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We're using Outlook Express on different computers to connect to the same pop account provided by our hosting company. This makes it very difficult to co-ordinate work and we end up replying to the same emails because there is no way to track states and actions.

Is it possible to sync Outlook Express using the same pop account on different computers? Ideally, when one of us replies or manages an email, the action is replicated to the other computers running Outlook Express and having the same account.

If not possible, what a light-weight (and perferably free) solution to achieve this? I.e. getting mail from the hosting thru POP and being able to track actions and states.

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6 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

IMAP, POP is not the protocol of choice for your use case. You definitely want an IMAP account on the server if you need to stay with Outlook Express (which is horrible - OX is by far the worst mail client out in the wilds).

As Chopper3 suggested, you are probably better of with some webmail client or even better yet use RequestTracker or Roundup on one of your local server and configur it to pull automatically every couple of minutes from there on you just need to define how your workflow goes to adapt the issue system to your needs.

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POP's not always great for this kind of coordinated work, think about using a web-based mail system such as Google Mail or similar. These keep your mail on one central server so you can see what emails others have sent and have one big 'in box' folder for you all to work from.

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Probably you should switch to IMAP4 protocol. Through the use of flags defined in the IMAP4 protocol, clients can keep track of message state; for example, whether or not the message has been read, replied to, or deleted.

It is pretty standard now, so chances are high your ISP can provide it. If not - there are some really good e-mail providers out there.

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If you mail provider does not allow IMAP or if they do not allow very large mailboxes so using IMAP would cause the mailbox to fill quickly then consider this.

Install hMailServer one of your workstations

Setup an account on hMailServer

Have it poll the ISP every say minute and place all mail in this account

Connect your OE clients using IMAP to this local mail server, now you have an unlimited IMAP mailbox

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If not possible, what a light-weight (and perferably free) solution to achieve this? I.e. getting mail from the hosting thru POP and being able to track actions and states.

The problem here is not Outlook Express. (Does anyone else have any idea how weird it felt to say that?)

I'd start by exchanging the word "POP" for just about anything else from the email world and... well actually you'd be pretty good to go. POP3 is inherently unsuited for all but the very simplest business use. Does your current email provider support IMAP? Can you move to GMail?

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Alternatively, you could change the "mail Store" folder, and point it to a location on the network (preferably a server) which is just a network share. If you have roaming profiles, you could have it follow the people as they log onto different computers, or if it is a group of people all using the same emails (ie. administrators using/managing the admin@company.com) then they should all be able to access / write to it.

Tools | Options | Maintenance | Store Folder | 'Change'

Good luck :)

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