How to create a common inbox?

One of the capabilities of CodeTwo Public Folders is configuring a common inbox for all users in the network. Although mail cannot be delivered straight to a public folder, we can use Outlook rules to achieve that. Our solution will involve moving mail from the default inbox, the only location where mail can be received, to a public folder using a special rule. 

There are two models that can be employed while setting up a common inbox for all users. 

You can either choose one machine in the network that will receive mail (Model A), or if such one computer cannot be appointed enable mail receiving capabilities on multiple machines (Model B). 

Model A

In this setup mail is received by one computer only from a given POP3 account.

To create a common inbox using Model A: 

  1. Choose one workstation that will be responsible for receiving mail. This machine needs to be equipped with the Outlook Add-in. Installing the Syncing Master is not enough to enable public folder in Outlook.
  2. Configure on this machine a mail account in Outlook where mail is sent to the company.
  3. Create in C2PublicFolders tree a folder that will act as a common inbox.
  4. Introduce a rule that will move all received messages located in the default inbox to the created public folder. Learn how to create in Outlook a rule moving mail to a specified folder
  5. When all the above steps have been made, you can go on to set the access rights to folders. Learn more about access rights management

Info

If you want to use Model A. and while configuring the mail account you select the Leave a copy of messages on the server option, all mail will be accessible through a web browser in a case you need to view new mail while being outside the company. This option has a one major advantage - we store a copy of all incoming mail and can use it when necessary. 

Tip

If you need several workstations to be equipped with the capability to send mail from the account where mail is received by the company, this account needs to be configured also on these machines bearing in mind to limit the functionality of the account to mail sending. Learn how to configure a Send-Only account in Outlook

Model B

In this setup mail is received by multiple workstations from the same POP3 account.

To create a common inbox using Model B:

  1. On each machine, configure a mail account in Outlook where company mail is directed remembering that Leave a copy of messages on the server option must be unchecked.
  2. Create in C2PublicFolders tree a folder that will act as a common inbox.
  3. On each computer where the account is configured create a rule that will move all received messages located in the default inbox to the created public folder. Learn how to create in Outlook a rule moving mail to a specified folder
  4. When all the above steps have been made, you can go on to set the access rights to folders. Learn more about access rights management

Important

You need to make sure the option Leave a copy of messages on the server is cleared. Otherwise, if several computers receive mail from the same account, duplicate message will appear in the common inbox.

Tip

If you need access to the inbox of a single user instead of creating a new public folder it will be easier to take advantage of the functionality enabling sharing personal folders. The procedure is as follows: the user whose personal inbox we want to view starts sharing their inbox by choosing Public Folders top menu, My Shared Folders and adding the folder to their shared folders. Appropriate access rights need to be set. Now other user(s) can open this folder in their Outlook in C2PublicFolders tree using the top menu. Learn more

Learn more about synchronizing read / unread status of messages while sharing emails

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