What aliases are
An email alias is an alternative address that forwards mail to your email account. For example, imagine your alias is firstname.lastname@example.org and your own email account is email@example.com. Emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will be forwarded to email@example.com.
As well as forwarding to individuals, aliases can also forward to groups of addresses. Examples includeGWWC Mailing Lists like firstname.lastname@example.org - we'll normally set things up so that a group alias like loop forwards to a email@example.com which in turn forwards to your own personal email like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that if you send an email from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org (because, for example, you want to test that the forwarding is working), you might not recieve the email as expected back in your email@example.com 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' firstname.lastname@example.org may also fail to arrive in your inbox. For example, if you have another email email@example.com, and you've set up firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com to send email which appears as if you were sending it from your alias firstname.lastname@example.org . You just need to set email@example.com as a possible 'from address' in the email client you use to send messages from firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.' email@example.com') 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 firstname.lastname@example.org). Yahoo will send a confirmatory email to the email@example.com account. In this email will be a large text hyperlink saying 'verify firstname.lastname@example.org' 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 email@example.com. 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.