Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Get All Your emails in one place!

Email – The next generation! Get all your email in one place!

Remember the days when you had only email account? Everyone thought email was a fad, and said that you would never need more than one address. How many do you have now? Can’t live without it eh!

Raise your hands if you can’t live without email. With Web 2.0 being the buzzword of the year, email is not to be left in the dust. Google took the lead a few years back when it announced gmail and 2 Gigabytes of storage. Hotmail and Yahoo couldn’t compete until recently that is, when Yahoo announced unlimited email storage. Hotmail has yet to make any announcement, but expect something soon. All of these free email providers are moving from email clients like Firefox, Outlook and Eudora to web based email systems. Our web browsers are now able to function as full email clients. Bottom line is portability and accessibility. All this is fine and dandy, however some features are lacking. One important missing feature is to be able to access multiple email accounts and reply to them from one location, or interface. Well, not any more.

Normally, you had to forward you email to another address and then reply to it from that account. The problem was that your reply to address would change. For example, you log on to your yahoo account, and have your email from hotmail forwarded to yahoo. When you read the hotmail addressed email, you can only reply to it using your yahoo account. The recipient receives a reply from your yahoo email and either doesn’t know who you are, and your email ends up in their spam folder. It’s also not professional if you are using email for business communications.

To combat this, gmail has recently added the ability to - send mail as - other email accounts, while retaining the identity associated with that account. Put simply, you can use this to collect email from all your 3rd party email accounts, and retain all the functionality.
Gmail’s send mail as does not retrieve messages from other accounts by way of forwarding – it still can if you desire - but rather by using your proper credentials. It uses your preconfigured email account settings and acts as a pass through to your 3rd party email accounts.

To set this up, you must have a gmail account. They are free of course. In gmail, on the top right, look for Settings, then Accounts. There are two options;

1) Send mail As – retrieve and reply to non gmail email, retaining the original email address. Just as if you were accessing your other email accounts directly
2) Get mail from other accounts – read and reply to emails form non gmail accounts, however users will see your gmail address. Essentially same as forwarded email

To configure the send mail as options, you may need your original mail account server information. In most cases, gmail recognizes popular mail servers. It’s quite intuitive and works like a charm!