The Official ActiveRain Guide


Relocate to Gmail - A Step by Step Story

chicken-eggGmail is brought to us by Google, with it is a packed-full warehouse of goodies in the form of apps.  In my continuing saga of touting the benefits of working in The Cloud and at the same time minimizing expenses, I've now written this step by step tutorial on how to make the move.

In a previous post Funnel Your Email Address Through Gmail I spoke of how to send all your email accounts to Gmail, thus consolidating them in one handy IN THE CLOUD spot.  I repeat for those who didn't catch the point, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOSE (or stop using) YOUR OLD EMAIL ADDRESS when using Gmail.

So, the answer is YES! You can route all your email addresses to Gmail and no one will know the difference (just you!).  Of course if you want to eventually simplify your life you can first migrate your addresses to Gmail and then later on close out other accounts.  Either way, the choose is yours, you decide what to do.

Which comes first the Chicken or the Egg?  Or how to I migrate to Gmail without losing my brand email...Step by Step read on.

For those who are Gmail newbies, or have a Gmail account but it's sitting dormant, this tutorial should help get you started.

First you will need a Gmail account.  Go to and get one.  Look for the Create an account link.

Creat a Gmail Account

You will be asked your name and desired Login name.  When picking your login name, this is the part that will appear before the "@" in your new gmail address.

If you are lucky you might get your name, or you can use a "." (dot)  a number (1-9) or location in conjunction with it.

Mine is, I got lucky, first there aren't too many Kristal Krafts and I also joined in the beginning when they first opened the beta.  I also have an address that I don't use often but is fun.

Once you have chosen a name you like and one you won't mind having to type again and again, finish answering the questions and submit.  Google will create your gmail account.

Visit your account.  You will probably have a few welcome and how-to emails from Gmail.  It's a good idea to take a few moments and read them just incase my instructions differ from theirs!

The first thing you will want to do is import your mail and contacts from your existing accounts.  Look in the top upper right of your screen.  You will see a navigation bar that looks like this:

Gmail settingsClick on the SETTINGS and then once again search on the navigation bar for ACCOUNTS and IMPORT, click on it and you will see a screen that resembles this:

Gmail import mail and contacts


Most people will have an email account with one of these; Yahoo!, Htomail, AOL, or other webmail or POP3 accounts.  Click on the Import mail and contacts button if you do.  (See above arrow)

You will need to know your other email addresses and the passwords.  Once that is inputted, Google will present a box for you to check the options you would like.  It looks like this:

Gmail Import Options


In this instance I see no need to leave messages on the server. You may find it wise to do so until you are fully committed to using Gmail.  I add the LABEL of my other email address as it will show up on all my messages.  Now I can easily determine where the message came from.

The Archive box is a good thing to use if you want to ARCHIVE ALL your messages from this email.  In some cases I do that, but not in this one.  Where I do archive all messages from one email is in the event of using a particular email like my Secretary of Lone Tree Photo Club email. 

When everything looks good, click START IMPORT.  The next box you see might be a little it is:

Gmail finish import

I've never noticed it taking up to 2 days for my email to be imported but I guess if they say it is so it must be!

Now that you've begun the process to import your email the next steps are to create filters and to import and categorized your contacts.

Before we leave this screen, remember you can add MULTIPLE email accounts by using the SEND MAIL As:  Just click on that button and add information about your other email address.  Each time you do this you configure that email address to reply either from your gmail address or whatever address it is.  (I have 6 email addresses funneled through my gmail account! It's so nice to have them all in one place.)

So now you have created a central location to store and read your email on Gmail.  You still have your other email active so you can check to see if Gmail is pulling all your mail before you cut it off.  Now, by cutting it off I mean changing where you go to SEE your email and SEND it.

Now instead of going to OUTLOOK on your computer you will log on to Google, click on Gmail and there you will find your email.  If you are like me, this habit maybe hard to break.  It will take some patience, persistence and probably practice before you are totally 100% a Gmail person!

Next time I will write a tutorial on using Filters to organize.Kristal Kraft


Previous posts about Google:

Funnel Your Email Addresses Through Gmail

Gmail Offers a Passport to Many FREE Services

Google Has a Voice and I Love It!


