Use Gmail for One In-Box, Multiple Addresses, and Devices

Here’s the question: Can you look at your email inbox on your phone, your computer, and your iPad/tablet and be seeing the same thing?  Can you delete an email while using your phone, and it will be gone when you look at email on your computer?

If you answer ‘Yes’, then all is well.  If not, then you’ve got some work to do.  It’s called device independence.  Your email experience should be the same regardless of what device you’re using – phone, computer, or tablet.  It can be done and it should be done.  There are many ways to do it, we think the easiest is by using Gmail for your inbox.  Yes, that means you have an email that ends in, but it doesn’t mean you have to use that address.  You just need to use the Gmail software for your aggregate or universal inbox.

  1. Get a Gmail account
  2. Use the Gmail software/App for your inbox on all your devices
  3. Configure Gmail to ‘fetch’ all your other email address messages.  It’s best to do this using your computer, but the end result will affect all devices that use your Gmail account.
  4. Configure Gmail to Reply using whatever email address a message was sent to.  For example, if I receive an email sent to then Gmail will reply and my recipient will see that my reply is From  This way no-one need know that you’re using Gmail.  It is just your tool for creating an integrated email experience.
  5. Make sure that each device is synchronizing. (Android: System Settings->Accounts and Sync)

You can set up the Gmail program to fetch your other email and collect it in your Gmail inbox. You can also set Gmail to automatically label the fetched email so you know where it came from.
Using the ‘Fetch’ method means that people will continue to email you using your other address (e.g. and Gmail will make your responses be *from* your other address as well. Gmail will just be acting as your mail center for all the address you have set up.

The image below is a screenshot snippet of Odie’s Gmail inbox. In Odie’s case, his Gmail account is fetching his address, his as well as his email. Notice the highlighted ‘labels’ telling what email address each message was sent To. Only two messages – the Confirmation Required and Ask Bob – have no label, meaning it was actually sent to his address.

When he replies to a message, it will be ‘From’ the same account as it was To.