Setting Up Business E-mail and Personal Email Accounts with POP

Do you work from home? Do you have a business email account? Do you have a personal email account? Would you like to keep your business and personal emails separate, but easily read and respond to both at the same time, and with the same software email client program? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the following will give you a quick overview of what you need to do on your home office computer.

Many options are available for just about any email address today. Most free online service providers of email have the option to be able to write and respond to emails online and on a home office computer using POP. POP is a type of protocol for sending and receiving email. Don’t worry what POP exactly means, but any email client can be used to set up POP email. Email clients are software email programs such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Mozilla, Netscape, Eudora, Apple Mail, and others. If you have a free Google Gmail account, which I highly recommend, you can use POP mail to send and receive on your local computer, in addition to also being able to send and receive email online.

For some excellent examples of how to configure POP for Gmail, take a look at the following:

Mail Clients

If I am using one of these email clients, how do I respond using my business account when it’s a business email, and how do I respond using my personal account when it’s a personal email?

Once again, there are many options on each specific email client. Depending on the email client, you can have separate identities, and have separate accounts under each identity. Typically separate identities as in Outlook Express are completely different viewable login areas within the the email client program. This means that you would have to switch identities to be able to read and send emails from each specific identity. Each identity can have more than one account, with multiple email addresses being imported to the specific identity, but this requires quite a bit of filtering and sending a message will not necessarily be the email address that you really want to use to send a specific email from a specific address. For example, if you use one identity only to receive all your emails from both a personal and a business account, into one inbox, then it is most likely that the header of the email, (the part that shows the “Send From:” and “Sent To:” information) will not be exactly the correct addresses that you want to show for a business account response or vice versa.

Thunderbird e-mail client, which is free and highly customizable, with multiple identities and multiple accounts, does things slightly differently when talking about identities and accounts.


An identity in Thunderbird is a collection of settings for sending mail. An identity is defined by:

  • A name.
  • An e-mail address.
  • The account that the identity belongs to.

Note: Technically, an identity in Thunderbird is a collection of preference settings in your profile.

Thunderbird allows you to create identities that look exactly the same, but if you do that you might find them confusing to use.

Use more than one identity when you want to send mail using more than one From name or e-mail address, or more than one SMTP server, or more than one signature, or more than one choice for any of the settings that Thunderbird provides in identities.

Thunderbird e-mail client requires you to create a separate default identity for each account, but you can make these identities look exactly the same if you want to. For example, you receive some of your mail from Gmail and some of your mail from the company you work for, but you always want to send mail using your company From address. In your Thunderbird Gmail account, change the default identity to specify exactly the same details as in your work account.

If you receive mail that was originally sent to more than one e-mail address, then you might find it convenient to create identities for all those e-mail addresses. Then you can reply to a message from the same address that it was originally sent to.

Do not use more than one identity when one of your accounts already has an identity that you can use. This is because when you write a message you can change the From address to any identity from any account. There is usually no point in having duplicate identities in different accounts (unless they are default identities).

An identity specifies:

  • Settings used when you start composing a message
  • Settings used when you send a message

Identity P

Compose settings

HTML or plain text
Reply format
Send settings

From address
SMTP server
other settings…

Read more about Mail Concepts.

If you want to create an automatic forward, using a business email address, and having emails forwarded to your personal email address, you can do that, but be aware that if you respond from your personal email address on a forwarded message from the business address, the Send From will be the personal e-mail address and that is what the person will see on the other end when the e-mail is received.

A solution to this situation, is to have two accounts, one for business, and one for personal information messages, and make sure you are using the correct one for business, and for personal use.

If you have multiple email accounts online, and don’t want to have to login to each specific account, you can set up forwards to one account, and just note where the email came from. Then respond using the appropriate e-mail identity or account.

Gmail Notifier
is a notification program that runs locally on your computer that lets you know when you have a message at one specific account. Use this to monitor the main e-mail account, where all your emails arrive. Another option for automatic notification is to use ePrompter which runs automatically in the background, and can be configured to allow up to 16 e-mail accounts to be monitored at the same time, and will let you know with a small color coded circle (and/or sound) showing when an email arrives, and display the number of e-mails that arrived inside the circle. Both ePrompter and Gmail Notifier are very easy to set up and use. ePrompter’s wizard allows you to very easily create additional color coded account dots that will monitor all your different e-mail accounts.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask your questions.

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