What aliases are
An email alias is an alternative address that forwards mail to your email account. For example, imagine your alias is email@example.com and your own email account is firstname.lastname@example.org. Emails sent to email@example.com will be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As well as forwarding to individuals, aliases can also forward to groups of addresses. Examples includeGWWC Mailing Lists like email@example.com - we'll normally set things up so that a group alias like loop forwards to a firstname.lastname@example.org which in turn forwards to your own personal email like email@example.com.
Note that if you send an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com (because, for example, you want to test that the forwarding is working), you might not recieve the email as expected back in your firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. With at least some email clients, if you send to an alias from an address that the alias itself forwards to, that email won't get through. Furthermore, emails from a separate account that are sent 'through' email@example.com may also fail to arrive in your inbox. For example, if you have another email firstname.lastname@example.org, and you've set up email@example.com to send email 'from' this account (by following steps similar to those described in 'How to set up various mail clients to send from an email alias' below), emails sent from firstname.lastname@example.org in this way may not get through. Therefore if you want to test that your emails are being correctly forwarded, it's better to do this from a completely separate account (or by asking a friend to send an email to your email@example.com address).
It's easier to share Google Docs and Drive folders with you if we can add your alias address directly, as opposed to looking up your Google account. To let us do so, you'll need to create a Google account if you don't have one and then link it to your alias as at https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/176347?hl=en&topic=2382751&ctx=topic&rd=1
How to set up various mail clients to send from an email alias
You can use firstname.lastname@example.org to send email which appears as if you were sending it from your alias email@example.com . You just need to set firstname.lastname@example.org as a possible 'from address' in the email client you use to send messages from email@example.com. This client might be a website like http://mail.live.com/ for Hotmail, or it might be a program on your computer like Outlook of Apple Mail. Your client's documentation should describe how to do this, but here are some (possibly a bit quick and condensed) guides I've typed up for some common clients:
GMail no longer supports this.
* Apple Mail
Apple Mail is the default email client on a Mac - the one with a stamp for its icon. When in Mail, select 'Preferences' from the 'Mail' menu, and then chose 'Accounts' in the resultant window. Choose the account your email alias (e.g.' firstname.lastname@example.org') forwards to and edits its 'Account Information' by adding your alias to the 'Email address' field, separated from other email addresses from a comma. Now, when you're sending email from that account, you should see a 'From' dropdown menu presenting the comma-separated emails from that field, in the order you entered them.
* Yahoo Mail
In Yahoo mail, go to 'options' and select 'Mail Accounts'. Add an account using the + button. You'll be asked for a sending name and the address you want to use (eg J. Snail and email@example.com). Yahoo will send a confirmatory email to the firstname.lastname@example.org account. In this email will be a large text hyperlink saying 'verify email@example.com' which will bring you to your Yahoo accounts page. Job done: from now on each email you send will give the option of sending either from the @yahoo.com or @gwwc.org address.
Go to Tools->Account Settings and click on the account for firstname.lastname@example.org. At the bottom of the right-hand pane is a "manage identities" button. Click it, and click "Add" to add a new identity. You need to fill in the name and email address, everything else is optional.