Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts

Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts

My business generates a huge amount of incoming email.  I need to manage multiple Gmail accounts efficiently. Being able to read and action important mail straight away is vital for me to remain efficient. Some mail needs to be found and dealt with immediately but other emails can wait until I have more time.

Without being organized you can become overloaded and stressed and miss out on information you really need. Although it can take time to put methods and procedures into place to maximize email efficiency it is well worth it.

Here are some of the methods I use.

Log in to multiple Gmail accounts at once

Open multiple Gmail accounts at the same time

I use multiple Gmail accounts to help separate distinct activities and to make sure important emails do not get lost. Some of these I import into my email client, Thunderbird, others I read via Gmail online. By logging into more than one Google profile at a time I can keep track of multiple Gmail accounts.

To do this, log in to one of your Gmail accounts. Click on the down arrow next to your profile image at the top right of the Gmail window and then on “Add Account”. A new tab will open and you can log into a second account. To log in to more accounts I use the first account I opened and repeat the procedure. Click on the down arrow again and you will now see the a list of the email accounts that you have open and can easily swap between them.

Different Gmail Accounts for Different Activities

Multiple Accounts in Gmail

I use separate Gmail addresses for distinct activities so that I know where to find certain email types easily. This means I usually only need to log in to one or two of the important accounts each day. The others I use as necessary or when I have the time for reading.  I use a different email address for each of the following categories.

  1. Programs and businesses I am involved with
  2. Personal emails from sites I subscribe to – shopping, daily deals etc
  3. Mail  to and from from my business contacts
  4. Business Social networking sites, groups and forums
  5. Non-Business Social Networking
  6. Newsletter subscriptions
  7. Traffic Exchange and Safelist admin and solo emails
  8. Safelist emails

You may may be able to manage well with only 2 or 3 accounts depending on the volume you receive.

Tip: Name your email addresses so that you will remember what you use each one for. For example yournamebiz, yournamesocnet (or use your business name or nickname instead of your name)

I used to import all Gmail accounts into my email client, Thunderbird, but now only do so with the first 3 because of the sheer volume of mail that was coming through. I then save the emails I may need to refer to again to separate folders in Thunderbird.

To create a new account in Gmail  log out of any accounts you have open or go to and click on the Create an Account button at the top right of the window:

Create an Account with Google

Message Tagging and Filtering in Gmail

I keep my main Gmail inboxes as empty as possible to make sure I see important emails as soon as possible.

I create filters for the less important types of mail, tagging them so that they skip the inbox and go directly into folders for reading when I have the time.

I keep my personal email address for non business related matters apart from those that I wish to read straight away. I only give out this  address to family and friends so I create Gmail filters forwarding these important business emails from Gmail to my personal address as well as directing them to their own Gmail folder.

When I have read the inbox emails I tag and archive the important ones and immediately delete those I do not need to keep.

If you wish to learn more about tagging and filtering please let me know. I am always willing to answer questions and this helps me know which topics I need to write about.

Inbox Organizing

Choose the method that suits you and the particular gmail account you are working with. Click the arrow next to the Inbox label and choose which way you wish your posts to be organized.

Gmail inbox options

Priority Inbox

You may want to make use of the Priority Inbox feature. Enable it via the inbox down arrow as above.  Your mail will then be sorted into 3 sections “Important and Unread”, Starred and Everything else. Over time Gmail does learn about what you consider important but you have to delete a lot from the Important section to begin with. (To remove an email just click the “importance marker” next to the message). Even then it is not fool-proof and you have to be careful not to rely on it too much.

Tip: Along with each Gmail account comes a full Google account, including Circles, Google Docs, Calendar and Reader. Choose one or two email accounts to use with these features.  I use one business account and one personal account.

Gmail Labs

Gmail Labs is a testing ground for new features. To enable any of the available apps choose the “Labs” tab from your Settings menu. (you can get to this by clicking the gear icon on the top right of the Gmail screen)

Smart Labels

“Smart Labels”  may suit some of your gmail accounts. This feature  automatically labels incoming mail into Bulk, Notification and Forum categories. “Bulk” mail includes mass mailings such as newsletters which are filtered out of your inbox into their own archive folder.  “Notifications” are messages sent to you only. Emails from group mailing are labelled as “Forums”. I would not recommend using this feature for accounts where you receive important mail from your programs as these too will likely to be archived away as bulk mail.

