While distance makes the heart grow fonder, it also makes keeping in touch a little more difficult. Luckily, the Internet can help solve this problem. Getting an e-mail account is a perfect way to stay in touch with loved ones who live too far away for you to see them on a regular basis. If you don’t have an e-mail account, we’re here to help. Check out our list of e-mail basics for beginners to start keeping in touch with those who matter to you most.
E-Mail Basics for Beginners
Before we start discussing e-mail basics for beginners, we need to get you an e-mail address. Don’t worry – it’s very simple to do. In just five minutes or less, you can create a personal e-mail account.
How to Get an E-Mail Address
There are many e-mail service providers, but the one we recommend using is Gmail, Google’s free e-mail service. More than 1.5 billion users currently use this convenient, intuitive, and well-respected e-mail system. Ready to get started? Use the following steps to create a Gmail account:
- To get an e-mail address, you’ll need to create a Google account. To do this, go to the Google account creation page.
- To create an account, you’ll be asked to provide basic information, including your first and last name, birth date, location, and gender. You will also need to choose a username and password. This username will be your email address. For example, if you chose the username “example,” your e-mail address would be email@example.com. If your username choice is not unique (someone is already using it), you will need to select another.
- Once you’ve filled out your information and chosen a username and password, click on “Next Step.” This will take you to the next page, which will give you the opportunity to create recovery options. This step is not mandatory, but it is helpful in case you forget your username or password or someone tries to access your account. We encourage you to provide a phone number or alternate e-mail address. In the future, if you forget your login information, Google will send your recovery instructions to your phone number or another e-mail address (whichever you provide). When you’re finished, click “Done.”
- Finally, you will be taken to Google’s welcome page. From there, you can click on “Continue to Gmail.” This will take you to your Gmail account, where you can start writing and receiving e-mails from your friends and family!
How to Sign In and Out
When you first create an account, you will be automatically signed into Gmail. To reach your Gmail account in the future, go to www.gmail.com and enter your username and password. In addition, make sure you sign out each time you are finished using Gmail, especially if you are using a shared or public computer. To sign out, click on the round symbol that contains your initial at the top right of the screen. A little box will appear, giving you the option to click “Sign out.”
How to Send an E-Mail
To send an email, sign into your Gmail account. In the top left corner of the page, click on the button that says “Compose.” A “New Message” box will appear. In the “To” field, type in the e-mail address of the person to whom you’re writing. In the “Subject” field, you can choose to add the subject of what your email is about or leave it blank. After you’ve finished writing your e-mail, click “Send.”
How to View Your E-Mails
Each time you sign into your Gmail account, the main screen will open to your “Primary” e-mail inbox. The primary inbox contains relevant e-mails that were sent to you by people you know, as well as e-mails Google thinks are important to you. You can also click on the “Social” tab at the top of the screen, which contains e-mails from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, and other social websites. Next to that tab is the “Promotions” inbox. This inbox contains marketing e-mails, such as deals and offers from your favorite stores (assuming you’ve signed up for their e-mail lists). Typically, the primary inbox is most important because it contains your e-mail conversations with friends and family members.
Now that you know these e-mail basics for beginners, you can start reconnecting with those who matter to you most. Good luck!
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