De-clutter Your Gmail Inbox With Infinite Email Addresses

Published on July 29, 2014

Did you realize that your Gmail address contains many email addresses in one? Gmail, in fact, recognizes many derivatives of your original email address, such as:

Original: johndoe@gmail. com =
john.doe@gmail. com
john.doe+personal@gmail. com
john.doe+work@gmail. com

Adding a period "." anywhere in your original address will still direct mail to your original address, and adding a +word before the @ sign will do the same.

If the email all goes to the same place, you're wondering, what's the point? Built in organizational filters, that's what! Using these simple email derivatives gives you the tools to organize your inbox to the max.

Here's how you can optimize your inbox.

Use "+news" to sign up for newsletters

When you next decide to sign up for a newsletter, sign up using the email address similar to johndoe+news@gmail. com. You can now organize and prioritize all email sent through that email address via label, filter, or more.

How to do it:

    • Search "to:([email protected])" in your Gmail search bar
    • Toggle the arrow down to "show search options"

      • Click "Create filter within this search"

    • Select options for how to filter emails sent to this address. (i.e. Automatically skip the Inbox (to Archive the email), automatically mark it as read, automatically apply a Label (News), never mark it as important, etc.)

Give your friends and family VIP status 

Want emails from your friends and family VIP status? Have them send their emails to [email protected] instead of [email protected]. You can heighten the importance of their emails by following the same steps as we listed above, but instead labeling their messages as automatically important, or having a sound play when their emails arrive, and more.

Separate work and personal life with "+w"

If you are the kind of person who's personal email is the same as their work email, you could likely benefit from having a work email filter, like johndoe+w@gmail. com. You can then label this email with automatic traits which will sort it and prioritize it for you (like a special "work" folder").

Gmail filters + IFTTT = Magic

If you haven't already been exposed to the beauty that is the IFTTT service, now is the time to experience it in its delightful marriage to Gmail.  IFTTT (If This, Then That) acts as a trigger service which activates a specific response to a specific action.

By using a specific email address like [email protected], you could set up an IFTTT to turn off your Hue lights at home whenever you get an email from this address. Or you could turn up your Nest thermostat with an email trigger. Or maybe you just want to post your Instagram photos automatically on Facebook, or update your Twitter. The sky is truly the limit with IFTTT + Gmail.

Create a to-do list with +todo

Set up a [email protected] for a makeshift to-do list that you create simply from email subject lines and an automatic sort into a folder. You can have others contribute to this to-do list simply by giving them the email address. To keep things de-cluttered you can, as usual, mark items as "read" or have them automatically archived to de-clutter your inbox.

How do you use your Gmail addresses to organize your inbox? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email.