Do you have several email accounts?
If you’re like me you don’t want to have to log in to a slew of email accounts every day to check all your messages. For example, I have five Gmail accounts (my personal account, my University of Alaska email account, my Idaho State University address, my throw-away address, and a test account), one Yahoo address, one Hotmail account, and my email address for this blog. Assuming it takes at least five minutes to log in and check each account, that’s at least 35 minutes I’d have to spend each day checking my various accounts (I don’t include my test account in this calculation) – that’s WAY too much time. Of course I don’t log in to all those accounts every day – usually I would ignore most of them for longer than I should because, obviously, it takes too long to check them all. Other time components are added when you assume I’ll want to send email from various accounts throughout the day and have to log in and out of my various Gmail accounts – or opening and closing different browsers – because you can only have one Gmail session going per browser. I don’t know how much time is involved in doing these various things, but it can be substantial (and also annoying).
Thus, it is with great relief that I found out how to forward mail from all of my various email accounts to my one main, personal account in Gmail. I use the Gmail account for various reasons, the most important being it is my favorite email platform! I wont show you how to enable forwarding on your various email accounts in this article because there are literally thousands of email services and they all do forwarding differently. Usually though it’s a fairly straightforward process, accomplished by visiting your ‘settings’ page(s) for your email account. Hotmail for example allows you to easily forward your email. Yahoo on the other hand you have to pay to have forwarded. If I didn’t have so many services connected with my old Yahoo account I would just cancel the damn thing, but for now I’m stuck with it (and you might be too). I refuse to pay for the forwarding however and just hardly ever check this account.
However, I’m going to assume you have email services that don’t charge for forwarding (other than your Yahoo accounts). In this article I’ll show you how to setup your Gmail account with filters to receive email from other addresses. In addition I’ll show you how you can use your Gmail account to SEND mail as your other accounts from right within your Gmail account! Now that’s a time saver.
The first thing you want to do is to setup Gmail to send email using your forwarded addresses.
Sending mail from other accounts using your Gmail account
The reasons to be able to send email from your Gmail account as if you were using your forwarded address are probably pretty obvious: you don’t want people, who still use your forwarded address to be confused when receiving mail from you as to who you are (more importantly, you don’t want their spam filters being confused!) Therefore, you need to be able to send mail as if from your forwarded address; to set this up do the following:
- Click Settings > Accounts and Import from within your Gmail account.
- Next to the label Send mail as: select the radio button Reply from the same address the message was sent to.
- Then click the button Send mail from another address.
- In the pop-up window enter your name as you want it to appear when you reply to others from your forwarded address and enter the forwarded email address (not your Gmail address). Click Next Step.
- Choose the radio option to send email using the Gmail servers (easiest method). Click Next Step.
- On the last page click Send Verification.
- Check your other email account by logging into it and clicking the verification link.
- You’re now ready to send email from your forwarded account from right within Gmail!
Using filters to sort mail from other addresses
Once you’ve set up forwarding on your other email accounts it’s time to setup some filters in your Gmail account to process that forwarded mail and apply the correct labels (and other options as desired) to that mail. If you simply want all your mail forwarded to your inbox with no sorting then you can skip the rest of this section.
To filter incoming messages by address, do the following:
- Select Settings > Filters when logged into your Gmail account.
- Next, scroll down and click Create a new filter.
- In the To: field type in the address you are having forwarded (example: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- If you just want to filter all messages to that address click Next Step >>.
- On the following page add a label to your incoming messages from this account by selecting the drop-down menu next to Apply the label: and choosing the option New label…. Give the label a name when prompted and click OK.
- You may also wish to have email to this forwarded account skip the inbox or be starred (if it’s usually important mail). Choose those options accordingly as desired.
- When you’ve selected all your options click Create Filter.
- All your labels appear on the left-hand-side of the page in Gmail. Choose the drop-down menu next to the label you just created and give it a new color.
- Now all mail forwarded from this account will be labeled and colored appropriately. How cool is that!?