If you’ve ever signed up for a giveaway, registered for an event, entered your email to get a coupon, or been in any other situation where you needed to sacrifice your email address to get something you wanted, you know the immediate sadness you feel when you start getting all sorts of junk mail as a result of your actions. Was it unavoidable? Maybe. Was it necessary? In the moment, it likely felt that way. Was there another way? Actually…yes!
Using Gmail like a boss
Today I learned a new trick from TikTok, and after researching it a bit, I also learned that this method has been in place for Gmail basically since the beginning and I simply never knew about it. As a matter of fact, every person I’ve shown this to had no idea it was a thing, either, so even though it has been in play for years, most people don’t know it exists or what to do with it. The trick is simple, and now that I know it, I’ll be leveraging it all the time moving forward, and I bet you will be too.
So what is it? Nothing more than the ability to instantly create an infinite number of custom email addresses that can be sorted as you see fit, require no work to set up, and can greatly clean up your inbox with just a simple filter. Sound too good to be true? I thought so, too, but after testing it, I realized this simple trick has been hiding in plain sight all this time and could have saved me hours over that same amount of time if I’d known about it sooner.
Here’s the best part: there’s no setup to start using it. Because of how Gmail routes email, you can simply append “+whateverYouWant” to your email address and it will still get to you. So, if my address is something like email@example.com and I am at a conference where sharing my email address is both necessary and an open invitation to tons of spam at the same time (I’m looking at you, CES), I could use something like firstname.lastname+CES2023@gmail.com as my registration address. All the requisite emails sent to that address would still hit my main inbox, and replies will continue to come to the newly-appended address moving forward if continued conversations happen.
With a quick filter, many things can be done with the emails coming to that new address, too. They can be sent directly to a folder, immediately archived, or simply deleted. With one filter and this simple trick, you never have to worry about sending out your email address for anything! You can register for giveaways or conferences or any other activity that tends to generate spam and not have to clean up the mess in the aftermath. Gmail can easily do it for you, and I’m almost sick to my stomach that I didn’t know this before now.
We also tested Workspace accounts, and they work as well. I appended ‘+testing’ to my work email and it came through just fine. With this simple trick, I’m already prepping for the first scenario where I may be able to put it into play. And, if it can help you out, I’m hopeful you might find a use for this handy trick as well. Like me, it may be too late to clean up your current inbox with this workaround, but at least moving forward, the spam should be under control with ease.