2 Gmail Tricks I Bet You Didn't Know About

Posted by Artem Russakovskii on August 17th, 2009 in Awesomeness, Google, My Favorites, Technology, Tutorials

OK, maybe you did know them – just see for yourself.


The tricks I am going to describe allow you to create unique gmail addresses that still hit your existing gmail inbox, without actually making new gmail accounts.

This can be useful in a variety of situations when you need to use multiple email addresses without having the pain of maintaining them, such as

  • using unique emails while registering for the same service more than once (say, paypal)
  • giving out a unique email address to see if you start getting spam to it later – that way you know exactly who to blame for it
  • more generally, easily create email rules to sort incoming emails into folders, delete them, mark as important, etc.

The hints are not new by any means but it seems like most gmail users are not aware of them. So, without further ado:

Gmail Ignores Dots In Gmail Addresses

Did you know this? I sure didn't, until today, when I read a blog post by a fellow Russian blogger streetmakarov. Apparently, gmail completely ignores dots, so you can insert them anywhere you want in your email address.

Thus, [email protected] is the same as [email protected], which is the same as [email protected], etc – they will all arrive in the same inbox.

This begs the question – what if I registered [email protected] while someone else already owns [email protected]? Well, some digg and arstechnica users got their panties in a bunch over this a while ago, just to realize that gmail doesn't allow registering accounts that would clash in any way – so if I already own [email protected], nobody can register [email protected] or any other combination.

You Can Append a "+ANYTHINGYOUWANT" To Your Username

I think this trick is even more awesome and flexible than the previous one. If your email is [email protected], then you can use [email protected], [email protected], etc and those will still land in your original inbox.

This makes it even easier to track the addresses you give out. For example, when I register new twitter accounts, I enter my email as [email protected] and then set up a filter in Outlook to filter those out to a separate folder. Simple, painless, and effective.

The only downside to this method is some sites foolishly (or purposely) disallow plus signs in email addresses. Oh well, you can use trick #1 for those.


Do you know other tricks related to "uniquefying" your gmail address? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer and blogger. Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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