Email Help - A Streamlined Solution
June 7, 2006 10:12 PM   Subscribe

I’m hoping that someone can provide me with some email tips, specifically for a Hotmail user. The main problem I’ve been having is finding a streamlined solution for all of my email accounts. Here’s my current setup/status: - 1 hotmail account (my main application) - 2 gmail accounts (used mainly for online sign ups and the like) - 1 work email account - 1 account through my ISP (time warner – roadrunner) - Multiple site accounts at - To wrap it all up, I use MS Outlook 2003 (work is accessed directly through an Outlook POP3 setup; my website accounts are forwarded to gmail and gmail is forwarded to hotmail; my ISP account is accessed via POP mail retrieval in Hotmail – a real pain – finally Hotmail is accessed through an Outlook HTML account)

The result is less than desirable. I’m very limited in which accounts I can send FROM in Outlook and have therefore been stuck with Hotmail. I’ve looked into Thunderbird and a straight switch to gmail, but each option seems to have too many drawbacks.

I know this might be a tall order, but I’m trying to simplify my life and the current setup seems to be standing in the way. Thanks so much for any help you can provide!
posted by Jhaus to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I’m very limited in which accounts I can send FROM in Outlook and have therefore been stuck with Hotmail.

And why is that? Outlook handles multiple sender personalities pretty well. Just change the "From:" line.
posted by evariste at 10:16 PM on June 7, 2006

When I used to have multiple accounts to worry about, I used Fusemail: single inbox, multiple accounts sucked right into it, multiple sending personalities. I no longer like them though; interface too clunky and account limitations too onerous for a paid account. These days I use Fastmail.
posted by evariste at 10:29 PM on June 7, 2006

Mozilla Thunderbird gives the option of running multiple accounts and allows you to select from a list which account you want to be sending from. Robust, easy to change, large friendly user group. Nothing to dislike that I'm aware of.
posted by ptm at 10:44 PM on June 7, 2006

I second Fastmail. Love it- easy, flexible, powerful.
posted by joshwa at 10:56 PM on June 7, 2006

Best answer: I used to be in this situation, and seriously, you have to look further at a straight switch to gmail. There's very little reason to have so many accounts. You have two, just for online signups? Use Sneakemail and your email will be protected.

Forget the ISP email. Forget the Hotmail. Switch all your friends, then put on an autoresponder after three months telling people who really know you to get in touch via yr site for your new address.

Your site and work addresses already forward to Gmail, so that's fine. I assume you've already set up Gmail's "send as" feature, so that you can also send from there.

I did all this, and while all the old accounts still exist, filtered and forwarded, I only have one inbox to check in the morning. It's got to be Gmail because it has the space for it, and labels handle tagging things as "work" etc, so I can see my work inbox all on one page.

It's unfortunate that you use the unforwardable Hotmail, but if you cut it out you won't look like back. The current situation is like carrying five mobile phones, all with different numbers. There's only one you.
posted by bonaldi at 5:45 AM on June 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

I third Fastmail-quite powerful
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on June 8, 2006

I have all my accounts forwarding to one Gmail account. Gmail has smart reply-to, so it knows what to fill in for the reply-to based on what account it was sent to.

Then, set up filters so it automatically routes all mail to each account to its own label, bypassing the inbox if you choose.

See this Lifehacker article for more tips.
posted by Ekim Neems at 6:25 AM on June 8, 2006

Response by poster: Great tips everyone! Thank you for the insightful advice...Indecisiveness can be a real killer!
posted by Jhaus at 10:45 PM on June 8, 2006

Response by poster: Oops; one more thing:

How do gmail and outlook get along?

If anyone has experience with this it would be real helpful. I've thoroughly integrated Outlook's contacts and calendar function into my workflow, so it would be ideal to retain it.

P.S. I even paid for Outlook Live, and what A FRIGGIN WASTE! It has so many frustrating bugs that aren't being addressed - don't waste your money. Anyway, I guess there's always Google calendar and contact mgmt software...
posted by Jhaus at 10:57 PM on June 8, 2006

Best answer: By using Outlook with Gmail you lose a *lot* of the advantages: You can't use labels, so you don't get the custom inboxes for each account; you lose the search; because it's POP your unread counts go out of sync; er, that's it.

If you can set outlook to never check your email, however, you can continue to use it to send mail with no problems, and the sent mails go into the gmail archive.
posted by bonaldi at 4:17 AM on June 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

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