Managing Email

I recently started using a product called Clear Context that does a much better job of integrating Outlook’s email with Outlook’s calendar. The two things I like best about it are that it allows me to schedule follow-ups on my email.

I’m sure many of you have been in both of the following situations. 1) You send out an email asking for information so that you can continue your project and you never get an answer because you forgot to follow up and the person never responded. 2) You get an email that you really don’t want to deal with right now, but if you don’t deal with it now, you’ll forget about it.

Clear Context deals with both of these by letting you schedule a follow-up when you send the mail and by scheduling when you want to deal with the incoming email.

I also have a need to view my new email from my phone and my desktop. Up until I discovered Clear Context, I used IMAP to view my mail in both locations. I would retrieve everything via IMAP and file my mail into a PST file in outlook. This way I only had a minimum of email that I needed.

However, Clear Context doesn’t play nicely with IMAP. You get some of the features, but not all of the features. However, it does play nicely with Exchange.

So here’s what I did:

I installed an Exchange server on my Windows 2003 server and I’m using it as my incoming repository.

Note: It is NOT currently retrieving my mail for me. All it is doing is working as a repository for my Outlook mail. Outlook is still retrieving all of my mail but it is retrieving it via POP3.

One of the things you can do in Outlook is tell it to retrieve your POP3 mail into a folder. So I’m retrieving it into an Exchange folder.

As I process my mail, I move it into a PST file like I’ve been doing, but now all of my new mail is residing on Exchange where I can also access it via IMAP, Outlook Web Access or Outlook Mobile Access.

Next on my list, I will try to get PUSH mail working. Once I’ve done that, my phone and my desktop should be in constant synchronization.

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