In my previous post, I covered how to move all your emails to one email account so you can easily check all your emails online without having to log in and log out individual email accounts all the time. We are now at the stage on how we can access these emails offline. Since all of our emails go into one account, we need some kind of sorting mechanism.
My default mail client is Gmail for online access and Thunderbird for offline. In this demonstration, I am going to use Mozilla Thunderbird, but the same principle can be used for other desktop clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Windows Live Mail.
Step 1: Download Install ThunderBird
Step 2: Create your Gmail Account in Thunderbird
Once you have successfully installed Thunderbird, it is time to set up Gmail. When you first launch the ThunderBird after installing it, the below dialog box will appear. If you want to set up more accounts later, you can access it by going Tools ““> Account Settings ““> Add Account.
Click on the Google Mail or Gmail radio button and click Next. Then enter your name and Google email address. What you type in as Your Name field will appear as the sender when you send emails to other people.
Click Next, and do not click Download Emails now. We’ll download our emails later after we have checked the settings and set up our folders and filters. The setup should be now complete. In order to make sure the settings are correct and to alter the settings if we need, go to Tools ““> Account Options. Under your email account, click on Server Settings and make sure you tick the box Leave Messages on Server. This allows you to check all of your emails online as well as offline after you have downloaded them. If you want, you can click the “Until I Delete Them” box.
Step 3: Managing Identities
Since we are in Account Settings, we can set up and manage our identities. Identities are a way we can send mail from other accounts. On the main Account Settings page, you’ll see a button that says Manage Identities. Click on that, and set up your identities for the accounts you are forwarding.
Then click on Add to add a new identity and to fill in the details of your other email accounts. You can change the settings in “Copies and Folders” so your sent mail is stored in another folder if you want.
Step 4: Create folders to sort your mail
Since mail from different email accounts are coming to this one account, we will first set up folders so we can sort mail so we know which email account we will send the email from. To do this, right click on your account and click New folder.
Create folders for all your email accounts that you are forwarding to this Gmail account.
Step 5: Automatically filter your mail from different accounts
Now we have to set up Mail Filters to sort our mail into correct folders. To access message filters, go to Tools ““> Message Filters. You have to create a new filter for every email account you are forwarding that you want to go into its own separate folder. Click on the New button and give the filter an appropriate name. Select To from the first drop down box, Contains from the second and type the email address in the third. In the bottom half, select Move Message To and select the folder that you want to move the emails too.
Repeat the steps for every email account. Message Filters are great if you get a lot of mail from one address for example MySpace and Facebook, you can set message filters to your move all mail from those sites to different folders. The below screenshot is how I effectively sort all my MySpace and FaceBook messages into one folder.
Step 6: You are now done
By reading the Part 1, you should now be able to access your emails online in one simple location. By reading this part, you should now be able to access your emails offline. Combined these posts together and you will now be able to successfully managed your mail more efficiently and effectively. However, I do suggest that you check your other email accounts just in case there are some important emails filtered as Spam and that everything is still working correctly.
There are other ways to do this, but this is what I have been doing and it works great with my mail. Especially if you change your email addresses a lot. What do you think? Has this helped you to manage your email more efficiently?
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