Limiting my email addresses

Since I switched to Fastmail, I’ve been making plus addresses for every site I sign up for ([email protected]) but it’s so tedious, and if I forget the exact address[1] I could get locked out.

This almost became a problem with a Twitter account - I thought I used +twitter but I actually used +social (I’ve since changed it). The problem is, Twitter won’t send you a password reset email unless you know the account email. I had to search past emails to figure out what it was.

Fortunately it had happened in the last 30 days; if it hadn’t, I would have lost the last email to automated trash purging. I delete most service notification emails and all notification emails are turned off, so I would have had to wait for the next time they change their privacy policy, and then catch that email before it gets automatically deleted, too (I have a rule set to send privacy/TOS update emails to trash).

I was using per site addresses to be able to keep track of who distributes my email address, but what am I going to do on the rare chance I catch somebody? Send an email? Raise a fuss on social media? Nothing productive, that’s what. And they could easily filter out the +address anyway with regex.

I’m going to just use 2-3 plus addresses and categorize my inbox around them instead, and then maybe just a few site-specific ones for high-volume sources. I already have +papertrail for general service emails and +news for newsletters. My +github address was most helpful, allowing me to keep the many GitHub emails out of my inbox while being able to look at them in one place.

This would also mean less rule creation, sometimes I do +papertrail.sitename to avoid rule creation, but that’s still a lot of typing, tedious, and easy to forget.

If you use plus addressing, what’s your setup? I’d love to hear about how you organize your email.

  1. Yes, my password manager is supposed to remember the email used, but that’s not always reliable. ↩︎