Use Gmail As a POP3 Account
Gmail is a Web-based e-mail service, but if you can also use your normal e-mail software to send and receive mail from it. It's a two-step process: First configure Gmail, and then configure your e-mail software to use Gmail.
In Gmail, click Settings and then click the "Forwarding and POP" link at the top of the page. The nearby screen appears.
If you want your e-mail software to retrieve all the e-mail you've ever received on Gmail, choose "Enable POP for all mail." Be careful before making this choice, because you could end up downloading hundreds of megabytes of mail when you make your first connection to Gmail using your e-mail software. Keep in mind that even if you have only a few messages in your Inbox, that's not all the e-mail you have in your Gmail account. You might have hundreds or thousands of messages in your Archives folder.
If you choose "Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on," only those messages you receive after this point will be downloaded to your e-mail software.
Next, make your choice about what should happen to your Gmail messages: Should they be kept on the Gmail server, and if they are, should they be kept in the inbox or in the archived mail? Here are your choices.
Keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox
This will leave all new mail on the Gmail server, and leave it in your inbox. That way, even after you download it to your PC, it will stay in the Gmail inbox on the Web, as if you hadn't read it.
Archive Gmail's copy
This will leave all new e-mail on the Gmail server, but instead of putting it into your inbox, it will move it to your archived mail. So, whenever you visit Gmail on the Web, if you want to see the mail, go to your Archive.
Trash Gmail's copy
This will move all the messages to your Trash, where it will be cleaned out by Gmail on a regular basis.
Now it's time to configure your e-mail program to get your Gmail mail. You set it up as you do any other new mail account. For your POP3 server, use pop.gmail.com, and for your SMTP server, use smtp.gmail.com. When setting it up, make sure to tell your software to use a secure connection (SSL) for both SMTP and POP3.
Here's how you would set up Microsoft Outlook for POP3 Gmail. After you've enabled POP3 access in Gmail, launch Outlook and choose ToolsE-mail Accounts. Choose "Add a new e-mail account" and click Next. From the Server Type screen that appears, choose "POP3" and click Next. On the screen that appears next, enter your Gmail name, your e-mail address, and your username and password. In the Incoming Server (POP3) box, type "pop.gmail.com," and in the Outgoing mail server box, type "smtp.gmail.com." Check the box next to "Remember password."
Now, click More Settings and then choose the Advanced tab. In both the POP3 and SMTP sections, check the box next to "This server requires an encrypted connection (SSL)." When you do that, the port numbers for the servers will change. For POP3, the port number should change from 110 to 995. If it doesn't, type 995 in the Incoming Server (POP3) box. For SMTP, type 465 in the Outgoing Server (SMTP) box. Now click the Outgoing Server tab. Check the box next to "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication." Select "Use same settings as my incoming mail server." Click OK. Click Next and then Finish. You should now be able to send and receive mail using Gmail.
Import Your Contacts into Gmail
You've most likely got dozens or hundreds of contacts in your existing e-mail software. The last thing you want to have to do is retype them all into Gmail. You don't have to, if you use this tip—you can import contacts into Gmail from your e-mail software. Gmail can import contacts in the comma-separated values (CSV) format, so first you have to export your contacts into a CSV file and then import them into Gmail.
How you export your contacts varies according to your e-mail software. In Outlook, choose File->Import and Export, and the Import and Export Wizard launches. Choose "Export to a file," click Next, and from the screen that appears, choose "Comma Separated Values (Windows)." From the next screen, choose your Contacts folder, and click Next.
From the screen that appears, give the file a name (a .csv extension will be automatically added to it), browse to the folder where you want to save it, and click Next and then Finish. Your contacts will be aved in the .csv file.
Now that you have the file ready, go to your Gmail account and click Contacts on the left side of the screen. Click Import from the upper-right side of the page that appears. Click the Browse button; then, navigate to the folder where you've exported your contacts, select it, and click Open. Click Import Contacts.
After a minute or more, depending on the speed of your Internet connection and how many contacts you're importing, you'll get a message telling you that your contacts have been imported, and listing the total number of contacts you've imported. Click the Close button. Now your contacts will be available in Gmail. To see them, on the Contact screen click All Contacts.
Customize the From: Address on Outgoing Mail
Many people use Gmail as a secondary e-mail account to, for example, send and receive mail when they're away from their office. That means that they may want to send mail from Gmail, but receive a response from the recipient using their normal or primary e-mail software.
