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How To Manage Multiple Inboxes And Accounts In Gmail

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My inbox serves as my to-do list. Some of my emails are about a pending project, while others are about a relationship I’m developing with a new writer, and each one necessitates a specific response and prioritisation in my day.

Can I have more than one Gmail account?

“Yes, you can have multiple Gmail accounts,” is the short answer. Many professionals have a personal Gmail account as well as a work Gmail account that is linked to their CRM. If you work in sales, you might organise different account sizes or lead stages into different Gmail inboxes or accounts.

Many people also maintain a separate Gmail account for spam. As a result, when you enter an email address to gain access to gated content or receive a special offer, marketing emails will not be delivered to your professional inbox.

Multiple Gmail Inboxes

Multiple Inboxes are sub-inboxes provided by Google within your primary inbox. Divide your inbox into sections based on the type of email, the topic, or your personal preferences. It’s important to note that you can’t use Multiple Inboxes if you’re using the Gmail Promotions, Social, Updates, or Forums tabs.

Primary Inbox: The primary Gmail inbox that the majority of users currently have. It stores all of your email as it arrives and only leaves this section when you archive or move an email to another folder.

Multiple Inboxes: These are the new mini inboxes that will work alongside your primary inbox to organise your inbox into different sections based on the type of email. They can only be used for accounts that do not use the Promotions/etc tabs in Gmail.

Do you want multiple inboxes? The seven steps I took to organise and implement mine are outlined below.

In just a few clicks, you can create a new, on-brand email signature. Begin by clicking here. (It’s completely free.)

As a result, I’m saving hours in my daily email routine – and you can, too.

1. Navigate to your Gmail settings

Simply click the gear icon at the top right of your primary Gmail inbox. Under the drop-down that appears, select “Settings.”

Navigating to your Gmail settings.

2. In the top navigation that appears, click “Advanced”

Setting up multiple Gmail inboxes

3. Scroll down to “Multiple Inboxes,” and select “Enable”

Be sure to click “Save Changes,” after which Gmail will automatically re-direct you back to your inbox. But we’re not done just yet …

enabling multiple inboxes in Gmail

4. Create labels for each email type you’d like to bucket

In the left-side panel of your inbox, scroll down and click “More”, “Create new label,” you can create the various groups you’d like to bucket your different email types into. Enter your label name and click “Create.”

Creating labels for email types

I enjoy organizing my inboxes based on the priority of the email. Some of my emails need a response, even if I can’t get to them right away. Others are to-do list items I simply can’t forget. The remaining emails end up being items I can store in a backlog to return to.

5. With your labels created, navigate back to “Settings”

Navigate to and click the gear icon, “Settings”, and then click “Multiple Inboxes” in the top navigation.

Creating labels for Gmail inboxes

6. Now, set the labels you’d like to appear in your inboxes

Under “Current searches for the multiple inboxes,” I input the additional inboxes I’d like in my inbox. These correspond with the labels I mentioned in step four. In order to properly display these inboxes, be sure to use the format “is:label-name.” Your queries will need to be lower-case and use dashes instead of spaces.

Current searches for multiple inboxes

You can also select the max number of emails that can appear in each inbox at a time under “Maximum page size”. I also opt to have my new multiples inboxes appear to the right of my main inbox (as shown in the visual in step seven).

7. Click “Save Changes” to head back to your organized inbox

Voila! Your new inbox should now look something like the one below.

Saving changes in an organized inbox

If the multiple inbox panes don’t appear, navigate to the gear icon, “Settings”, “Inbox”, and make sure “Primary” is the only selected option in the “Categories” section.

Labeling your categories in Gmail

Next, let’s take a look at the steps to use one inbox for multiple Gmail accounts.

Multiple Gmail Accounts One Inbox

  1. Navigate to your “Accounts” settings.
  2. Add the secondary Gmail account to the primary Gmail account.
  3. Click the “Send Verification” button.
  4. Navigate to the secondary account’s “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” settings.
  5. Add the primary account’s email address to the “Forwarding” settings.
  6. Add the primary account’s email address to the “Forwarding” settings.
  7. Confirm the forwarding email address.
  8. Select a forwarding option.

If you have multiple Gmail accounts, you can pick a primary inbox to send from and merge your secondary accounts to the primary one. Below, we’ll take a look at the steps to set this up.

1. Navigate to your “Accounts” settings

If there’s one Gmail account you check more frequently than others, use this as your primary inbox. Navigate to the gear icon, click “Settings”, and then click “Accounts” in the top navigation.

2. Add the secondary Gmail account to the primary Gmail account

In the “Send mail as:” section, click on the “Add another email” link.

Then, type your full name and the secondary email address you’d like to add. You can choose to either check or uncheck the box to the left of “Treat as an alias” is checked”

Checking the box means that emails sent to the secondary email address appear in the primary Gmail account’s inbox, which is the goal we’re trying to achieve in this example. Once you’ve checked the box, then click the “Next Step >>” button.

3. Click the “Send Verification” button

Click the “Send Verification” button to send a confirmation email to your secondary Gmail account’s inbox.

4. Enter the verification code

Once you receive the confirmation email, copy the verification code, paste it in the field that says “Enter and verify the confirmation code”, and click the “Verify” button.

5. Navigate to the secondary account’s “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” settings

The next step is to forward the emails from the secondary account to the primary account. Navigate to the secondary account’s “Settings” and click the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab in the top navigation.

6. Add the primary account’s email address to the “Forwarding” settings

In the “Forwarding” section, click the “Add a forwarding address button”. This is where you’ll enter the email address for the primary account. Click the “Next” button and then the “Confirm” button. A pop-up window will appear, you’ll click the “Proceed” button, and a confirmation email will be sent to your primary Gmail account.

7. Confirm the forwarding email address

Copy the confirmation code from the email and paste it into the confirmation code field in the “Forwarding” settings in your secondary Gmail account. Click the “Verify” button.

8. Select a forwarding option

Finally, click the checkbox to “Forward a copy of incoming mail to … ” and select a forwarding option from the drop-down.

Once an option is selected, emails from your secondary Gmail account will be forwarded to your primary Gmail account. Having all of your emails in one place will save you time and make it easier to manage multiple inboxes.

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