Gmail. Period.

By | January 23, 2013
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Do you wish you could keep track of how your Gmail address is being used (i.e., when you sign up for something on the Web)? We featured a tip a while back about using the plus sign to create an alias from your Gmail addresses. The plus-addressing works like this: roger.smith121+paypal or julie.malinowsky+latimes . See?

By adding a plus sign after you username and some identifying text after your username – you can create unlimited aliases from one Gmail account that can help you track how you’re email address is being use and misused.

But did you know you can also create a limited number of aliases by simply adding a “.” (period ) anywhere in your Gmail username. This allows you to created a number of new ‘alias’‘ email addresses. Of course you can then track all the messages sent to you new “period alias” because they will all get forwarded to your primary Gmail address.

We’ll give you an example: If you’re Gmail address is rogersmith1211 you could add a period anywhere in your user name rogersm.ith1211 You can’t change “” though. Another example? OK. You could do rogersmith12.11 – are you getting the idea?

Adding a period anywhere in your username is great for creating a few new aliases, but for tracking how your email address is being used, it’s probably not as useful as using the + sign. Still, it’s another cool Gmail trick that I’m sure many of you will figure out ways to use.

3 thoughts on “Gmail. Period.

  1. Heidi Liebig

    Every so often I sit down and look into all the e-mails that you’ve sent. Delightful info. This alias note, I would like to know about an account one sets up with a vender where you put your user name in and a fake password. They say user name/password don’t match. What do I do then? Thank you always for any information that you send.

  2. Muriel Schlecht

    I have tried incorporating the “+” sign as you have described at maybe a dozen different websites since you mentioned this hint the first time. The majority of times a flag comes up “invalid email” and as soon as I eliminate the “+whatever” after my alias my email address is accepted. Is there something I’m doing wrong? Or will
    only certain types of websites accept it? May it’s the
    programming design used to create the info collection page?

    I will, however, keep trying but will pay attention to what types of websites are rejecting the “+whatever” and also try the random “period” instead. Maybe I’ll go back to some websites and try changing my email address using one of the 2 methods.

  3. TucsonMatt

    When I’m first signing up for something that I am either sure I don’t want after the signup, or unsure if it’s something I want to keep, I will register with fake information that is accurate (address, city, state, zip are real but my name is not.) I go to and sign up for a disposable email address. You can select how long you want it to last. Everything sent to that address gets forwarded to your real email until the expiration date. Then, everything just bounces back to the sender. I will often set it up to work for a month and then I can see if the vendor sells or gives my email to other people. Jetable is free and works great!


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