There's a way to do it, by customizing your From address on outgoing mail from Gmail. So you can, for example, have your primary, non-Gmail address in the From field, so that when people respond to your mail, it will go to your primary account, not to Gmail.
Here's how to do it.
Click the Settings link along the top the page, and then click the Accounts tab.
Click "Add another email address." Enter your full name in the "Name:" field. In the Email Address box, enter the From address you'd like appear in your outgoing Gmail messages.
You also have the option of having the mail go to yet a third e-mail account, instead of to your Gmail account, or to the alternative From address. If you want to do this, click "Specify a different reply-to address" and then enter the e-mail address where you want the mail to go. Click "Next Step >>," and then click "Send Verification" to complete the process. Gmail will send a verification message to your other e-mail address to confirm that you'd like to add it to your Gmail account. You'll need to click the link in that message, or enter the confirmation code in the "Accounts" section of your Gmail account to complete the process.
Once you've verified that you'd like to add the address to your account, you can start sending messages using your custom From: address. Whenever you compose a piece of mail, in the From field, choose either your normal Gmail address or the new address you just added.
Get Instant Gmail Notifications
One problem with Web-based mail like Gmail is that there isn't always a way to check your e-mail automatically or have it alert you when there's new mail waiting. But a Gmail add-in from Google, Gmail Notifier, solves the problem neatly by alerting you when you have a new Gmail message. And it does more than alert you; it shows you the subject lines, who sent the message, and a brief snippet of the e-mail itself, so that you can decide whether it's worth your while to open Gmail and read the full message. It runs as a little applet in your system tray, so you don't need to be running a browser in order to use it.
Download it from http://toolbar.google.com/gmail-helper/. After you install it, you'll be prompted to log into your Gmail account. It then runs as a small icon in your system tray, and when you have new mail, it shows a small alert, as you can see in the nearby figure. To view the mail, double-click the Gmail Notifier icon, and you'll be sent straight to your Gmail inbox.
By default, Gmail Notifier checks for new e-mail every 2 minutes. If you want to check your mail immediately, left-click it and choose Check Mail Now from the menu. And if you want Gmail Notifier to go back through your inbox and show new mail, left-click it and choose "Tell Me Again."
Solve E-mail Overload with Labels and Filters
Gmail is free and easy to use, but its several gigabytes of free hard drive space can sometimes turn into too much of a good thing—with all that space, you might not bother to delete old mail. If you think managing e-mail clutter on a desktop mail client is difficult, just try doing it in a Web-based app like Gmail.
You can solve the problem using two somewhat confusing Gmail features—labels and filters. A label is the term that Gmail uses for a mail folder, so when you create a new label, you're sort of creating a folder into which you can put all e-mail related to a topic—for example, family, friends, projects, and so on. A filter, on the other hand, applies rules to incoming messages and handles them according to those rules. Filters and labels go hand in hand—first you create labels, and then you create filters to route e-mail into those labels. So, for example, you could use a filter to route all incoming mail from your mother automatically into the "Mama" label.
From your Gmail inbox, put a check box next to a message or a group of messages to which you want to apply a label, and choose "New Label" from the drop-down box at the top of your Gmail inbox. (If you're already reading a message, choose New Label" from the drop-down box at the top of the message.) From the screen that appears, type in the label name and click OK. The new label will be created, with the piece of mail in it. It will appear on the left side of your Gmail screen, underneath "Labels." Click the label name, and you'll see all the mail you've checked on your inbox when you created the label. To add mail to the label, go back to your inbox, check all the mail to which you want to apply the label, and select the label name from the drop-down box.
Labels function slightly differently than folders. When you apply a label to a message, it doesn't actually move out of your inbox; it stays there but also shows up in your label. So you can have the same message appear in numerous labels as well as in your inbox.
Now that you've created a label, create a filter that routes all new mail to that label as soon as you receive it. Click "Create a Filter" from the top of a Gmail screen. The screen shown in the nearby figure appears.
Choose the criteria you want to use for the filter, for example, someone's name, the subject of the message, whether it has an attachment, whether it contains certain words, or doesn't contain those words. Then click "Next Step." Choose the action you want the filter to take, which in this instance will be to apply a label, so check the box next to "Apply the label" and choose the label from the drop-down list. If you'd like the mail not to appear in your inbox, and instead appear in the label (and in your Gmail archive), check the box next to "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)". Click "Create a Filter" and the new filter will be created, and the matching incoming mail will be automatically routed to the label you've created.