I never liked the minimum character requirement for a gmail username. My first . lastname is long. A while back I set up google apps for my primary domain (mediajunkie.com), which also hosts this blog, etc.
I maintained two separate in boxes for far too long, and I have a future-proof address via the Pobox service that I give out, it really doesn’t matter what address I’m using on the back end. Occasionally the reply comes from the back-end return address, and in those cases I’d rather be giving out me at my domain instead of longfirstname . longlastname @ bigbrand . com.
Switching was easy when I realized I was happy not migrating the archive. It’s a searchable epoch. Let’s keep it that way. (If you want to do something similar but maintain a complete master archive, see this helpful Lifehacker article.)
I set up forwarding from gmail to my domain. Easy peasy. Then I told pobox to stop forwarding to gmail and start forwarding to my domain (with the backup copies still going to a yahoo and an aol account).
No effect on people sending to me. Clean slate in my google apps for my domain inbox.
I also didn’t reproduce all the filters. I’m going to watch what comes in for a while and do a bunch of unsubscribing. I’ll remake the filters as I go.
Since I have a work email inbox at CloudOn I’m glad to get the total down to two at least (not counting Facebook, ugh, and everything else, but still…).