Attn. all: I am experimenting with using my gmail.com address as my primary personal email address. Please direct future email to (myrealfirstname)@gmail.com. The email address in the sidebar now forwards to this address. I will still be able to receive email at my old personal address for the near future, so don't worry if you've sent me email recently.
FYI, this change is prompted by the fact that gmail.com now supports filtered automatic forwarding, which means users can now get the best of both worlds: I can read and compose email using my preferred local mail client, and I can also use the archiving and search features of gmail. This should also make future ISP transitions easier, as I can just change the target forwarding address.
Details of my mail setup, for the excessively geeky and curious:
- For outgoing mail, I have my mail client set the From: and BCC: fields to my gmail.com address. This way gmail receives a correctly labeled copy of my sent mail for archival; which, among other things, is critical to keeping gmail's "conversations" feature useful.
- I have a filter that matches email that appears to be from me --- using the query
from:email@example.com OR from:firstname.lastname@example.org--- and labels and archives it, so that I don't have all my BCC:'d outgoing mail cluttering up my inbox.
- I have a filter that matches email that doesn't appear to be from me --- using the query
-(from:email@example.com OR from:firstname.lastname@example.org)(note the minus sign) --- and forwards this email to email@example.com, archiving a copy on my gmail account. This way all email from other people gets forwarded and saved, but I don't get my self-sent outgoing mail forwarded back to me.
Anyway, it appears to work pretty smoothly. I had to spend about an hour today updating all my mailing list subscriptions though, which was kind of annoying. I wish there were some kind of (appropriately authenticated and extensible) protocol whereby an ISP could notify mailing lists and other service providers about email address changes. Email really is dumb.