Tech Tip: How to get more out of your Gmail address

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Gmail-Icon---editedDo you feel like you’re spending way too much time playing catch up with emails rather than actually getting quality work done? Yes? Well keep reading.

You can have full control over your inbox and save precious time sifting through your emails by making variations within your existing Gmail address. Yes, you actually can do this. This Gmail feature has been around for some time now but only a few of us have ever used it. Don’t worry. Your emails will still end up in your inbox.

There are two ways you can modify your Gmail address:

1. Insert period(s) or dot(s) anywhere in your email address.

If for example your address is mysmallbusiness@gmail.com, you can use my.small.business@gmail.com or my.smallbusiness@gmail.com.

2. Append a plus (+) and any combination words or numbers in your username.

Try: mysmallbusiness+alerts@gmail.com, mysmallbusiness+360@gmail.com, or mysmallbusiness+mailinglist@gmail.com

Will these tricks work? Gmail doesn’t recognise periods as characters in addresses so your emails are safe. Also, adding “+” and any word/number in your username acts as a marker or label that will make it easier for you to identify where you used it.
Here are some ways where you can make use of this Gmail feature:

  • Signing up for subscriptions. Use mysmallbusiness+news@gmail.com the next time you sign up for a newsletter, app or website. This is a great way to filter out everything sent to this address to a low-priority label or folder. Utilise your filtering options and have Gmail mark all these messages as unimportant, or categorise them all as Updates.
  • Giving priority to important contacts. Give out an alternative email address such as my.small.business@gmail.com to your important contacts or to billing statements to help them stand out from your busy inbox. You can then set up a filter to mark these messages your top priority.

If you’re using the Gmail app for Android, you can set up a new label for your important contacts to make sure only these specific messages trigger an alert on your phone.

  • Detecting and eliminating spams/promotions. You just don’t know who will share your information. It’s best to use a specific address like mysmallbusiness+bin@gmail.com when registering for a service or even making a donation, so the next time you see someone use this email, you know where it originated.
  • Creating a to-do list. Are you one of those people who email themselves tasks, passwords or other pertinent bits of information? This will help you from burying your reminders in with the rest of your emails, as you can set up a filter for mysmallbusiness+todo@gmail.com to go straight to your To-do Folder.

Making variants to your Gmail address is a great way to put an end to your chaotic inbox. We’re sure you can think of more ways to use this tip. Go ahead and put it to a test.