A song from The Sound of Music is running through my head as I begin this blog. Do you remember the first line of Do-Ra-Me? “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to be.” It’s very appropriate today because having a Google account, and I mean a Gmail account, is the starting point for many tips and tools that I will be sharing with you in the future. And they’re all free.
First, why. Once you have a Gmail account, you can set up the Gmail program so that all of your different email addresses come in through Gmail. Gmail isn’t the only email program that allows you to do this, but it’s so easy. Plus, the guys and gals at Google are constantly tweaking and improving behind the scenes without requiring any software updating on your part. For example, let’s say you have a work email address, your home email address from your internet provider and maybe another free email address from yahoo or hotmail. Currently, you are either reading those emails from three different programs (isn’t that fun!) or you’ve managed to get all of them to come through Microsoft Outlook or a similar program. But Microsoft Outlook isn’t web-based unless you’re using Outlook Web Access. If you’re doing that, this tip is going to be too elementary for you.
Anyway, once you’ve set up Gmail to read all of your different email addresses, you can access your email from any computer, smartphone or tablet, anywhere, as long as you’re connected to the internet. At this point you may be thinking that it will be too confusing. All those different emails will get jumbled up and you like keeping work emails separated from home, etc. Your emails won’t get mixed up because I will eventually show you how to automatically separate them as they come into your new Gmail program. Also, I will show you how to import the old emails you’ve been keeping in a future blog post.
Trust me on this. Having a Gmail account will open up so many great time-saving tools that you can’t afford not to get started with one NOW.
I’m including a video after the written instruction. Sometimes it’s good to see a real live example in addition to reading descriptions.
- On your computer, go to www.google.com.
- Click on create a Gmail account. (If you already have a Google account through a non-Gmail address and are signed into Google, go ahead and sign out in the right-hand corner. The click Sign In. Then click create an account for free.)
- Type in your first and last name.
- Type in the username you’d like. Chances are, it will already be taken, but google will suggest similar and available names. You can try as many names as you’d like.
- Once you decide on a name that is accepted, create a password. Create something that you can remember and that uses numbers and letters. You can even add a special character to make the password stronger. You can change this password later.
- Enter your Birthdate and Gender
- You do not need to enter your phone number or another email address. You can add those at a later time if you wish.
- Enter the letters you see in the word verification box. (Hint: There will probably be two “words” divided by a space to be entered.)
- Click to agree to Google’s terms of service.
- I recommend unchecking the “Google may use my information for adwords, etc.”
- Click Next Step
- Click Get Started
- Click on Gmail in the black Tool bar at the top.
- That will open your Gmail account. Google may provide some introductory videos that you are welcome to watch.
- Click Continue
- You’ll see some emails from the Gmail team which, again, you’re welcome to follow some of their basic instructions or wait for future posts from me.
Next time I’ll show you how to change some basic settings in Gmail!