Tag Archives: Musings

Gmail aliases using the + character

I like Gmail for a lot of reasons, but one reason in particular is the ability to use the + character to create new unique email address aliases. I cannot remember how many years ago I found this feature or indeed how I found it, but several conversations over the past few months have highlighted that many Gmail users still don’t know about the feature.

There are a couple of ways I use the alias feature in Gmail:

  1. Organising Mail – By creating filter rules for each alias I can auto label my mail into categories such as Work, Newsletters or Finances.
  2. Manage My Children’s Accounts – When I need to create a separate account for one of my children I can use an alias instead of having to check another inbox.
  3. Managing Multiple Accounts – For free trials or services with limits I can signup multiple times using aliases under one Gmail account (though I obviously only do this where the terms and conditions allow!)

So how do you take advantage of this alias feature?

Quite simply you just give people your email address with the label you want added to the end of the username portion. For example, if my email address is joebloggs@gmail.com (it isn’t so please don’t email it) then I would sign up to newsletters with joeblogss+newsletters@gmail.com.

Some more examples would be:

  • joebloggs+work@gmail.com
  • joebloggs+finance@gmail.com
  • joebloggs+child1@gmail.com

Once you are receiving mail to your alias addresses it’s easy to add filter rules in Gmail to add a label, star or categorise based on the alias address. For more info see the “Use Gmail Alias” section at the bottom of this page and here for instructions on how to create filters.

Writing what I think, the way I think it

I’ve been meaning to get started blogging for some time now and have finally decided that I simply need to get going. I’ve read the “How to start a Blog” guides several times, feeling inspired and confident after each iteration but something keeps holding me back.

Having thought about what’s been stopping me, I decided it’s something to do with a belief that what I write should be written perfectly. I’m no author, I’m far more comfortable speaking about what I think than writing it down.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a stranger on a plane, travelling back from Berlin, I explained to this stranger that I was in Berlin to give a talk. After a minute or two discussing the nature of my talk and my job they asked: “So I guess you blog a lot?”, “No, I’d like to but haven’t yet” I answered. I explained my reluctance to dive in and get started to which they responded “As someone who blogs quite a lot I’d give you this advice, just do it, don’t think about it, just write. Write like you talk, it can be your thing”.

So here I am, just writting what I think, the way I would say it to a stranger sat next to me on a plane, I hope that’s okay with you.