Recently I decided to consolidate my various email accounts in Gmail and since some of them were business accounts I did not want customers to see a mail proxied by a strange nicknamed email account. So, I decided to move my old account to a new one named after an abbreviation of my real name.
Now, this sounds simple but it is not. Here is why and how I did it.
Step by step solution:
- Gmail: In old account go to: Settings>Forwading & Pop/IMAP.In the new account go to: Settings>Account>Get mail from other accounts and set to receive mail from your old account. Depending on how old is your account and how many messages does it have, it is going to take a fair amount of time for the new account to get all the old messages. In my case it took approximately 24 hours. P and enable
- Google Reader: Since your gmail is tied to a google account, your Google Reader will be, presumably, under the old account and you would want to move it too. There are two tasks to undertake here, an easy one, and a difficult one.
- The easy one is to move your feed subscriptions and it is easy because Google Reader provides us with the tools: Log in to google reader with your old account, go to Manage Subscriptions >Import/Export and export your subscriptions as an OPML. Then log out and log in again with your new account, go to the same place, only now do an import of the OPML file you exported before.
- Now, the difficult one: you want to bring in the new Google Reader, the friends you were sharing with. You have again two options here: share with a selected list of friend, or share with all your contacts. Google has a cumbersome process for making ‘friends’ in Google Reader. Basically, the people you share with have to be Chat contacts, and you need to explicitly ‘invite them to chat’. You start by opening once again your old Gmail account, going to contacts, selecting them all and exporting them in a csv file.From the same point but having logged with your new account, you perform an import of the .csv previously created. But the work just starts: you can use the setting ‘Share with your chat contacts‘ so that everyone in your chat list sees what you share, but there is no way to get the others to share back with you automatically. You have to ask them. I did it both by sending email and announcing the fact in twitter. On the other hand, if you want to share with only selected people, you have to invite them one by one, in chat.
- Next thing you’d want to do is create a new public profile for your shared items (and more). Go from Google Reader to your stuff and on the right you will see a link to create a new profile. After creating the profile you will end up with something like this:
- Google Docs: For your old Google Docs you can take the painstaking approach and export each one of them and then reimport them in you new account (highly improbable) or just select all the documents and share them with … yourself under the new gmail account and as a collaborator.
- Last but not least, in the Analytics part. Again, the things one will be required to change/tranfer/move depends on how many Google Products/Services was using. I have picked only these four (Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs and Analytics) because this were the ones I had the most stuff on. Now, analytics is a bit different from the other Google services: there is an analytics account which is not identical with the Google Account. Websites tracked are set as web site profiles under the analytics account. Assuming you were using analytics, these should already be in place but each profile has an admin which must be set under your old gmail account. Login to analytics with your old google account and add as new admin to each website profile your new account. Then, log in to analytics with your new account, go to each profile and delete the old admin.
That’s about it. I have posted everything here because I found the process quite time consuming. I hope this can help people who want to do the same, or motivate others who have done it more efficiently to share their own experiences