Now that our kids are in school my wife and I wanted to setup a family email account that we could give to our children’s teachers that would forward to both of our private email addresses. In Gmail you have the option to forward all incoming mail to 1 account easily. That however didn’t work for us because we both wanted to get copies of the incoming mail.
As you’ll see when you visit the forwarding options you can also use filters to forward mail. Based on my needs I went that route and had things setup to forward to me and my wife, and THOUGHT we were receiving all of the messages properly. But later after chatting with other moms in the class realized the filter wasn’t picking up on messages from one of our teachers because they were putting us as BCC (blind carbon copy) recipients. Our other teacher (I have twins, so both started kindergarten at the same time) however was sending messages to everybody simply in the To field, which we were receiving without any problems. After some research I learned that Gmail doesn’t make it very obvious how to filter on a message when you’re only a BCC recipient. So after some research and trial and error I figured it out and here’s how you can do it.
Step 1 – Open up your settings in Gmail in the account you want to forward mail from. From there, choose the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Under forwarding, you will see a box to Add a forwarding address.
Step 2 – Enter in the address you want to forward mail to and click next. Gmail will send a verification code to that email address to ensure that you are an owner of that account. Once you receive the email containing the code, enter it into the confirmation code box and click Verify.
Step 3 – Once you have verified the destination address, click on the Filters tab and click Create a new filter. We are now going to enter the specific details to ensure all mail, including messages you are BCC recipients on get sent to the address we just added. When the Create a Filter wizard comes up we want to enter deliveredto:firstname.lastname@example.org in the textbox labeled Has the words. This is the important part, and something I didn’t realize when I first setup a filter with only my account in the To field. That won’t get BCC messages. Again, you are putting the address of the account you want to forward from (i.e. email@example.com).
Step 4 – Select the Mark as read checkbox and the Forward it to checkbox. To the right of the Forward it to checkbox you will see the email account you verified in Step 2 as an option. Make sure it’s selected and click Create Filter.
Step 5 – Now you’re done. You can repeat this for any additional addresses you want to forward mail to. I do believe I read somewhere that Gmail has a limit of like 10 or 20 addresses that you can forward to, so keep that in mind if you are trying to do more than just a few.
Now you have a stand along family or shared email account that forwards ALL messages to one or more recipients. The nice thing about this is that Gmail offers you so much storage that you also have an archive of all these messages that you can go back and search on over time. Heck, maybe someday it will be fun for us to look back at the first emails we were getting when our kids started kindergarten.
Hope this helps! Contact me if you have any problems and I’ll try to help you out.