The number of email addresses I have used over the years has changed many times, mostly depending on how many websites I had at the time. At the moment I have 12 emails I check – 1 personal email address for friends etc (hotmail) and 11 work related emails (eg. my websites). Centralising my email is something I have been meaning to do for years but I've just never got round to it. I have really travelled since last Summer so there was no immediate need for me to do it and the last time I travelled I was away for 8 months so I just migrated all my emails to my ultraportable laptop (ie. I didn't have to copy emails from my main pc to my laptop every other week).
Darren Rowse wrote a post yesterday about he is now managing all his emails through Gmail so I decided to follow suit and do the same.
I used the ‘Send mail as' function in Gmail to add all 11 work emails. I then went through the cpanel for each of my sites and forwarded the corresponding email address to my gmail email address. Next all I had to do was add filters so that the emails are more organised.
I've been using this setup for less than a day so it's still a little strange to me – I'm so used to using Windows Mail (previously outlook express) to check my emails that I still think I'm going to hear the new mail beep from it!! I've installed google talk so that I get new email notifcations quickly however it will be a while til I'm used to it. I know that long term this is a much better system for me, whenever I go on holiday or go travelling I can login with ease. I can also check my work email in net cafes and friends houses etc – put simply, I can work anywhere now (I guess I always could but it's much easier now).
Now all I need is a good excuse for a holiday so that I can put my new email system to the test haha :)