Gmail Address Flexibility And Filtering

You hate spam. I hate spam. Lets face it, we sign up for things online and our e-mail address become prone to being spread all over hell’s half acre and our inboxes inevitably gets invaded by irritating e-mail. Heck…sometimes we set up accounts on sites that we want kept out of our inboxes to avoid irritating clutter. Here’s my easy little Gmail solution.

Gmail has a nice little feature that allows you to tack on a phrase to the end of your username without destroying the delivery of e-mail to your inbox. Here’s how it works:

  • Lets say my e-mail address is super.awesome.coder.ninja@gmail.com and I want to sign up at Amazon
  • All I need to do is add a phrase to my e-mail separated by a + when I sign up!
  • Lets say I add the word shop…my e-mail would now look like: super.awesome.coder.ninja+shop@gmail.com
  • Now any time mail is sent to super.awesome.coder.ninja+shop@gmail.com, I receive it at super.awesome.coder.ninja@gmail.com with the ability to create Gmail filters to mark as read; add a label; move to trash; etc…all based on what e-mail address the e-mail was sent to.

Very awesome.

If you’re curious, here’s what I use this feature for:

  • Sending pictures, documents, etc to myself so I don’t have to carry a physical storage device. I just send it to myemail+storage@gmail.com and with filters: mark it as read and archive the e-mail.
  • Sign up for online stores and gaming accounts. I sign up as myemail+shop@gmail.com.
  • Sign up for multiple test accounts on systems I develop to allow me test as multiple users with the same e-mail. I sign up as myemail+[somerandomstring]@gmail.com

All told, this feature has proven great for e-mail organization and the reduction of spam (at least spam that reaches my inbox). Lets just hope spammers are slow to pick up on this…although I’m sure this blog isn’t helping in the prevention of their knowledge of this Gmail feature…ah well. Hope this helps you out :)