The Gmail Experiment

Posted by Mike Merritt in Websites on

As a person who attends university, I have a problem. While I can use Mozilla Thunderbird to receive my email, I cannot use Thunderbird to send it, due to the blocks placed on their network…basically, they’re blocking port 25, and have no plans to open it up any time soon.

So far, I’ve been able to deal with the problem, but it’s been a bit of a pain. I get my email in Thunderbird, but then, for each account I want to respond to (and I have several), I then have to go to that account via webmail and respond there, meaning I have to login to several different places to get anything done. Well, that’s not why I moved to using a client a couple years ago. I moved so I wouldn’t have to do such a thing.

So, what to do? Well, in comes Gmail. They have a feature where you’re able to respond to email under several different email addresses. Input an email address, and they’ll send you a verification to that email. Confirm, and voila! You can respond to people via that email using Gmail. So, using this, combined with instructing my email addresses to forward to Gmail, the problem seems to be solved. I have yet to really see it work in action, so I’ll have to reserve my judgement. Using it this way, all my email will come to the same inbox, which makes it about equivalent to what Thunderbird’s Global Inbox does. I’m not exactly a big fan of that. For example, in Thunderbird, I have separate inboxes setup for all my email.

On the other hand, I have to do something. I want to be able to respond to my email without having to go elsewhere, and respond to it with the original message attached, and also avoid having to put in a subject line. I could copy the message to the compose email window, but I’m lazy in this respect. I don’t want to have to do it. So, hopefully, with Gmail’s labeling feature, this problem will be solved.

The other thing I don’t like is that Gmail is not bringing in the forwarded emails with the full address. Instead, it says something like, “something@something.com to mike”. Problem is that several of my emails are michael@something.com, so I don’t need all my emails saying “something@something.com to michael”. While you can mouse over the recipient or click “More Options”, with several emails now forwarding to Gmail, I’d prefer not to have to do that just to determine what email they mean. So, I’ll have to find a way to fix that.

Anyway, that’s it for tonight. Let the experiment begin!

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