If you’re anything like me, then you probably have multiple email addresses. You might have one that you use for business purposes, another for personal contacts, and another “junk” email address that you use to sign up for various online services. You might also use email as a way to subscribe to Beyond the Rhetoric. There are clearly reasons why someone would want to have several email addresses, but accessing them all on a daily basis can seriously stunt your productivity.

You may have also noticed that Google dominates my life, because I’ve come to rely on several of their services above and beyond the search engine. The most notable (and useful) is Gmail. I love how it can arrange all your messages into threaded conversations. I love how you can “tag” your messages, instead of shoving them into discrete folders. The only problem is that I don’t want everyone to know my Gmail address. So, how can one go about “hiding” this?

You can actually use Gmail to manage all of your email addresses. What I mean by this is that you can send out a message from the Gmail interface, but have the “from” field contain your other email address, perhaps from your own domain or a Gmail competitor. By having messages sent to these other addresses forwarded to your Gmail, you effectively get a one-stop shop for all your emails. Handy, right? Let’s go through the setup process.

1. Forward your email to your Gmail address: You may or may not want to do this with all your email addresses, so I’ll leave that to your own discretion.

2. Log into your Gmail account: That’s obvious enough.

3. Click on Settings: Located in the top-right corner.

4. Click on Accounts

5. Add Another Email Address: By clicking on the link highlighted with the red arrow, you will open up another window with the next step in the process. Note the dialog pointed out by the blue arrow. I recommend that you tick the first option, because this makes it so that if an email is originally sent to abc@domain.com, for example, your reply will look like it’s coming from abc@domain.com instead of your Gmail address. This makes it seamless for the person on the other end of the conversation.

6. Enter Your Email Address: It is also here that you would set your outgoing name and a different “reply-to” address (optional)

7. Send Verification: Confirm that you have entered the correct email address and then click on the button marked ‘Send Verification’.

8. Click on Verification Link: A message is dispatched to your email of choice. In that message, you will see both a confirmation code and a verification link. Click on the link to verify your email address or enter the confirmation code in the window that results after step 7 above.

And you’re done! This very simple process can seriously streamline your day, because you no longer have to check all of your different email addresses.