Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts Internet
This is something I came up with originally so I could enjoy the benefits of IMAP on my iPhone while still using Gmail's excellent spam filtering. Because Gmail does not support IMAP, I had to deal with the fact that I had two devices (iPhone and PowerBook) both accessing the same POP box which caused headaches. But I did not want to drop Gmail because it has been doing an amazing job as a spam filter. My solution is the following (note that I own my domain, which makes this somewhat easier):
  1. Email comes in to my default email box (myname@mydomain.com -- the names and domains have been changed to protect me from spammy behavior).
  2. Gmail is configured to retrieve all mail from that account via POP3. Mail is set to not be left on the server, so it is deleted when retrieved by Gmail. (Gmail actually does this for a number of mailboxes, so I also aggregate email from multiple addresses into one place, further simplifying my life.)
  3. Gmail is also configured to archive and forward all mail it gets to private54305849@mydomain.com -- a very random address which is highly unlikely to ever become one a spammer guesses or gets ahold of. (I never tell anyone about it, and no mail is ever sent from it. The actual number has been changed here, obviously.)
The result is an IMAP mailbox which contains all email post-filtering by Gmail. Since it's an IMAP account, it can thus be accessed by the iPhone and my Mac without conflicts or headaches.

The downsides? Having the mail get bounced around twice could slow down my receiving the email in the first place. Howeer, I already follow much of the Get Things Done thinking in that I only check mail hourly at most, and refuse to live my life hanging on the immediate receipt of anything. If I get desperate for something to arrive, I can always try to login to the original first box and get the mail before Gmail does.

As an added bonus, I still have access to all of the mail in Gmail in case I want to do any searches, etc. And I filter my inbound mail in my own private3493849893 account, so the inbox has only non-list email for iPhone purposes, but I still can access the list mail in the other boxes on the iPhone if I need to.
    •    
  • Currently 2.25 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (8 votes cast)
 
[21,108 views]  

One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts | 9 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: smpte on Aug 03, '07 08:50:01AM

Various forms of this have been around for a while, pre-iphone.

A more common method (and one that doesn't have mail queuing up in both your 'public' and 'private' IMAP accounts) is to have the original address "bob@domain.com" as a simple forwarder to a Gmail account. Benefits include not waiting on Gmail to POP for new mail, and no need to clean out the 'bob' mailbox. Gmail then auto-forwards to "privatebob@domain.com" for IMAP-ability.



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: andyjw on Aug 03, '07 08:56:39AM

Great point!

My process evolved from an earlier, different process, so I didn't go back and evaluate the earlier steps in the chain. I'll make that change to how I have this set up.

Thanks!

---
I'll die with a smile... even if it kills me.



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: kiltbear on Aug 03, '07 09:42:55AM

Not only that, but you can configure your gmail account to recognize all the other addresses as a "FROM" address, so you can use your gmail SMTP as the SMTP for ALL your accounts. The added benefit of which is that you record all outgoing email to your gmail account, and from the gmail account you can choose the FROM address for any particular piece of outgoing email.



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: rockmanac on Aug 03, '07 10:30:44AM

That's the method I use.. My me@mydomain account forwards to myname@gmail which then forwards to imap@mydomein and archives the message. I then use T'Bird on my Linux box or Powerbook to get my mail from my IMAP server. I also have the option of using Squirrel Mail on my IMAP server if I'm away from the computer.

I was, for a time, using an alternate method, of using fetchmail and postfix on a linux box to pop the mail from gmail and the forward it to my imap on my server, however, that became cumbersome when I changed ISPs and had to deal with not being allowed to use port 25 for SMTP. (Hell, if they had their way, I'd only be using their crappy yahoo mail servers, but fortunately, they don't block ports 465 & 587)

-A

---
"Communication is an ongoing, dynamic process between an infinite
number of variables with no beginning, middle or end."
-- Dr. Ken Ksobiech, Marquette



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: arainert on Aug 03, '07 08:58:53AM

How does this reconcile the reply-to issue? Also, where do you archive your messages - in your client or in Gmail?



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: andyjw on Aug 03, '07 09:46:12AM

My reply-to is set to my preferred address as part of the mail setup for the priv account. If I wanted to truly hide the private account I could also keep a different account just for sending purposes.

As for archival, I use Mail in OS X for final archival. The fact that everything also lives in Gmail is something I like to call "back up" :)

-A

---
I'll die with a smile... even if it kills me.



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: WebScud on Aug 13, '07 09:36:19AM

How do you handle the e-mail reply address when you have multiple accounts going through one address?



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: zookie on Aug 13, '07 09:57:22AM

I have been using this method for over 2 years now. Totally agreed that Gmail has GREAT spam-filtering and also as a great archival back-up/searching. The tricky part is that I like to archive all outgoing email as well so I have automatic BCC sent to different Gmail account.
I'll be in heaven once Gmail has IMAP implemented!



[ Reply to This | # ]
One way to use Gmail to filter IMAP email accounts
Authored by: misthaufen on Nov 14, '07 09:19:11AM

What do you do about the "X-Forwarded-To" line, which can be seen by viewing the long list of headers? When gmail forwards to your secret address, that address is named on that line. If you then reply to the email it will be passed on to whomever you are replying to. (Even worse, you could be forwarding the email to someone and so your secret email address gets to yet a third person.)



[ Reply to This | # ]