This week, we’re covering one of the most amazing, most useful Gmail hacks you’ll find anywhere.
Table of Contents
One of my favorite Gmail hacks
Make Life Easier
There are tons of Gmail hacks out there. From improving search results to using one account to send emails from many, Gmail has lots of hidden gems.
But, of all the Gmail hacks out there, this one’s got to be my favorite. And, almost nobody knows about it!
In Gmail, email addresses with special characters are the same
In other words, these two email addresses are exactly the same:
Seriously. Try it out.
Send yourself an email (if you’re a Gmail user), but add a period anywhere inside of your email address. It’ll still work!
For best results, try it from another email address, or ask a friend to do it for you.
You can begin or end addresses with other special characters
Periods can go anywhere within your address.
You can also use the following characters, but only at the beginning or end:
- ampersand (&)
- equals sign (=)
- underscore (_)
- apostrophe (‘)
- dash (-)
- plus sign (+)
- comma (,)
- angle brackets (< >)
For example: all of the following addresses will reach the same place:
Want to know more?
Click here to check out Google’s resource on this.
Okay, that’s kind of cool. But how is it useful?
When you combine that with Gmail’s filtering, it becomes super powerful!
Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Example 1: Emails you don’t want to see
Let’s say you’re at Bath & Body Works (or whatever store), and they ask for your email address.
You know that you’ll occasionally want their emails, but you definitely don’t want them clogging up your inbox. You’ll just want to search for “Bath & Body Works” whenever you need a coupon.
You could rely on Gmail’s Promotions tab (learn more), or on your spam folder. But, there’s a better way!
- Decide which special version of your email address you want to use to filter out messages like these
- Set up a filter to do just that
So, you’re prepared with email@example.com. (I picked the – version of the address because it’s easy to remember. Minus, subtracting, less email.) You give that to the employee who asks for your address.
You’ve also set up a filter in Gmail: Any emails that get sent to firstname.lastname@example.org automatically skip the inbox. More on how to set up filtering below.
And voila, no more email clutter!
Example 2: Emails you definitely want to see
Let’s reverse the scenario.
Let’s say you’ve applied for a job at Bath & Body Works. You know that emails from that store often get flagged as spam, and you’re worried that you’ll miss an email from the hiring manager.
To prevent this, you could be diligent about checking for that email. Or, you could set up a filter to ensure that email comes through from that specific sender. But, there’s a better way!
Same two steps from above:
- Decide which special version of your email address you want to use to allow messages like these
- Set up a filter to do just that
So, this time, maybe you use email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In either case, you’ll set up a filter: Any emails sent TO this address are 1. never marked as spam, 2. flagged as important, and 3. categorized as primary.
Then, you give the special version of you address to the hiring manager. This way, you’ll guarantee that any emails from that manager always show up in your primary inbox!
How do I set up filtering?
Google has an excellent, succinct guide on getting this set up: Click here to check it out.
Still need help?
If you get stuck, let me know in the comments below. I’ll do my best to get you through it ?
Want More Email Tips?
Check out my post, 8 Super Simple Strategies for Managing Your Email, for more helpful tips!
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