I’ve been through different phases with regards to email address; a long time ago, I had separate email addresses ranked by how important I valued the correspondence, then I moved to Google to have the “one inbox” experience. But with my decision to move things under my own domain (and with unified inboxes being a more common feature now in mail clients), I felt it was time to have my own email address(es).

Now comes the question, how many email addresses do I need?
With my own domain(s), I can essentially have an unlimited number of email addresses.

I’m still trying to work out the little details, but this is what I’m thinking of right now:
– an email address for all my social media accounts (I might keep this as my gmail account. Why let the silos know even more about me – my new domain – than they already do?)
– one for all my other online accounts that aren’t social (online orders, bills, online services etc)
– one for real life interactions (banks, government correspondences, taxes, job applications etc)
– one as the account recovery email address for all my other accounts

It’s interesting, in the latest ATP episode, John Siracusa was bemoaning the fact that his mother still had a separate spam email address. He was saying that since his mother still checked the spam address’ inbox the whole exercise was moot.
I agree with that assessment, but my multi-email lifestyle is less about splitting my emails by type and more about separating my online identity. I don’t want government departments or future job prospects looking up my social feeds, just as I don’t want online retail outlets finding my LinkedIn profile. Does that make sense? Is there some flaw in my reasoning? How many email addresses do you have?

17 thoughts on “How many email addresses do you have?

  1. @vishae Including aliases I think I have about a dozen. But there are 3 main addresses I use. One is for personal communication with real people of some importance in my life plus my financial institutions. Number two is for personal email but from the general public. The third is for social media accounts and a few shopping/retail accounts. All are on trusted email providers (e.g. not gmail).

  2. @vishae My email client says 16 … some I rarely use but one for work, one privately, one for email lists, one for registering software etc, one for news letters. Those are the main ones.

  3. @vishae I have an email per domain (4) plus gmail and Apple mail and a few odds and sods beyond that primarily represent my presence in other people’s worlds … plus Hundreds … if not thousands ..l literally.

    They aren’t their own account … but they are all unique emails … each one maps to a r fist ration of something, a login, a news letter …… messages into each of those emails all come into a single box and I use rules to route them to a folder .. eg newsletters, service, products etc etc …

    The unique names are very specific eg comcast@ …… allows for easy searching in the mail system plus knowing that my rhister d email is treated properly.

  4. @vishae given that your email addresses are sold and shared and end up in the hands of data brokers like Google and Facebook anyway, I am unsure of the utility of having “one for all my other online accounts that aren’t social”.

    I have gmail, yahoo, icloud, comcast, outlook.com, etc. email address.

    With the ease of getting my name in my email address, you can be assured of find at khurtwilliams@[anything.com] including past employers who use first.last @companydomain.com (these will of course bounce).

  5. @jemostrom huh, I didn’t think about using one for registering software. How would you separate software that you just register once vs software that has on-going subscription or an online sync/login component?

  6. @JohnPhilpin I didn’t think about how unique aliases would allow for ease of search or rules creation. That’s definitely something I should think about.
    I forget where I read/heard this (maybe a podcast) where someone says they have a unique alias for every email address they hand out to businesses, just for the sake of knowing which company sold their customer’s email address. It’s a very smart idea.

  7. @vishae I don’t, I haven’t had any need for that. I’ve been using this “registration account” for 20+ years (I think) and it’s the best idea I’ve had when it comes to email.

  8. @vishae @JohnPhilpin I use unique aliases for every company/website and it is immediately obvious who has had their user information compromised or is selling your information. Kickstarter and Hawaiian Airlines have been the two biggest offenders for me.

  9. @vishae Yeah, my guess is it’s not Kickstarter directly, but one of the projects sold their mailing list. I would imagine the email list of people who have backed certain project types could be sold for a sizable amount.

  10. @kimonostereo Hawaiian is all over the map vs. Kickstarter which is usually random projects to back on competing funding sites. Hawaiian is general spam so they were either compromised a long time ago (this has been happening for years) or they just sell customer data.

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