More Labs Apps

You may like to take a look at Gmail labs to see which other apps you would find useful and time saving. Others include:

  • Auto-advance which automatically shows the next conversation after you delete, archive, or mute a conversation instead of going back to your inbox.
  • Create a Document which could be useful if you are writing an email including content that you may wish to use again.  This feature allows you to create a Google Document from an email or a new blank document if your keyboard shortcuts are enabled by hitting ‘g’ then ‘w’.
  • Mark as Read Button adds a button to the top toolbar saving you having to click on More/Mark as Read
  • Preview Pane – similar to Outlook and Thunderbird this shows your messages in the same window as to your lists of messages. When enabled a new button appears next to your settings button. This allows you to show the preview pane horizontally, vertically or to turn it off altogether.

Using online and software resources can speed up your daily tasks and increase your business efficiency. I am always on the search for the best tools, software and methods to help me with my blogging, social networking and marketing. I will be reporting on those I use and new ones I discover.

If you use any other Gmail tools or organize your mail differently to me please let me know (Comment below or send me a message via my contact form). I will be writing an email tips post soon and will be happy to include your ideas and give you recognition for your contributions.



20 Responses to “Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts”

  1. Sue Neal says:

    Hi Sue – thank you very much for this post. I’m still not completely at home with the gmail interface (it’s so different from Outlook!) and hadn’t realised it would be so easy to set up more than one account. I can see how this might help me to organise my mail more effectively.

    Thanks for some very practical tips,

    All good wishes,

    Sue Neal recently posted..Writing Tips: How ‘Readable’ Are Your Articles and Blog Posts?My Profile

    • Sueblimely says:

      If you don’t want to login to Gmail online could you bring the different accounts into Outlook via pop mail? Thunderbird allows this but I have not used Outlook for years so I am not familiar with it any more.

      This way you can still use different Gmail accounts for different purposes and keep them separate within Outlook.

  2. Having multiple emails can help segregate personal stuff from business stuff, but it can be really time consuming to go through one email after another. Consolidating everything into one interface is the way to go to help manage your time, and not miss a single email while you’re at it. Thanks for sharing these tips.
    Adeline Yuboco recently posted..Le Petit Cheri: the Newest Darling of South ManilaMy Profile

    • Sueblimely says:

      I will talk more of the Thunderbird email client and how you can create filters so that important emails from your different accounts can be brought into one folder so that you do not miss them.

  3. I didn’t know about the priority inbox feature, that’s really helpful. As with everyone else I have several email accounts, some receiving more important mail than others. It is hard to go through all the emails every day do I too only visit some accounts every couple of days or so.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy Allen@Learn To Blog recently posted..Making Sure Your Video Is CentredMy Profile

  4. Hi Sue!

    I have had the same problem with so much email! I did most of what you said above and it made my life easier.
    Having only one email account will make you loose the ability to check on what’s important on a daily basis.

    I have 4 Gmail accounts. Each for specific uses. And I, like you, like to keep them clean. I do it on a daily basis so I don’t get backed up.

    It is just part of my daily routine.

    Thanks for writing this post because many people have had so many problems not getting an email message that was important. It just got lost in the shuffle.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Why I Left The Empower NetworkMy Profile

  5. Hi Sue,

    Wow, you’ve got a lot of precious information here. I will be sure to save this post and share it as well.

    I have multiple Gmail accounts just like many people out there, so I need this type of tips to make my life easier. Lot of which I didn’t know.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How Can You Attract More Business – Part OneMy Profile

    • Sueblimely says:

      Apologies for not approving this before now, Sylvaine. I had a few messages sitting there that I did not need to publish but answer via email instead and I did not see yours there.

