Monthly Archives: May 2010

How many e-mail addresses are too many?

Most people would probably say more than one or two are enough, but I have very specific uses for the almost dozen addresses I use regularly. The problems come when people who know me enough to know more than one, but not enough to know which one…or the fact that most of them will get to me one way or the other. When a certain worship director at our church starts sending me 4 copies of an e-mail, I know I have a problem. So let’s review my addresses and decide which ones I can do away with.

  • Work address. This hasn’t caused too many problems. Nobody outside of work knows it, and the occasional personal e-mail I do receive, I politely redirect to one of my other addresses.
  • – This was my original site from college days. I put the addresses on my website for all the world, including spambots, to see. For the most part, I’ve retired all of these addresses, but we still maintain flessner@ for a few people who seem to still have it. But if you do, please switch to one of the next ones (since it’s getting enough SPAM to warrant serious deletion consideration).
  • – After getting married, my wife and I wanted an address for “us” rather than something tied just to me. We ended up with FlessnerFam, but then we made three addresses: one for her, one for me, and one for “us.” This actually works well, since we each have regular subscriptions that the other person doesn’t care about, and it’s nice to not have that cluttering up our individual mailboxes. It does make for difficulty when checking them all and keeping them in sync across multiple computers (we don’t use IMAP because we don’t want to mark something as “read” if the other hasn’t read it). It also confuses people when they don’t know which one to use (answer-just pick one; we’ll get it. Just don’t pick all three; we’ll get three copies!).I also maintain what was originally a spam account for rewards programs, but ironically, it gets very little spam. So it’s exclusively for rewards programs and purchases on not-quite-mainstream websites (where I also use a virtual credit card number). (Update: the version of this address recently got on a spam list… so I’m going to start creating new alias address for each site I’m unsure about. Not that you care about that… move along now…)
  • – Here’s where I start getting into trouble. I only have a single address here, and I maintain it for working on the church website. Sometimes I send emails from it when I ask questions related to the website, but then people (like the aforementioned worship director¬† (-: ) think that’s my main email address and start using it for non-web-related stuff. Or worse… a FMSC auto-generated signup e-mail gets me on someone’s “forward random-but-useless crap” list.¬† :shudder: Action plan for this one: don’t send ‘normal’ email from it.
  • Gmail – Who doesn’t have a gmail account these days? I have just one, but I haven’t come up with a really good use for it. Since I have a more appropriate (or more targeted?) FlessnerFam address, I don’t need to use this one as much. But it’s still used if I email something from Reader or log into a site with my Google account…
  • Hotmail – My wife has a hotmail account. I think I probably had one or two related to my WWT-Live shenanigans, but I haven’t logged into them in ages. I wonder if they’re still around.
  • – Um… I think I have one here, but it just forward to my regular address. No one knows this one… not even me.
  • – Now I’m just getting crazy. This was my old dial-up address that is way expired at this point… though it might be referenced somewhere on the scrambled mind

Most of those are old/unused address, but the truth remains that my iPod has 7 different mail tabs that I have to actively swap between (looking forward to OS 4 to fix that!), and that’s not counting the 3-4 active addresses that forward to one of those 7. Is some intervention in order?