It's a common problem: You have Microsoft Outlook at work, a different e-mail program at home, and a smartphone in your pocket, all with independent inboxes and outboxes. Ideally, all your devices should communicate, so that when you receive or reply to a message on one, it's reflected on all of them. But they don't do that.
Fortunately, there's a simple solution. It's called Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP for short), and it allows for two-way communication between your e-mail account and your PCs. That means whatever program or computer you use to access your e-mail, you'll always see the same thing. There are several ways to set it up, but the easiest is to use Gmail, Google's free e-mail service, which recently added IMAP support. And because Gmail can pull messages from most existing e-mail accounts, it's a cinch to route everything to one inbox.
Just open a new account at mail.google.com, and enable the IMAP setting (it only takes one click). You can even create a custom "from" address so that outbound mail will appear to come from any domain you choose (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org), rather than from your Gmail address. Oh, and did I mention that it's free?
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Rick Broida is the author of CNET's Cheapskate blog.
How do I sync my email between multiple Macs?
Set up an email account for each computer + a general email account. Have each email client (or webmail account) pull in the general account and its own account, then auto-forward anything from the general account to the other computers.
Example: You have 3 computers 1,2 & 3, plus a general email account of 0.
Computer 1 pulls in email from 0 & 1 and auto-forwards any email coming in on 0 to accounts 2 & 3.
Computer 2 then pulls in email from 0 & 2. It gets all the previous email in on account 2, and any email coming in on 0 is auto-forwarded to 1 &3
ditto for Computer 3, except it forwards to 1 & 2.
This is easy to set up in the Mac equivalent of Message Rules in you email client.
All computers get all the mail from the general account.
Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.
Good article. I am also a big fan of IMAP. One caveat however.
I used to use G mail. I find that my current email address at EnterTo has better IMAP support than G mail. It also has technology that eliminates spam without a spam filter. Which is both nice from a never seeing spam standpoint as well as helping from a IMAP angle.
BTW. Pop Sci, thanks for keeping me up on new trends and new technologies. I haven't missed an issue since, I think it was 1981.
LOVE you guys.
Religiously reading Popular Science since the early 1980's
First, lets set up a free dropbox account. Sign up at getdropbox.com
Install the software on the Primary computer (perhaps your desktop), the computer whose outlook you'd like to sync to your secondary computer (perhaps your laptop).
To install, click on the install link from within your dropbox page.
Once you have the software installed, we will move the Outlook Personal Folder File to our dropbox directory created in the prior step.
If you are unsure of the name and location of your Personal Folder File (PST), go to control panel, mail, file locations and note the location for the default personal folders.
Insure that Outlook is closed, then cut and paste the file to the dropbox directory.
In control panel, mail, file locations, change the location to your dropbox folder that you copied the PST to in the prior step.
Launch Outlook to insure that Outlook has connected to the new location of your PST.
Close out of Outlook for the file to sync to your dropbox.
On the secondary computer, lets say your laptop, go to your dropbox account with your internet browser and select install to Install the software.
Now that you have the software installed on both computers, on the secondary computer go to Control panel, mail, file locations and change the location of the default personal folders to the file in your dropbox.
Note, depending on the size of your personal folders file, you may need to wait additional time for the file to sync from the primary computer.
Once the file is synced, insure outlook is closed on the primary computer and launch outlook on the secondary computer.
You should now see the data from the primary computer
You can now make edits to your secondary which will sync upon exiting outlook. Be sure to have outlook open on only one machine at a time to support this syncing process
In addition to your outlook data, you can place additional files on either computer to sync to the other computer and a safe offsite location (on dropboxes servers.)
Dropbox home page: www.dropbox.com
Email software download: www.emailextractorlite.com
This is indeed the easiest way to keep all your email clients in sync... best of all: once it's set up it all happens automatically, you can send email from Gmail when you are away from your own computers and you can mix and match email clients as you want...
I've written easy to follow guides, which show you how to set this up for yourself... free guides are available for download at http://www.Easy-Email.net
HyperOffice lets business teams sync their email between the web, almost any mobile device, Outlook, Mac, and Entourage. Check out hyperoffice.com/business-email-service/