      I have my comment filters set to approve the first comment a person makes. I have been looking into some pro plugins that filter spam more efficiently so I do not need to do this.
      Sueblimely recently posted..Managing Multiple Gmail AccountsMy Profile

  6. Adrienne says:

    Hi Sue,

    I love it when I learn something new as I just did here.

    I have several gmail accounts but didn’t realize I could open them all at the same time by just adding an account. I have two different browsers open for this exact purpose.

    Now the other settings I was aware of but I found this one gold for me. I really appreciate this post so thank you so much for writing about this.

    Hope you’re enjoying your week.

    Adrienne recently posted..How to Build a Rock Star Brand Part 2My Profile

  7. Romy Singh says:

    Hello Sue,

    after reading your article I realized that there so many things I don’t know Gmail and I’m using Gmail from more than 4 years. The Priority inbox is completely new to me. I have reflection that there’s a feature with the name of priority inbox but never made any effort to do a Google to know that what actually it means and how to use it.

    Thanks for telling me about Gmail priority inbox. :) And also for sharing a very detailed article about merging Gmail accounts. Now I’m going to merge all my account. :)
    Romy Singh recently posted..Desire: The Starting Point of Every Writers CareerMy Profile

  8. HI Sue this is a great post and I am sure will be useful for people who have multiple email accounts. Angus
    Angus J McEwan recently posted..Discovering Your Secret Weapons for Providing Blog Posts and Value People WantMy Profile

  9. Hi Sue,
    Great post! I only have one gmail account. But, should I ever add more I know what to do! I have actually been deleteing subscriptions and just keeping the ones I want because it’s too overwhelming getting all these emails! I do have more mailboxes on my MSN account and organize those, but it’s a different program. Very informative! Thanks – I see you have a lot of great info here!! :-) Oh – love your name too – sueblimely!
    Lesly Federici recently posted..Try To Pick Up A PencilMy Profile

    • Sueblimely says:

      It would be great to be able to manage with only one Gmail account but with all the different business and volunteer work activities I am involved with I would not be able to keep up with the emails efficiently.

  10. Ptcworld says:

    Great post Sue, i should look into this more as i have my fair share of Gmail accounts aswell
    Ptcworld recently posted..Earning potentialMy Profile

  11. Hi Sue, Here I am visiting for the first time, but I am sure that I will be back. I use about four gmail accounts, and I usually open them all in one place, but there are some other insights that I was nmot aware of. I will utilize some of this knowledge when I finally get around to managing them more efficiently.
    Thanks for outlining these for our benefit.
    Princess Shimari recently posted..Coconut,For your Health and WellnessMy Profile

  12. Fateh Ali says:

    Nice Article.. Thanks for sharing.. i will try it.

  13. Josef says:

    Hey Sue,

    Nice informative post that will help all the newbies with Gmail. I, too have several Gmail accounts, but have to admit I find it a complete pain being signed into more than one account at a time. For email it is fine but I have two webmaster and google analytic accounts on seperate emails and Google outright refuses to let me into those accounts unless I have signed out of all email accounts and then sign in first with the account that I would like to access other services with.

    Sometimes these big guys know what they are doing and others they just like making life difficult for us. I once used a Gmail account to sign into another website and for some reason one day that login broke. I contacted the site I signed in with and they simply kept referring me back to Google… How does one contact the big G? These guys hide their numbers better than some criminals! Sorry for the little rant just felt like people need to be aware of these issues.

    • Sueblimely says:

      Hi Josef, have you tried posting your problem in the Gmail support forums!forum/gmail. A lot of people read their gmail online, as I do if I am on my laptop or phone. I use a separate Firefox profile just for google logins so that it does not interfere with other webpages i want to interact with. If I am adding something to G+ for example. This would solve the problem of you not being able to log in to your google webmaster/analytic accounts. I use a Firefox plugin called Profile Switcher for this. Another solution would be to use different browsers for each – eg Firefox for one, chrome for the other.

      When I am on my PC I use my Thunderbird email program and bring my gmail accounts into it using pop mail. I create filters for the most important mail so that I can read them all in one folder rather than having to check each individual gmail account folder.

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