Manage Your Gmail With Outlook.com

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer



Most of us have more than one email address. It's practically a necessity nowadays. There are a lot of good reasons. You may want to keep your personal email separate from your business email. You may need one as a backup for lost passwords, or you may want a disposable address to give sites so you receive less spam in your main inbox. If you want to use Microsoft's Office Online you will need an Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) email address. If you want to use Google+ you will need a Gmail address. You get the picture.

Use Outlook.com To Manage All Your Email


You can use Outlook.com to manage all of your email, even your Gmail. I use Outlook.com because it made sense after years of using Outlook for work, and it was the only web based email that would let me manage all of my email. I could use Gmail now, but it was much easier to use Outlook.com when I first began to consolidate my email. There is also an excellent Outlook app for Android.

As I said, you can also use Gmail to consolidate and manage all your email. In fact, my next post will be about how to do just that. The concepts are the same, only the buttons and levers have different names.  

Basic Internet Email Concepts


Let's get a couple of basic Internet email concepts out of our way first. This will help when we start to configure Outlook.com to manage all our email. And later, when we do the same with Gmail.

If you already familiar with how Internet email works, you can skip this section and go directly to the instructions for adding email accounts to Outlook.com.

All Internet email, regardless of the user interface uses SMTP, POP3 and/or IMAP. Even "web mail," or email in a browser, ultimately goes through SMTP. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transport Protocol. It was invented by a fourteen year old kid, Shiva Ayyadurai, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). I kid (pun intended, sorry) you not! So, you should feel really bad if you can't grasp a couple of email concepts that a fourteen year old came up with!


SMTP, Simple Mail Transport Protocol


Most Internet domains have a server that sends email using SMTP, called relay servers. For security reasons, with a few notable exceptions, only computers within a particular domain can use that domain's SMTP servers. In this way, Email "from" addresses cannot be "spoofed" or forged. In other words, if you want to send an email with a "from" address like myname@southsidetech.com, your computer has to be in the southsidetech.com domain. A computer on the domain doodly.com cannot use the SMTP servers on the southsidetech.com domain. They can only send mail using the SMTP servers on the doodly.com domain.


POP3, Post Office Protocol Version 3


A POP3 server, like your local Post Office, is where your email is delivered to your mailbox (inbox). As long as you have the key (password) to your mailbox you can log in to your mailbox and get your email. Unlike SMTP, you can access your POP3 inbox from any domain. Your email has already been "post marked" with all the addresses required to send and receive it. Your POP3 email client program downloads your email to your computer and deletes them from the server. 


IMAP, Internet Message Access Protocol


IMAP allows you to leave the messages on your email server. With IMAP your email can be synchronized between your email server and multiple computers or devices. There are pros and cons of both methods, but this is enough to know about the different mail protocols for our purposes here.

If you would like to know more, How-To Geek has a good article about the differences between POP3 and IMAP. It also includes information about Exchange email. 

Configuring Outlook to receive Gmail


Login to Outlook.com and click on the button that looks like a small gear, in the upper right corner of the Outlook.com web page, to go to settings:

Outlook.com Settings Gear Button
Figure One

Then select "Options" from the drop down settings menu:

Outlook.com Settings Menu
Figure 2

From the Options menu,
select "Your email accounts:"

Outlook.com Options Menu
Figure 3

Then select "Add a send-and-receive account:"

Figure 4

Now, click on the "Advanced Options" link:


Figure 5

Using your Gmail account information, your username and password,with the POP3 and SMTP server addresses and ports as shown here, fill out this form and click next:


Figure 6


Almost finished! Next, you can create a new folder for email received with your "new" address, or you can choose an existing folder:


Figure 7


After you have made your folder selection, click "Save." Then hurry up and wait:


Now you are receiving your Gmail in Outlook.com, automatically sorted into your new folder:

New folder for Gmail
Figure 8

Don't worry about the folder's location. You can simply click, drag and drop it anywhere in your folder tree.

So, what about sending email from Gmail in Outlook.com? (I know is sounds silly, but I just like saying it.) 

Click on "New" to start a new email. Then click the down arrow beside your email address on the left.

Select your Gmail address from the drop down menu. This will be the address your new email is from.

Complete the "To," "CC," and "BCC" fields, compose your email and click "Send."  Send it to your Outlook.com address if you would like to test or see how the email will look:

Select a "From" address
Figure 9

You can select the default "From" address in "Options/Your email addresses." (See Figures 1, 2 and 3.) The setting can be found at the bottom of the page.

A word of warning: I forget to change who my email is from, all the time. When the recipient replies, the reply will be addressed to my default address. Some of my clients are used to it, even if they have my business address in their address book. They know it all comes to the same place.

Configure Gmail action for email accessed with POP


Now, you need to tell Gmail what to do once you access your Gmail with POP. In Gmail, go to "Settings." You access it from the drop down menu after you click on the button shaped like a small gear, in the upper left of Gmail's window:

Gmail Settings
Figure 10


Select "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" from the tabbed menu across the top of the settings page:


Gmail Forwarding and POP/IMAP
Figure 11

For Option #2, "When messages are accessed with POP," I have selected "mark Gmail's copy as read." This way, when I open Gmail, I can tell if my Outlook.com accessed it, but I still have a copy.

Managing other email from Outlook.com


Most other email providers will allow you to access their POP3 server, just as you did for Gmail. However, not many will allow you to access their SMTP server from outside their network. I make the distinction of "outside" of their network because if the email provider is also hosting your web site, your web server is on the "inside" of their network. That means that your web server can access their SMTP relay services to send email. 

GoDaddy email and web hosting


GoDaddy is a good example. GoDaddy hosts my web server. They also provide my domains' email services with a few Inboxes and an email forwarding service. I can "pull" my email from their POP servers from anywhere. But I can only access my domain SMTP server from my web server on that domain. 

The forwarded email addresses have no Inbox at all, e.g.: tledford@rivercities.com. Although I own the "rivercities" domain, I only have forwarding services. I simply forward email to this address to my Outlook.com address. I can then create a "rule" to put that email into its own folder.

There is a disadvantage to using fowarded email and rules: I can only send "on behalf of" tledford@rivercities.com. My tcledford@live.com (Outlook.com) address can still be seen in the email headers. Email can only be "truly sent" from that address when I have access to the rivercities domain's SMTP server.

Unless... Isn't there always an exception or two? 


There are SMTP relay services that will allow you to "truly send" email from any domain. In fact I use one. I can forward an email address to my Outlook.com, sort it into a folder with a rule, and send email from that address using SendGrid's SMTP server, just like we used Gmail's in Figures 4,5 and 6, only I configure the address for "Send Only." This way, the recipient doesn't see "on behalf of."

SendGrid is an cloud-based email services company that can help you with email marketing or replace your entire email infrastructure. I use their free service to relay up to 200 messages a month with their SMTP server.

You CAN manage your email!


With some combination of these methods you can manage all of your email with Outlook.com! Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo email, email from your web server hosting, or email service.

I hope this helps you to spend less time with email, even while you use it more for marketing and customer service. 

In upcoming posts, we will explore Outlook.com "rules," and how to configure them to automatically sort your inbound mail by subject, from address, and even by certain text in the body of the message.

But next up, I will show you how to manage all your email, including your Outlook.com email, with Gmail. Are you having fun yet?



~#~