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📧 Every couple should do this with email

When you live with someone, you make a heck of a lot of choices together — big choices, like, “Should we sell our house and move to Thailand?” and small choices, like, “Should we buy this new recycling bin?”

Somewhere in the middle is an important, often infuriating step: “Whose email address should we use to log into Netflix?”

The solution: A joint email account for shared services

The “where” is up to you. If you’re both Gmail people, great — use that. If you use different email platforms, flip a coin.

Some email platforms, including Gmail, have options for an easy “Shared Account.” Name it something obvious, like, “LucyAndRickyRicardo,” or you can even use an inside joke.

Keep this account strictly for stuff you both want to receive, control and manage. Anything you’re splitting payments on qualifies, along with bank accounts, school contact info, utilities, the mortgage, and other accounts where both of you want access to the login and notifications.

Keep your stuff just yours

Of course, both of you should have a personal email address for the newsletters you love (like this one!), messages from old friends and professional emails, for instance. But this is also the perfect email for logins that only interest you.

Ricky may want to use his email to order pork for Cuban sandwiches and sign into a forum that discusses the best conga drums. Lucy might want to use her email to play bridge online and place orders for Vitameatavegamin.

Use throwaway email accounts to lighten the load

Clear up the clutter and confusion by using a “disposable” email designed to fade into the void. Top options include Temp Mail, SimpleLogin and Burner Mail.

Both of you can use this service to sign up for accounts you don’t intend to keep — free trials you don’t mind expiring, sign-ups for a one-time purchase, blogs that might send you spam mail, whatever.

Add a password manager everyone can use

If you’re together for the long haul, I highly recommend you pick out a password manager to keep your shared logins saved, organized and auto-filled. Password managers can come up with new, safe passwords on demand, which means you’ll never be texting to get the power company website password again.

Whether you’re catching up on Lucy’s job at the candy factory (wasn’t that the funniest skit?) or choosing who manages home insurance, you’ve got an email login structure that works for everyone.

A little Lucille Ball wisdom to leave you with: “A man who correctly guesses a woman’s age may be smart, but he’s not very bright.”

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