How to Use Single Email Service to Manage All Email Communications: Part 1 [Gmail]

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Most of us use more than one E-mail service, or more specifically, more than one E-mail address these days. We may have one E-mail address for work, one for personal communication, and so on. While not entirely cumbersome, sometimes, logging into multiple E-mail services one by one just to check (and respond to) your E-mail can get tedious, especially if you deal with a lot of E-mail communications on a daily basis.

Well, Guess what? There are ways to get around that. In this multi part article series, ILFS will be explaining how to manage your multiple E-mail accounts from the Webmail UI of a single E-mail provider of your choice. And, it’s only fitting to start off with the largest free E-mail service, GMAIL. So without further ado, let’s get to business.

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STEP 1: Login to your Gmail account, navigate to the settings icon (gear), and select settings from the drop-down menu.

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STEP 2: Once in the settings menu, click the “Accounts” tab. Head over to the section that says “Check Mail from other accounts using POP3”. Click “Add a POP3 Mail Account you Own”.

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STEP 3: A Small window will pop-up, asking you to enter the e-mail address that you want to be checked using Gmail. Enter the e-mail and hit “Next Step”.

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STEP 4: Gmail will autodetect the incoming and outgoing server settings. At this point enter the password for that e-mail account into the password field. For the options that are displayed underneath, check them based on the explanations below. However, I would suggest checking all four of them.

  • Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server: CHECK THIS (unchecking this would delete the E-mail from your target E-mail provider’s inbox once they have been pulled into G-mail)
  • Always use SSL when retrieving mail: DEFINITELY CHECK THIS, AS THIS ENSURES YOUR E-MAIL IS FETCHED IN A SECURE AND ENCRYPTED FORM FROM THE TARGET E-MAIL PROVIDER’S SERVERS (See also – HTTP vs. HTTPS)
  • Label incoming messages: CHECK THIS (G-mail would assign a default label to the pulled E-mail, which is just the name of the target E-mail address, it can be changed later)
  • Archive incoming messages: OPTIONAL (Checking this would make sure that the E-mail pulled from the other E-mail provider’s servers doesn’t land in your inbox. Rather it gets archived, and can be accessed via the corresponding label.

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STEP 5: In the next step, Gmail will notify you that your e-mail account has been successfully added. Additionally, you will be given an option to send and e-mail from your target e-mail address via Gmail’s web UI. This is a very handy feature, as it completely eliminates the need to check your other e-mail account.

Click the radio button saying, “I Want to be able to send e-mail as XYZ@ABC.COM and Hit “NEXT STEP”. This screen would allow you to change sender name as it would appear to the recipient, and the option to use this e-mail address as an alias for Gmail or not. For all intents and purposes, leave the options as they are, and hit “NEXT STEP”.

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STEP 6: Almost there. The next screen would give you the option to either send the e-mail by routing it through Gmail’s servers or the source e-mail providers servers. Leave it as default, as the other option requires delving into unnecessary settings that don’t matter for casual users.

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STEP 7: The final screen will explain you that Gmail is now going to send a verification e-mail to your other e-mail address to verify that you “Own” that address. Once you click on “Send Verification”, you need to open up another tab and login to your other e-mail address to check for the verification e-mail from Gmail (it generally arrives almost instantly).

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STEP 8: Finally, you’ll have to enter the confirmation code that you’ll receive in the verification e-mail from Gmail. Just copy it into the box and click “VERIFY”. Alternatively, you can also click the link inside the verification e-mail. 

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STEP 9: You’re all set. From now on, Gmail will periodically check your e-mail address for incoming mail and will deliver it to your inbox or directly archive it under its label.

As a final optional step, you can give a specific color to the label and rename it to a shorter name by right clicking the small dropdown box next to it, in the list of labels, in the left pane of the webmail UI.

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Congratulations!! You’ve just removed the need to login to another E-mail account of yours altogether, courtesy of this nifty little feature of Gmail, which is known as the “POP Fetcher”

Note: You can add up to 5 distinct E-mail accounts to Gmail so that you can manage a total of 6 E-mail accounts (1 Gmail + 5 Others) from a single Webmail UI. While composing an E-mail, just select the E-mail address that you want to send the E-mail from, using the dropdown arrow in the “FROM” field.

Conclusion

With almost every E-mail user maintaining multiple E-mail accounts for different purposes, it gets cumbersome to login to each and every single one of them to just check and send E-mail. This is where POP fetcher feature of Gmail comes into play, saving you unnecessary logins to multiple webmail portals.

Almost all other major E-mail providers like Outlook, Yahoo! have a similar feature. I’ll be discussing them in the subsequent articles of this series.

Do you guys already use the POP fetcher in G-mail? If yes, how many E-mail accounts do you manage through it? And if no, do you plan on using it now? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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