In my opinion, Gmail is the best webmail service out today. Besides my use of Mozilla Thunderbird, I pretty much use Gmail exclusively. One great thing about Gmail is it’s ability to allow you to add multiple email addresses to your account. So you can have your basic <your-account>@gmail.com and you can also add other email accounts and manage them through Gmail. For example, if you email me through this site, <my-first-name>@allthingsmarked.com, that message actually gets sent to my Gmail account and managed there. It goes beyond forwarding, because I can also reply to messages and also have them sent out as <my-first-name>@allthingsmarked.com. Here’s how it’s done:
Forward other email to Gmail
You really only need two things for this to work: (1) a Gmail account, and (2) mail forwarding available on your other email account(s).
In your email account in which you want to send to Gmail, set-up email forwarding and forward incoming mail to your Gmail account. For me, I manage my email accounts at DreamHost, my webhost. All I had to do was tell DH to forward any incoming messages to my Gmail address. Simple.
Add another account in Gmail
Now, in Gmail, go to Settings > Accounts > Add another email address.
Now enter your other email address (the non-Gmail one) in the field and hit Next.
On the next screen, hit Send Verification.
This will send a verification email to your other address to make sure you own it. In that email, you need to verify you want to set-up the email account in Gmail. So go ahead and grab that email and verify your account.
Test it out
Now, back to your Gmail account. Write a new message to your other account which now should come up in Gmail. Send it off, and you should get your message right there in your Gmail inbox. If it didn’t work, you probably made a mistake in your email forwarding, or you didn’t give the message enough time to be received — just wait longer.
Organize your external email account
I have three non-Gmail accounts I manage through Gmail. I set up labels for each to make it very easy to manage my messages. Go to Edit Labels> in the Create new label field, enter your non-Gmail email address, or if you’d prefer, a descriptive label for that address.
Filter emails into labels
Now go to Filters > Create a new filter> in the To field, enter your other email address (the one you’re adding to Gmail). Then click Next Step.
Now Apply the label: <the email address label you just made>
Now you’re all set. Your mail will show up in the label so you have easy access to it. I also take it a step further and have it skip the inbox, so it’s only available from the label on the left. The only downside with that is you have to login to Gmail to check new messages for that label, you can’t see if there a new messages from a Gmail notifier since it skips the inbox.