I currently have some basic filters in Gmail, but the other day I heard someone mention you could use a plus sign in your address to filter incoming email?
Can someone elaborate?
This is your regular email address:
This is your email with plus addressing:
When you create a filter, just filter for messages sent To the one with the particular word after the plus (+) sign.
So your filter will look like this:
Now you can just hand out that email address with the plus and seed word and any incoming mail sent to that will be filtered however you want to deal with it.
The other methods suggested may not catch all email sent to that address; that is, sometimes your email will not be in the
To: field, as when the email is sent to a mailing list to which you are subscribed.
First, to take advantage of the plus sign you mention, append the desired text to the first part of your email address. If your email is
email@example.com and you're signing up for the New York Times Online, you might use the address
firstname.lastname@example.org. Email sent to this address will also appear in your regular inbox, and it will not be sent to anyone else -- anything after the
+ operator is ignored by Gmail.
If you want to get even trickier, you can use periods within the address at any position except the first letter before the
@ symbol, and these will also be ignored (as another commenter notes). E.g., you could use
email@example.com and email to that address would be sent directly to
Now, to filter incoming mail you'll use the "Filters" feature of Gmail. To create a new filter, use the link beside the search box at the top of the page or go to your settings and click the "Filters" tab.
To make sure all relevant emails are caught, we can take advantage of the fact that the
Has the words: field accepts search operators.
to:this address OR it can be
Enjoy your newfound powers.
+ operator is NOT available for all email providers. It is a special feature of Gmail. Only use it with Gmail accounts unless you confirm that it works with another provider. However, people can send mail to this type of account from any email address.
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/11/filter-messages-from-mailing-list-in.html -- Where I found my answer when I was trying to solve this problem
http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=7190 -- Full list of search operators
You can provide to other sites a modified version of your email address, like so:
firstname.lastname@example.org -> email@example.com
So if a site you provided a modified email address to sends you a message, you can set up a filter on the to field of the message to check for the sitename bit. You can create a filter for each variation you create. It's surprising, but it works!
I'll add another remark: not every site likes being given an email address with the plus sign in it, even though it is a legal character. Some sites are checking for fairly simple address formats, though the actual allowed format is quite complex.