The Joy of Having Only One Inbox

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Do you have multiple email addresses that you’re having to check? Are you running into problems with storage space because you never delete emails? If so, you may want to consider using a free Gmail account to manage all your email. While Google does have more robust email solutions available, their free Gmail service allows you to receive and send email from non Google email accounts.

By using Gmail, these are some of the benefts:

  • ONE INBOX (caps because this is a really nice benefit)
  • Possibly lower costs on your hosting, by not storing email with your website
  • Less spam, thanks to Google’s smart spam filters
  • Access from multiple devices (computer, tablet, phone, etc.)

You can use an existing Gmail account, but if you don’t have one, you can create one here: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp

To start using your non Google email account with Gmail, just do the following:

  1. Log in to your Gmail account
  2. Click on the gear icon (top right corner) and select “Settings” from the drop down menu
  3. Click on the “Accounts and Import” tab
  4. Scroll down to the section labeled “Check mail from other accounts” and click on the link for “Add a mail account
  5. Enter the email address that you want to add and click the “Next” button
  6. If the email address is not a Gmail address, the option should be set by default to “Import emails from my other account (POP3)”… click on the “Next” button again
  7. Fill in the account information for the email address you’re connecting – be sure the check box labeled “Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server” is NOT checked – if it’s checked, that means you’ll pull email in to your Gmail account, but leave a copy of it elsewhere as well, which means no savings on space (you can choose the other options with the check boxes if you want, but can likely just leave them unchecked)… when done, click on the “Add Account” button
  8. Back on the “Accounts and Import” tab, scroll up to the section labeled “Send mail as” and click on “Add another email address
  9. Enter your Name and Email address in the fields and click on the “Next Step” button
  10. Complete the fields, and click on the “Add Account” button

Google will send a confirmation email with a link or steps to complete verification, to ensure you actually have existing access to the email account. Once you do that, you’re all set and can start seeing and responding to mail through the new address from your Gmail account.

Gmail has many great features and addons available. (Though in my opinion, the overall “look” of Gmail has lagged behind a decade or so.) One of the third party plugins that has helped me immensely, is Boomerang. In particular, the feature it allows for sending mail at a later time of your choosing. If you’re like me and work ridiculous hours, but would rather not let your email recipients know that, you should definitely check into this option. You can read more here: https://www.boomeranggmail.com/l/send-later.html (oops, I guess that gives away my secret for any clients reading this.)

One last tip… if you’re old school like me (sounds better than just saying old, right?) then you may not like Gmail’s “conversation view” format, where messages are automatically grouped together. I found that the algorithm wasn’t getting mine close enough to 100% accurate – non-related emails were being bunched together – so I’m happy to report you can turn this feature off. See https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-turn-off-conversation-view-in-gmail-1171973 for instructions.

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