When it comes to your email, few things are as frustrating as not knowing how your email is being used. Sign up for a few newsletters, blogs, or subscriptions (or do some shopping online) and you may suddenly see an influx of unwanted email or spam. Most people simply resign themselves to this as a fact of life, since they have no way to know where the wayward emails are coming from.
However, if you’re using Gmail as your email provider, there is a way to keep track of your emails by creating several aliases for the same account. No need to worry about signing up for different email addresses or accounts, either. This trick is a great way to track the sources of any emails that you sign up for, as well as unwanted emails that you may be receiving.
One way to create an alias is to add a period anywhere within your username when you fill out an online form or sign up for an email subscription. For example, if your email address is [email protected], and you’re signing up for a newsletter, you can type in your email address as [email protected] The newsletter will be automatically forwarded to your primary Gmail email address. But if you notice strange emails appearing in your inbox, take a look at the header information. If they’re addressed to your “alias” email, then you know exactly where it came from.
And you can create as many of these aliases as you want. For example:
All of these variations will go directly to [email protected] It’s a great way to find out if anyone is selling your email address to spammers, and call them on it. However, if you’re looking to identify several different sources, you can take this a step further by using a word and the “+” sign to your username. It will give you the same result, but with the added benefit of being able to instantly identify where you entered the email. For example:
Using these methods, combined with other Gmail tools like color coding, custom labels and filters, can also help you keep your inbox neat, organized, and easy to access. It’s just one more reason why Gmail users swear by their Google-based email utility.