Tech Friday: A couple Gmail tricks and a Thunderbird update

Posted By on February 3, 2012

I’ve been using Gmail for years and recently found a hidden gem for filtering email. It works particularly tbird10well for me while using the Mozilla client Thunderbird, although is equally useful with any other client or the Google’s web client (BTW the upgrade to 10.0 was pushed out this past week). 

Without getting overly detailed as to how I’m using it, let’s just say that when I want to filter and saved something to a certain folder, I make sure the email address used has an appended plus (“+”) sign and correct folder name (or special word like “+toss”).


Of course a filter needs to be set up in the client to automatically sort, but that is something I’ve been doing for over a decade. No doubt most heavy email users have set up dozens of filters, labels, spam control, etc. (the address above actually works better than the old address)

The beauty of adding the “+” to your email account name is that whatever is added doesn’t affect the mail going to your account and “could” be even given out to someone in order to have  their mail filtered automatically or even forwarded as needed. I’ve successfully used one that sends me out a text message trigger since the above address isn’t monitored as regularly or received on my phone. Hey … go crazy since whatever is after the plus sign isn’t significant.


Another less attractive but simpler technique is to use the Gmail ignored “dot” or period (“.”) somewhere in your address. Before I learned about the + sign, one my earlier tricks was to use my GMail address without the “dot” for all the less important website sign-ups and to include the “.us” part for the emails that I wanted kept in my inbox or to be filtered appropriately. This worked for a while, but over the years and to my lack of discipline ends up tossing too many emails.

Gmail doesn’t recognize periods as characters in addresses …




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