Get this: More than 300 billion emails are sent and received every day. Gmail is, of course, one of the biggest providers out there.
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For most of us, email organization is more a dream than a reality. I recommend one smart trick for every homeowner: Set up an email address just for your home.
Why you need a digital home for your physical home
Over the past five months, I sold the home we lived in for the past 17 years and bought a temporary home that we’re living in until our new home is done being built. That’s three homes’ continuous stream of details, including utility bills, repair invoices, home inspection reports, insurance documents, cable and internet bills, landscaping services, and much more.
Even if you’ve lived in the same house for years, the emails can stack up. Creating an email account specifically for your home helps you manage and track all those messages without losing anything in the sea of your primary inbox.
It’s a good idea to share a dedicated home email address with others in your household. You and your spouse can manage messages without bugging each other to forward this or that.
If you need more convincing, it’s a great idea to use this email to set up accounts for things like streaming services, Pinterest, grocery delivery, and anything else home-related.
Set up your home’s email address
There are two ways to go: You can create a brand-new email account with its login info or create an alias account tied to your primary email address.
Both have pros and cons, but using an alias account is the easiest. You can set up a folder (or multiple folders) to capture all the emails sent to this account within your primary inbox.
Here’s a nifty trick:
To create an alias in Gmail, just add a plus sign and a word or phrase to your primary email address. It looks something like this: [email protected]
Now you can set up a folder (Gmail calls these Labels) to shuttle the mail to that address in one spot. Here’s how:
• In the search box at the top, click the Show search options icon.
• In the “To” field, type in your new home email address alias, then click Create filter.
• Choose what you’d like the filter to do. Select Skip the inbox if you want these emails to skip your primary inbox and only appear in a special folder. You can also choose Apply the label > New label to create a new folder where you want your messages to go.
• Click Create filter to finish.
This will only affect new emails that come to your inbox and won’t apply retroactively. That leads us to our next step.
Start organizing the fast and easy way
Next, organize the emails you already have so you can apply the label you created above. That will put your home-based messages in one spot. If you choose to create a new account instead, you can start forwarding old messages there.
Search your inbox and label the relevant emails for your new home email address. This also gives you a chance to delete the ones you don’t need anymore.
If you regularly get messages related to your home from certain senders, there’s no need to email them. It’s easier to set up automatic forwarding for specific contacts, sending those messages to your new inbox or label.
Here’s how to set up automatic forwarding for contacts using filters in Gmail:
• Open the Gmail account you want to forward messages from.
• Click the checkbox next to the email you want and click the three dots at the top of the page.
• Click Filter messages like these. Check that the sender’s address is in the From field.
• Click Create filter, then Add forwarding address.
• Enter the address of your new home inbox and click Next, then Proceed.
• You’ll need to confirm the forwarding request in your inbox.
If you use Outlook instead, follow these steps:
• Open the Outlook account you want to forward messages from.
• Go to Settings > View all Outlook settings.
• Select Mail > Rules > Add a new rule.
• Enter a name for the rule.
• Open the Add a condition dropdown menu and select From.
• Enter the email address you want to forward to your new inbox.
• Open the Add an action dropdown message and select Forward to.
• Enter the address of your new home inbox and click Save.
Want more email how-to tricks? Check out these free guides
My team and I create practical, easy-to-follow instructions to help you get things done in your digital life.
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