Sunday, August 19, 2018

How I Do E-mail

I was helping a friend setup their e-mail recently and thought it would be worthwhile to share how I do e-mail.

I use Google's Gmail to manage all my e-mail. But it's not quite that simple.

I use Google's Gmail web client and Google's Gmail smartphone app (Android and iOS).

I've changed the domain names in a feeble attempt at privacy.

My primary e-mail account is which is a Google G Suite. So that is the identity that I use to log into Gmail. And I recently added Google 2-Step Verification. arrives in the Gmail app. I have labels/folders that I sort correspondence into.

This is what I use for throwaway e-mails, e.g. when I sign up for a newsletter or something. is more complicated. has a free offering that I use. With the free offering you can't forward the e-mail to another address. So I have configured the Gmail app to pull my e-mail with a POP3 interface.

To do this, I went to Settings / Accounts and find "Check mail from other accounts:"  I specified the credentials for I made sure to check "Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server". This took a little playing around to get this correct. The Gmail app will retrieve new e-mail from this server every 60 minutes. That's good enough to me.

When e-mail arrives to I have a filter that assigns a label of "Throwaway". Then to separate this e-mail I went to Settings / Accounts / Multiple Inboxes and setup a pane for the label of "Throwaway". This results in a separation of e-mail and e-mail.

I use the SMTP servers to send so the headers look right. You specify this in Settings / Accounts / Send mail as:. This also takes a little playing around to get this correct.

This is my work e-mail. I just have it forwarded to Like I use's SMTP servers to send so the headers look right.

I use this when I'm suspicious of how someone might use my e-mail address. This e-mail domain is set so that any name you put in front of comes to But I use the same technique as to segregate the incoming e-mails into a separate area in my inbox.

The way I use this is to use a name that identifies to whom I gave that e-mail. For example I created an identity at Computerworld as Let's just say that Computerworld must make a lot of money from selling their mailing list.


With all these e-mail identities I get to choose which one to use when I compose a new e-mail. In the Compose dialog there is a drop-down box next to the "From" field where I can choose.

Under Settings / General I specify:

  • Ask before displaying external images
  • Send cancellation period: 30 seconds
  • Keyboard shortcuts on
  • Button labels: Text
  • I'll add contacts myself

The Android and iOS apps honor all these settings so your experience is consistent across all platforms.

I'm sure I haven't covered everything. Leave me a comment if you have a question.

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