How I Keep my Email Inbox Sane    

Aug. 25, 2015, 1:39 p.m.

I hate having to dig through my email to find what I need. I also sign up for a fair amount of newsletter, and it's hard to identify which ones sells my email to third parties. Like most people, I use Gmail. Unlike most people, I spent an unhealthy amount of time customizing it; from enabling and customizing Labs, to creating custom shortcuts for fast access. You can learn more about Labs and custom shortcuts here and here, respectively.

Gmail has a neat feature that lets you add anything at the end of you base email with a plus (+) sign, and will deliver emails to that address to your main inbox. For example, if your email is iamawesome@gmail.com, you can use any of the following addresses: iamawesome+youarenot@gmail.com, iamawesome+causeimagummybear@gmail.com... (you get the idea), and Google will deliver emails to these addresses to your main inbox. Like this, you can create filters for each of these addresses that you use and file them accordingly. Look here to learn how to create filters.Sweet, right? Well, not totally. Some sites don't allow symbols, including (+), in their email fields. So much for that idea.

Which brings me to my solution.

You are most likely reading this on an Internet capable device. I believe, if you use any Internet capable device, you should own a domain name. At the very least, you should own a variation of your name. This is important because the next part is based on the assumption that you have a domain name registered somewhere.

There are many registrars available but this post use Google's registrar. In the past year I have moved all my domains to Google. I like the simplicity of the interface. I already use everything Google, and they already own my kidneys, so why not my domains?

Google domains (beta) lets you create up to 100 email aliases and support a wildcard(*) address. A wildcard address lets you use any email you want @yourdomain.com and forward it to the forwarding address of your choosing.

Let's say I want to sign up for iamawesome.com newsletter.

First I login to domains.google.com. All of my domains should be listed here.

I have no idea why I blocked my other domains.

I click on configure email for the domain I want to use.

That takes me to avezou.net email configuration page.

There I enter the desired email address and the address I want it forwarded to. In this case “iamawesome.com” forwarded “some@gmail.com”.

Once added, any email sent to “iamawesome@avezou.net” will be delivered to my “some@gmail.com” inbox. For the record, I do not own that Gmail account.

Now, I can go back to Gmail and create filters for each of these addresses from what we learned in the previous links. This method has an added benefit that my emails will always be accepted. If am getting a lot of spams to the “iamawesome@avezou.net” email address I know that “iamawesome.com” did not protect my email, or sold it. Either way, I can just delete that alias without going to the hassle of unsubscribing, which I don't think really works.

Feel free to leave a comment with how you manage your emails, links to related articles, or what I can do to improve this.


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