Refactor your life step 2 — mail

Time to deal with that pesky e-mail. Actually this is one that I *mostly* have under control, but I think there are a couple of valuable tips. Depending on how you approach your e-mail, your mileage will vary.Broadly, there are four different types of e-mail you can have:

  1. Corporate e-mail address. Most people will have at least one of these.
  2. ISP e-mail address. Most of us will have one of these too.
  3. Web Mail address (Hotmail, Google Mail etc.), also very common!
  4. Your own domain mail address.

There are a myriad of options, but for my money, mail re-directors are the key. This is going to be different for each provider, but roughly speaking, most mail hosts provide you the ability to automatically forward your mail to other accounts. In some cases (typically web-mail) you can’t always forward, but you can consolidate multiple accounts in to one.Again you’re own choices will vary, but my choices are as follows:

  1. Corporate mail — I can’t do much with this, so I like to have every thing come here. You may not want to answer your mail from here, but it’s nice to know you’ve got it during the day.
  2. ISP — I’ve re-directed my ISP mail address (which typically only receives mail from my ISP) to my own domain address.
  3. Web mail — I dispensed with these a long time ago, although there are reasons why I wouldn’t mind one. The major issue is that personal mail I recieve in my corporate mail account is branded as my company when it goes back out. This generally doesn’t bother me, but it may not always be appropriate. Web mail account would help me here, but I want one branded with my domain name (I think I can do this, but it needs some play time and signing up with GMail or Hotmail to try it out….).
  4. Domain Mail — All other mail, including multiple mail addresses on the domain are eventually forwarded to one mail box, and this is copied off to my corporate address. This means I am notified when I get mail, but can access my mail from home later and be branded as when I want to deal with it.

Ultimately a Domain Mail account with a web host is really powerful and lets you do lots of neat things. I like to have the ability to setup my own e-mail addresses and do so on occasion for web sites that I don’t trust for various reasons. I can then just delete the mail account when I need to.So here is the newest step in re-factoring your digital life:

Step 1: Get a better browserStep 2: Explore your mail hosts options and consolidate your mail into fewer accounts