Tim Bornholdt


I have my e-mail server configured here to combine e-mails sent from any address I choose @timbornholdt.com to be lumped into one main inbox.

This method may not have many advantages over one main e-mail (in fact, it's probably just overkill), but my primary reason for doing this is to allow specific companies access to only one e-mail address.

For example, my e-mail address on file with Best Buy is bestbuy@timbornholdt . com.

My e-mail address on file with the Minnesota Historical Society is mnhs@timbornholdt . com

By doing this, I can simply deny all e-mails sent to a specific address if I'm getting spammed or I can mark all e-mails sent to that address as read and auto-file them. I'm also making sure that any e-mail sent to my main personal e-mail on Gmail is actually important.

Plus, I think it's funny to sign up in stores and give my e-mail address as "cvs @timbornholdt . com."

But while I do have a personal @timbornholdt.com address, I almost always list my Gmail account for all my "important" accounts (like bank notifications, cell phone bill statements, etc).

It stuck me today that while I was signing up online with my insurance company, I was very hesitant to provide them with "insuranceco@timbornholdt.com".

Why am I so hesitant to use my @ timbornholdt.com e-mail address, an account for which I pay, as my primary e-mail address over Gmail, for which I pay nothing?

The old saying goes, "If you're not paying for something, then you're the product being sold." (pretty sure I first heard it from Marco Arment on his excellent Build and Analyze podcast)

I'm relying on Google to keep track of all my personal data, including credit card statements, work spreadsheets and much more. What would happen if, one day, they decided that they're going to start looking through that information? What if they decide to just shut down with no notice and delete all of my work?

Of course, the odds of that are very slim.

But it's scary enough to me at this point to start using my own domain as my primary e-mail address.

These days, I trust my host (and myself) a lot more than I trust Google.