The most boring thing on earth is waking up every morning and checking all your email accounts one by one. The process becomes even boring when you have to repeat the same task several times a day. You have to check your personal email accounts, corporate email account or may be business email accounts regularly. Checking multiple email accounts kills productivity, especially if you are a blogger, webmaster or an entrepreneur and gets dozens of emails every day.
Previously we have discussed how to access Gmail on your desktop and some Gmail search tips to effectively manage your email overload. This tutorial describes how you can use Multiple inboxes- a Gmail labs feature, that lets you check all your email’s at one place. You may have 5 or 6 email accounts but you can check all the incoming mails from your primary email account at Gmail.
Following are the steps involved to link all your Gmail accounts and check email at one place:
1. Open your primary email account in Gmail. You would like to receive emails from all your other Gmail accounts here. Go to Gmail labs by clicking the green icon next to settings.
2. In the labs page that opens, scroll down until you find “Multiple inboxes” in the left pane. Select the radio button “Enabled” and hit “Save changes”.
3. Now sign out of your primary email account and login to your other email accounts one by one (let’s call it secondary email accounts). You will forward a copy of all incoming emails from these secondary email accounts to your primary email account. You would read the emails in primary email and even reply to messages from the primary email account only.
4. To enable forwarding of incoming emails, just login to your secondary email account. Go to Settings and select the “Forwarding and Pop/IMAP“ tab. After that select the radio button that says “Forward a copy of the incoming mail to” and put the email address of your primary account there.
5. Repeat the same step for all your secondary email account’s. Also do not forget to archive the email’s copy in the respective accounts. This way, you can always access them later and they do not get lost.
6. After you have configured all your email accounts to send a copy of the incoming mail, log in to your primary email account again.
7. Go to Settings and enable IMAP. You will find the IMAP settings under “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
8. Switch to the “Multiple inboxes” tab in the same page. Put all your secondary email addresses in the search query panes and give each pane a suitable title. Let us assume that your secondary email addresses are: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Put all these email addresses in the search query pane as shown below
9. In the next pane choose how many conversation you would want to see listed in each of the mail accounts you added above. While you can use any number but it is advisable to keep it under 5.
10. We are almost done. Choose the position where you want to show the different inboxes. I prefer keeping the inboxes in the right so that i can keep an eye on the incoming messages without having to scroll down.
Here is how the email inbox looks after activating multiple inboxes in Gmail:
There you go. From now on, you will now get all the emails in your primary email account. Here is a wonderful screen cast that describes the above tutorial:
Let me know whether you were able to activate the multiple inbox feature in Gmail or not. Also check out some useful Gmail labs features to increase your email productivity.