Functional Friday: A Fistful of gmail accounts

images (1)I hope I’m not going to anger the Google gods, but I have several Gmail accounts. One of them is mine, a second one I set up as a departmental email address, later repurposing it for homework assignments and the like. Another two accounts for volunteer groups I am in, and another account which acts as a second/back up address. To see how I deal with this, read on…

You may ask ‘Why don’t you just put them in one account?’. Well, for the two accounts related to groups, the idea is that if I leave, I can pass on the email AND all the records to someone else by just passing on the username and password. The other accounts came about in various ways, but I’m finding that having the extra ones can be very helpful.

After you get multiple accounts, you have to manage them. Of course, this is Google, so there are many ways to do this. This article suggests four alternative ways to do this in Google Chrome. This article from the official Gmail Blog suggests using multiple inboxes. I use a program called Mailplane, (Mac only) which allows me to have multiple gmail accounts open at the same time. There are a few more ways to do this, and you should read through the various methods and think which one would work for you.

Try these relatively simple hints for dealing with this many gmail accounts. Give each account a different background theme so you can identify which account you are in quickly. You may even want to give different accounts different fonts. Take some time to tweak your settings for each account, a signature, and an avatar, to help further identify your different addresses. The avatar is good for Gmail on the iPhone (not sure how it works on Android) because it makes it easier to see each account, though you can’t see very much when you are looking at the email.

You’ll want to keep your passwords maximally different and make sure that they are comfortable with whatever security you want to use. Setting up  two factor verification may be a bit time consuming, but I find doing it all at once helps to remember how to do things, especially when I’m helping others and keeps my head thinking about security.

Anyone else doing this? If you are, write your suggestions and warnings in the comments!

 

 

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