Google Gmail is a very slick, free email product. One Gmail feature that you may not be aware of is that multiple Google email addresses can be created from one Gmail account. These bonus email addresses are easy to create and manage and can take a few different forms.
Multiple Google Email Addresses from One Gmail Account
Having multiple Gmail addresses can provide a range of uses including easily separating personal and business email and tracking incoming email from specific subscriptions and mailing list. There are three main methods for expanding the number of usable Google email addresses that you can have from a single Gmail account:
- Using the @googlemail.com domain.
- Using the “dot” or period in your email name.
- Using the plus sign “+” at the end of your name and adding extra characters.
Using the “@googlemail.com” Domain Name
Let’s start with the use of the @googlemail.com domain name. With every Gmail account you actually get a second email address – one is the regular @gmail.com address while the second address has @googlemail.com as the domain. So Gmail will actually see email@example.com as the same as firstname.lastname@example.org. All email messages that are sent to email@example.com will be delivered to your
Using a Dot or Period in the Email name
Another interesting facet of Gmail addresses is what is sometimes referred to as “Dot Blindness”. In an interesting twist Gmail does not recognize dots, ”.”or periods as characters in Google email address user names. This means that Gmail “sees” firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com as the same address as firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use multiple “dots” in the username such as email@example.com.
The same “dot blindness” also applies to email addresses using the @googlemail.com domain name with firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com being routed to the same Inbox as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Using the Plus Sign and Additional Characters
The third trick for extending the use of your Gmail account is the ability to add extra characters to the end of your username by inserting a plus sign, “+” after your name. Google does not recognize these characters but Gmail search filters do. The characters after the plus sign can be either letters or numbers. So email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org will end up in the same Inbox as email@example.com.
Test these out for yourself and see what works best for you. All the variations below are from the same Google email account and will all end up in the firstname.lastname@example.org Gmail Inbox:
Benefits of Multiple Google Email Address from One Gmail Account
So you say, “OK, these Google email address tips are interesting, but what would I use all these variations for”? One use is to track where mail is coming from. When you sign up for a newsletter subscription or mailing list you can create a specific email address by using the plus sign and some specific characters or “dot” pattern. You can then track incoming email based on the specific email name that you created.
For example, you sign up for a subscription to a newsletter using email@example.com and then in addition to the newsletter you signed up for you start receiving email from a number of other different sources to that specific address. This could indicate that the specific mailing list might have been compromised or even sold.
Another use of these address variations is for sorting out spam or unwanted email from a specific Google email address. By using Gmail filters you can automatically direct mail to a specific address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org to the spam folder.
Variations on your address can also be used to separate out personal and business messages and automatically identify each with a different label and sorted to a different folder.
Simplified Google Email Address Management
Having multiple Google email addresses is a useful tool for addressing a number of different email needs. The benefits of having a centralized email account that can easily process a number of different email addresses without having to go out and set up numerous new accounts with additional usernames and passwords can be a real plus. And they are all managed from a single Gmail account. Kind of reminds of the J.R.R. Tolkien verse: “One ring to Rule Them all, One Ring to find them.”