Even though Gmail is great at filtering out spam, I still end up getting a lot of junk mail from non-traditional spam sources like signups at brick and mortar stores or signups at a doctors office. These are usually not spam in the traditional sense, but if you keep getting the emails on a regular basis, it can be quite annoying.
Most companies have the option to unsubscribe in the email, but there are still many that do not. Once you learn these three small hacks to your Gmail address, you can give out an altered version of your email that will still come directly to your inbox, but will allow you to create filters to organize the email any way you like. This allows you to create infinite variations of your Gmail email address.
The Dot Hack
If you didn’t already know, Gmail does not consider any extra dots in your account name when processing email. So for example, I could write out my email address as firstname.lastname@example.org instead of the normal email@example.com.
You can add as many dots as you like in any location and the email will still come to you. This trick usually works the best when signing up on forums or anywhere online because most forms will accept periods as an allowable symbol of a typical email address.
The Plus Hack
This Gmail hack has been around for a LONG time and most people already know about it. Simply place a “+” after your account name and add a word or words to uniquely identify that email address.
For example, I can change my email address to firstname.lastname@example.org when signing up at any bank, credit union, investment site, etc. Now I can create a filter and have all emails related to my financial activities automatically moved to an appropriate label.
This is much easier than creating a separate filter for each financial institution. There are many times when the sending email address used by a financial institution changes and therefore you have to update your filter. Since your customized Gmail address will never change, you never will need to worry about updating the filter.
The plus hack is very useful, but the downside is that online forms sometimes block it because it’s not considered a normal symbol in email addresses. In that case, use the Dot hack or the Googlemail hack I’m about to mention.
The Googlemail Hack
Finally, you can change the last part of your email account to googlemail.com instead of the normal gmail.com! It’s another nifty way to not give out your main email address. Obviously, if someone else already knows these tricks, they can easily figure out your original email address.
So email@example.com is exactly the same as gmail.com. If you want to keep your account name consistent without all of the dots or plus signs, then you can just use googlemail.com instead.
You might be wondering why this is necessary if you could just create a filter on the sender email address and organize email that way? That method works just fine, but like the financial example I gave above, what if you wanted to give out your email address to some clients of a small business you are running from home?
If you don’t have a separate business email address, you could give out an email like firstname.lastname@example.org to all your clients and then have those emails automatically filtered to a label created for your business emails. Since you don’t necessarily know the emails of the senders, creating a filter on the customized To address works much better.
These hacks have been around for a long time and if you’ve been using Gmail for many years, it’s probably nothing new. However, if you have recently switched over from Yahoo, Outlook, etc, it’s an extra feature worth knowing about. Enjoy!
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