How To Best Manage Alternative Emails With Android and Gmail

So you have an android phone, but your main email account isn't a gmail one. What do you do? Well lets get the important thing over with first. Make gmail your #1 main email! You won't regret it. It works so flawlessly with android that it would be silly not to. Not to mention its fantastic on your PC, especially if you use Chrome browser (and if not, why the hell not?!). Anyway, I know lots of people have other, non-gmail accounts (me included). So I thought I'd write up a guide on how to best manage these alternative emails you have within android. I'll be using hotmail as the example alternative email, simply because its the most common email you guys will have.

Forward Hotmail to Gmail

Step by step is always the easiest way to explain something, so here we go:

  1. Open gmail on your PC and go to settings.
  2. Click on the Accounts and Import tab.
  3. Click on Add POP3 Email Account.
  4. Enter your hotmail email address and click next.
  5. Enter your username and password.
  6. Tick Label Incoming Messages, and in the dropdown box scroll to the bottom and select New Label.
  7. Enter Hotmail as the name.
  8. Tick Archive Incoming Messages (Skip the Inbox).
  9. Click Add Account.
  10. Done.

Now all your hotmail emails will automatically arrive in your gmail account, under the label Hotmail. Therefore they won't get mixed up with your gmail emails. And you can just click on the Hotmail label to see them all. Sort of like having a second email account inside your gmail account.

Reply From Hotmail Within Gmail

Now lets move onto the next stage, being able to reply to those hotmail emails from your gmail account, and make it look like they came from your hotmail account, not your gmail one (the way this works, they are actually sent via hotmail, gmail sort of acts as an intermediary).

  1. Open gmail on your PC and go to settings.
  2. Click on the Accounts and Import tab.
  3. Click on Send mail from another address.
  4. Enter your name and your hotmail email address and click Next Step.
  5. Select the Send through SMTP servers radio button.
  6. Enter your hotmail password and click Add Account.
  7. Done!

You can now send emails from your hotmail account from within gmail! Want to check its done correctly? Inside gmail click Compose, the From field should now be a dropdown, allowing you to select your hotmail address :)

Well, thats pretty much sorted then. All of the changes will now be available on your android phone, although you may want to do a few things to hone the experience slightly. I'll go though these now.

Ensure Hotmail Gets Synced

  1. On your android phone, open up the gmail app.
  2. Click Menu > More > Settings.
  3. Click the Labels option.
  4. Click on your Hotmail label, and select Sync 4 days.
  5. This will ensure that your hotmail emails get pushed to your device just as your normal gmail emails do.

Create a Hotmail Shortcut

Many of you, like me, will have a shortcut to your gmail account on your android homescreen, it just makes it easy to get at your emails. You might not be aware that you can also create shortcuts to any gmail label, so lets do this now.

  1. Long press on your android homescreen.
  2. Select Shortcuts.
  3. Select Gmail label.
  4. Select your Hotmail label.
  5. Give your shortcut a name, 'Hotmail' sounds good ;)
  6. Done!

Hope this guide helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments, or alternatively via my twitter account. Take care!