Kristal Kraft Denver Realtor

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Kristal Kraft Sells Denver Real Estate

Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, CNE, GRI, ePRO
The Berkshire Group, REALTORS
3801 E. Florida Ave., Suite 400
Denver, Colorado 80210
720-279-4599 ~ direct     303-953-5362 ~ fax

Selling Colorado Since 1984, Serving the Following Areas:

Comment balloon 17 commentsKristal Kraft • January 30 2011 11:57PM


Great tutorial!  Thanks-I am on it!

Posted by Barbara Chatterton, Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor (The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the tip Kristal. Just forwarded my AOL account to gmail and spent an hour getting rid of 1500 old emails!

Posted by Brian O'Neil, Worcester, MA Real Estate Foreclosures, and Shortsales and REO (RE/MAX Advantage 1) almost 10 years ago

Thank you for writing your blog post and sharing your thoughts with us Kristal! --JM

Posted by John Michailidis, Real Property Management of Sarasota & M (Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee) almost 10 years ago

Hi Kristal - I look forward to your upcoming filtering Gmail so I can see whether you have any great techniques to make my day more efficient.

Posted by FN LN almost 10 years ago

Kristal - Great information and you really laid it out properly. Good post.

Posted by Bill Pohl (Tetra Homes, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

I have had a Gmail account since you had to be INVITED to join * my Lexus sales woman sent me my INVITE.  I really love it and have it and my AOL on my smart phone!

I've also written blogs on it when I could not get to my scribefire

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the helpful information - makes perfect sense to manage the email volume in a way that saves time and space!

Posted by Laura Maser (Century 21 The Realty Group) almost 10 years ago


Thanks for all the good info about Google.  I use Google voice and email and am trying to learn how to use cloud computing.  I have dropbox on my IPad.  I have to figure out how to use it.  Have you written any posts about cloud computing on Google? 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 10 years ago

Kristal, I love the google posts. I've been using it for several years and it'd be almost impossible to get me to leave. I use my biz domain on google apps and it's a perfect integration. Keep 'em coming!

Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) almost 10 years ago

That was a good explanation. I have a yahoo account and I like it because I can make a folder for each of my clients....then delete the same file when the transaction is closed and all emailed copied to the file.

I had a gmail account but I don't remember why I decided to get rid of it.... I do know I did not like the set up.

Posted by Sussie Sutton, David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers (David Tracy Real Estate) almost 10 years ago


Thank you for posting this.  I have just recently found out that multiple email accounts can be managed from gmail and felt overwhelmed on where to start!  Perfect timing...and your instructions are very much appreciated.

Posted by Carole Helwig, Servicing Acton, Sudbury and Hudson, MA (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

Good and informational post.  I have a main google account with a domain name and all the other emails funnel into this account.  It is really a good way to go as you can see all of the emails in one spot.  The one thing it does not do or at least I have not figured it out is..if you delete from the main google account, it does not delete it from the one that was funneled from.  I have not tried to even check it out but do empty the other accounts.  No one knows the difference.  Thanks 

Posted by Mary Stewart, Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas (HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone) almost 10 years ago

Mary,  It sounds like you have configured your "other emails" to have the mail left on the server.  If you don't leave the mail on the server then you can delete from gmail.

Good luck with that!


Posted by Kristal Kraft, Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022 (Novella Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Kristil, great "how to" and thanks for sharing.  I have thought about doing this but have never checked  to see how it is done and exactly what the benefits are.  Thanks,

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 10 years ago

This is great information for anyone not using gmail.  The tools provided in your Google account are immense for a Realtor.  Everything from Document storage to mapping your route and sharing it with your client prior to your meeting. Just tons of great stuff at our fingertips and I encourage everyone to look in to and utilize these tools. 

Posted by Beth Good Realtor, Temecula Horse Property Specialist (Prime Horse Property) over 9 years ago

Kristal, I have a question. If you reply or forward an email that was forwarded to your gmail acct, which email address will the recipient see?

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 9 years ago

Kristal, I am sold on Gmail and wont be going back to Outlook. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) over 9 years ago