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Gmail/ Google Apps Mail: Sending to your own alias or nickname

Gmail LogoNow that Google Apps is available for all to try out, I thought I would share a small tip regarding sending emails to yourself via nicknames, email lists, or alias account that point to you. Specifically, if you are accustomed to sending yourself to-do lists, links, reminders etc. you might set up an email list or account alias so that you can easily set a rule that files (label, in Google terms) such items based on the address. One example might be setting up as an address that points to your primary account mailbox so you can easily send yourself links that are then labeled as links and more easily retrievable. Another example might be to set up an email list such as that points to both your account and another account (such as a spouse) that applies a reminder label to said items. In Gmail based services, these items will not show up in your inbox.

Rather, when you send messages to a mailing list, a nickname, or to an address that is automatically forwarding to your primary account, the messages won't appear in your inbox - a copy will be available in your 'Sent Mail' label.

In other words, the item will still be there, it will be labeled and available if you have set up a filter, but it will not be in your inbox. So, don’t be concerned the next time you send yourself an email and it does not show up. Just remember to check your sent items and any label a filter might have applied and it will be there.

On a sidenote, rather than setting up separate nicknames for yourself, remember that it is also possible to append the plus sign to your email address to set up unlimited addresses. For example, rather than setting up a links nickname, you can simply email yourself something to This will show up in your inbox and you are able to easily apply a filter to it. This non-mainstream tip can also be great for signing up at sites. By using the plus separator you can easily shuttle items past your inbox and label them as newsletters, news etc. It can also be a great way to find out what company or site is selling or giving away your email address. Next time you sign up for a site, given them A few months later, if you start seeing junk mail piling in from other sources to that email address – you’ve got them.

I guess this ended up being a couple of tips, but I hope that helps out those of you taking your first steps into the Gmail world.


Benjamin Bach

techThoughts ::
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Great post! One of the things on my to do list is to migrate my site and email over to a properly hosted domain, and get my google apps all set up.

Be Great,
'the other' benjamin bach

Thank you, I appreciate that! I actually had been meaning to write you back - I believe I received an email from you a while back but then lost track of it, so it is nice to have it documented again.

By the way, there are some other things regarding the migration that I hope to post about soon. Specifically, how I moved mail from Exchange and Hotmail without losing all of the attributes such as the original date etc. Hopefully that will help some people save some time, because that was a big issue for me when I wanted to move it.

Thank you again and hopefully I will post something comment worthy once again, soon.

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