Using Gmail Aliases for Better Organization

I was recently introduced to Gmail (s goog) aliases and am loving them. With aliases, you can receive email messages at “[email protected]”. So if your email address is “[email protected]” you can receive mail at “[email protected]” and it will still be delivered to your inbox. Why would you want to do this? Well, you can use the alias to set up filters to automatically direct those messages to trash, apply a label or star, skip the inbox, or forward to another email account entirely.

Here are the aliases I use, together with the labels I have set up:

  • “cl” applies the label “craiglist”
  • “rec” applies the label “recipe”
  • “p” applies the label “pics”
  • “bb” applies the label “blackberry”

To create filters to auto-apply your labels:

  1. Click Settings->Filters
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom and select “Create a new filter”
  3. Enter your filter criteria (so in the case of my craigslist filter,  I would put “myemail [email protected]” in the “To” box)
    createafilter
  4. Click “Next Step”
  5. Click the checkbox next to “Apply the Label” and select the label you would like to apply from the pulldown (if the label does not exist already, select “new label”)
    This is also the step where you can forward, trash, etc. all emails from that address.action
  6. I always check the box next to “Also apply filter to x conversations below” and then select “Create Filter”

Bonus Tip:
This is for people who don’t have phones with email. You can use this method to create a rule that auto-forwards emails to your cell phone via text message (useful for emailing yourself directions, grocery lists, etc):

  1. Click Settings->Filters.
  2. Scroll down to the very bottom and select “Create a new filter”.
  3. Enter your filter criteria: “[email protected]” in the “To” box.
  4. Click “Next Step”.
  5. Click the checkbox next to “Forward it to” and enter in your phone’s SMS-to-email address. Below is a list of the most popular carriers and how to figure out your phone’s SMS-to-email address:
    • T-Mobile (s dt): phonenumber@tmomail.net
    • Virgin Mobile (s vmed): phonenumber@vmobl.com
    • ATT (s t): phonenumber@txt.att.net
    • Sprint (s s): phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
    • Verizon (s vz): phonenumber@vtext.com
    • Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
  6. Select “Create Filter”.

How do you use aliases?