Quick question for you: how many email accounts do you have? How many do you have to regularly check? How many different platforms do they utilize? If there’s too many, important communications are easy to miss in the ensuing mess of messages. Fortunately, there are a few ways that this can be avoided, which we’ll review for this week’s tip.
How Many Emails Do You Need?
Depending on your office’s organization style, there may be a fair chance that you have to juggle multiple email addresses. You may have one that you use internally, one that’s client-facing, and one to interact with your vendors. However, we do have to address how many messages this could wind up being. You and your team are responsible for more than just checking emails, after all, so you don’t have the time to log into each email account you have in order to do so.
Fortunately, your email platform of choice will have the capability to handle each of these emails from each provider. First, we need to set some terminology straight:
When we refer to an email account, we’re talking about the individual address used. For instance, if your organization has a branded email address, “” and “” are two different accounts.
An email client, on the other hand, it the program that you choose to use to read your emails, like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail. If these clients are stored on a single server, you can use them more or less interchangeably, as all of your emails will appear in each client.
However, this doesn’t help you if you have too many accounts to keep track of… at least, not without exercising the capabilities of your chosen email client.
Utilizing Multiple Inboxes
Those responsible for developing these email clients understand that there are assorted reasons that a user isn’t going to be tied to a single email account or provider. As a result, email clients are now designed to support multiple inboxes. This means that, if properly configured, a user can access one email client and check multiple email accounts, dividing them into folders (or combined into one large group, if so desired).
Utilizing Multiple Personalities in a Central Inbox
Alternatively, if you don’t mind the idea of using a single inbox to hold all of your correspondence but still want to respond with multiple addresses, you can use a different method. This method will collect all of your messages into a single inbox, while allowing you to select which email address (sometimes known as a personality) your response comes from.
First, you will need to set up an email with an address that you never give out. This mailbox will be the central catch-all. Then, you need to set all of the accounts you have in use to forward to that mailbox (ask your internal IT resource for help). Pretty simple so far, right?
However, you still aren’t quite done. After all, you want to be able to respond to these emails with the address that they were originally sent to, right? This is where the personalities we mentioned above come into play. Basically, your email client allows you to change the address that appears in the From: box to whichever email address is appropriate for that correspondence.
Adding Inboxes and Personalities to Your Email Client
Of course, each email client has a somewhat different approach to adjusting these settings:
To set up multiple accounts in Gmail, click on the gear to access your Settings, then select the Accounts and Import tab. To add inboxes to your Gmail, you should see a section labeled Check mail from other accounts. In that section, follow the prompts given after you click Add a mail account.
To add new personalities to your Gmail account, follow the same steps to the Accounts and Import tab. Under the Send Mail As section, follow the instructions provided when you click Add another email address. You can also select this email address as the default selection from here.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the information required to provide a walk-through for setting up Microsoft Outlook, as there are too many versions to cover here. Make sure you check the documentation provided online for what Microsoft describes as “connected accounts.” Of course, we are always available to help, so feel free to give us a call at 301-571-5040.
What other tips would you like to learn for your most-used solutions? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss anything!
Washington Works has been serving the Bethesda area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.
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