Making the Big Email Switchover to Exchange

Those that follow my musings know I’ve gone back and forth between Outlook POP3 and Gmail for quite sometime. Try as I might, the allure of Gmail just never lives up to the practical needs I have. I won’t recap all of my struggles, but suffice it to say, Exchange + Outlook is still king of the email and integrated PIM, and keeping email in sync amongs multiple computers and devices. Try as I might, I have yet to find any solution as seamless as Exchange + Outlook. With the upcoming release of iPhone 2.0 software bringing with it over-the-air syncing to Exchange, I thought it would a good time to go ahead and make the switch over to Exchange. I am so glad I did. Even though I have a T-1 at my office and have all the infrastructure necessary to run Exchange, I decided that I didn’t want the hassle and headache of managing Exchange. So, I signed up with MailStreet.com for hosted Exchange, at around $13 per user. My wife also has an account so we can share our calendars. She also prefers Outlook over Gmail and Google Calendar.

Like most people, I have multiple email accounts, but I needed them all managed all Exchange so I could access all of my email from the web, Outlook, Entourage, no matter where I was or what I device I found myself on at the time. I wanted all of my POP 3 GottaBeMobile email stored in Exchange, but needed to reply to it as GottaBeMobile, not as my Exchange domain email account. Here is how I did it.

1) I set up my GottaBeMobile.com email to forward to my ZoeInc.com email address (Exchange-based) so that all of my email is stored in one place.

2) I then set up a POP 3 / SMTP account inside Outlook for GottaBeMobile.com email, allowing me to reply to my GottaBeMobile email or send new email within Outlook using my GottaBeMobile email address.

3) Inside Outlook, I set my Exchange mailbox as the default inbox for all incoming mail.

4) I closed the Personal Folder that the new POP 3 account set up, since there would be no need for it.

5) Because all of my GBM email is being forwarded to my ZoeInc Exchange account, there was no need to receive that POP 3 email twice. So I went in to Tools / Options / Mail Setup / Send Receive, and edited the All Accounts group to not download email for my POP 3 account.

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There it is – all of my email accounts being hosted in one place, allowing me access to it from any machine I happen to be at. In addition, I’m now able to reply to those email using the proper email address for that particular account.

Negatives

1) this has to be done on every machine I use Outlook.

2) I couldn’t find a way to do step # 5 in Entourage (Office 2008 for the Mac)

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3) Because this is a client specific setup and not Exchange based, replying to GBM email using my iPhone or Outlook for Web Access will result in the email being replied to from my Exchange email address. I’m currently investigating ways to solve this problem on the Exchange side. Any ideas?

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