If you’re anything like me and have too many websites hosting too many emails you’ll soon find that managing them all is a royal ball cracker. Using Gmail for just personal emails seems like a waste of features and no one wants to pay for Google Apps just for hobby-sites. But there is a way to manage any email with Gmail without paying anything. Here’s how.
Fetch email from your server
First we’re going to set Gmail to fetch every new email. You can forward email to Gmail via your server but I think it’s nicer to keep everything central. Gmail only gives us the option of POP3 unfortunately, but it’ll work well enough.
- Login to Gmail, click the button, then Settings, then the Accounts and Import tab.
- Look for the setting ‘Check email from other accounts (using POP3)‘ and click ‘Add a POP3 mail account you own‘.
- Follow the instructions Gmail gives you. It’s usually fine to use the default settings (apart from server, username and password).
Send email from Gmail as your custom email
This is the cool part. Gmail can look at the email the sender is sending to (your custom email) and reply using that email. We just need to set up the outgoing server.
- From the settings page look for the ‘Send mail as‘ setting and click ‘Add another email address you own‘.
- Follow the instructions Gmail gives you. When you’re done toggle ‘Reply from the same address to which the message was sent‘.
Creating a folder for your custom email
All email to your custom email will be listed with email to your Gmail email. You can search for email to your custom email, but you can also instruct Gmail to filter out these emails and send them to a special folder for them.
- Click the arrow in the search bar.
- In the ‘To‘ field enter your custom email and then click ‘Create filter with this search‘.
- Check ‘Apply the label‘, then ‘New label‘ and enter a name for the label (folder)
- Click ‘Create filter‘ and you’re ready to go! Gmail takes a while to search for and categorize these emails so don’t be surprised if the label (folder) isn’t populated immediately.