message on the server”.
If you are looking to consolidate all of your email addresses into one, it’s best to leave this option disabled so Gmail can take care of everything for you.
If you’d like to be able to easily identify emails that have been sent to a particular address, you can opt to assign a label to messages as they arrive. Tick the “Label incoming messages” box and then use the drop-down menu to select an existing label or create a new one.
When you’re happy with the settings you’ve chosen, click Add Account. Your email will be check at the same time as your main Gmail account, but you do have the option of visiting the Accounts tab of Settings and clicking the Check mail now link
Send and Receive mail
Being able to receive all of your emails in the same inbox is obviously very useful, but it is arguably more useful to be able to send from all of your account in the same place. If you just sent up POP retrieval, if you reply to an email sent to one of your non-Gmail address, the reply will be sent using your Gmail account, and this could cause confusion for the recipient.
We start off in the same place — the Accounts tab of Settings. This time, look to the Send mail as section, and click the Add another email address you own link.
Just as before, you’ll need to specify the email address you want to work — you can also enter your name as you would like it to appear on the message you send. Ordinarily, if you opt to send an email through Gmail using a second account of yours, your ‘real’ email address will be revealed. You can avoid this by unticking the box labeled Treat as an alias.
If you would like replies to emails you send in this way to be sent to a different address, click the Specify a different “reply-to” address and then enter the address you’d like to use. In either case, click Next Step to continue.
By far the easiest way to proceed is to opt to have your email sent through Gmail’s servers. This will work in the vast majority of cases, but should you run into problems you can always return to this stage and opt for the manual option. For now, select the Send through Gmail (easier to set up) option and click Next Step.
Gmail will not allow you to just add any email address to your account — you have to prove that you own it. This is achieved by sending out a verification code to any email address you add and you prove ownership by accessing this code from your non-Gmail inbox and entering it in the configuration wizard.
Once the code has been received, you can either enter it into the confirmation screen or click the link contained within the email to save copying and pasting it.
You can repeat the process to add as many email accounts as you need and when they have all be added, you can choose which one should be used by default — you do not have to use your Gmail address as default even though you are using Gmail!
In the Send mail as a section of the Account tab, just click the Make default link next to the entry for the email address you’d like to use most of the time.
Sending in Action
You don’t need to do anything to start receiving the emails that are sent to you other accounts, but when you want to sent from an email address other than the one that is set as default, you need to take care of the compose window.
Click the Compose button and write your email as you normally would. Before you hit Send, you should decide which email account you would like to use. You should have already specified which of your accounts you would like to use by default.
You can either choose which address should be used as soon as you open the Compose window — just make a selection from the From drop-down menu. You’ll notice that if you start to type the body of your message, this email selection option will disappear. To get it back, just click the To file and the From field and drop down menu will be displayed again.
It is possible to configure a different signature for each of your email addresses. Go to the General section of Settings and scroll down to the bottom where you will find the Signature label.
Use the drop down menu to choose each email address in turn and then type the text that you would like to appear at the end of email sent from this address
When you’re happy with what you have configured, scroll down to the very bottom of the screen and click the Save Changes button.
If you do have multiple email addresses it can be a pain to have to jump back and forth between inboxes just to keep up to date with all of your emails. Having all of your messages delivered to the same place just makes sense — it not only saves times, but it helps to make your email more efficient and when you need to find a particular message there is no need to think about which address it might have been sent to.
Using filtering options means that you have the ability to keep messages sent to different accounts together yet separate. Gmail’s POP access gives you the best of all worlds: you get to keep all of your emails in one place, you can send from any account from one place, and you can filter, search and manage everything without the need to visit several websites.
Now that we have taken care of email accounts, it’s time to look at better contact management. Check out our article about auto contact management: Automagically Update Contact Information in Your Address Book With WriteThat.name