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[Outlook] Using Multiple Outlook Email Accounts

Applications:    Outlook 2002 (10.2627.2625), MS Office XP
O/S:                Windows 2000 Professional, SPK 4  

I operate a virtual office for a number of clients and one of my jobs is to handle their inbound and outbound email. I have a separate email account setup in Outlook for each client however I am having some issues with the way it works.

Before I explain the issues, let me describe the way I've done the setup.

To simplify things, let's say I have two clients, and each one has assigned me an email address on their system.
(1) ABC Services        Larry.Jones@ABC-Services.com
(2) XYZ  Services       Larry.Jones@XYZ-Services.com

In Outlook I have the following accounts...
(1) ABC Services
            UserInformation/YourName:       Larry Jones at ABC Services
            UserInformation/EmailAddress:   Larry.Jones@ABC-Services.com
            LogonInformation/UserName:     Larry Jones at ABC Services
            GeneralTab/MainAccount:          ABC Services
(2) XYZ Services
            UserInformation/YourName:      Larry Jones at XYZ Services
            UserInformation/EmailAddress:  Larry.Jones@XYZ-Services.com
            LogonInformation/UserName:    Larry Jones at XYZ Services
            GeneralTab/MainAccount:         XYZ Services

In addition to the specific client email accounts, there is a business email account with which I conduct my own business. This is designated in Outlook as my default email account.  
            UserInformation/YourName:      Larry Jones at Virtual-Office
            UserInformation/EmailAddress:  Larry.Jones@Virtual-Office.com
            LogonInformation/UserName:    Larry.Jones@Virtual-Office.com
            GeneralTab/MainAccount:          Virtual-Office

I have two Outlook signatures (created via Options/MailFormat), one for each client.
(1) ABC Services
           Yours truly,
            Larry Jones
           ABC Services
(2) XYZ Services
           Yours truly,
            Larry Jones
           XYZ Services

I also have a special Outlook message folder for each client, in which I save all correspondance I conduct on their behalf. This is automated through Outlook Rules, one for each client.
(1) ABC Services
      The rule says:  
          save any outbound messages,
          containing the text  "Larry.Jones@ABC-Services.com",
          in the ABC message folder.      
(2) XYZ Services
      The rule says:
          save any outbound messages,
          containing the text  "Larry.Jones@XYZ-Services.com",
          in the XYZ message folder.        

So far, so good.

As I said before, my default email account is Virtual-Office.
So before sending out out emails on behalf of ABC, I set ABC as the default account (via Tools/EmailAccounts).

After it has been sent out there are two copies of the message. One in the SentBox and the other in the ABC folder. The one in the SentBox shows the sender to be "Larry Jones at ABC Services".  However the one that's saved in the ABC folder shows the sender to be "Larry Jones at Virtual-Office", even though the default account has been set to ABC.

So it seems that the sender's name on the message saved by Outlook Rules (in the client folder - ABC) gets picked up from the default account that was in effect when Outlook was started, even though that is no longer the default account.

This is not a major problem. The message received by the recipient will show "Larry Jones at ABC Services" as the sender. However it is very confusing to me when I see messages in the ABC folder with the name Virtual-Office.

The real problem comes when I forget to reset the default account back to Virtual-Office after completing my work for ABC.
Then all the messages I'm sending out on my own behalf (Virtual-Office) show ABC as the sender.

I've described a relatively simple scenario with only three accounts (2 clients and my own). In truth, I have a dozen client accounts and it gets to be a real challenge ensuring that I'm "wearing the right hat" for each client. It's also very time consuming setting the default account (via Tools/EmailAccounts) each time I change hats from one client to the next.

I wonder if there's any way to automate what I am doing or to simplify it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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1 Solution
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can simplify it, but not necessarily automate it. You can easily (in Outlook 2002) have multiple email accounts (all POP3) with one inbox (one profile), one default, and then make it look like your mail came from the account it was supposed to.

Set up your accounts in Outlook 2002, make sure each account has a proper POP address and make sure each one has a proper SMTP address (probably different).

Make sure the email address in each account reflects the SMTP address for that account. When you send from that account, it will use the email address you associate with it, so make the email address different. You can use different names as well to distinguish the companies.

Now go into Outlook -> Tools -> Send / Receive Settings -> Define Send/Receive Groups. This opens a dialogue box.  It should have one entry "All Accounts". Edit All Accounts. Check *only* the default acount to be included in the Send / Receive group. Uncheck the remaining accounts.

Now when you send / receive, only the default account will receive and send. If you have multiple accounts with the same incoming POP3 address, they will all come in. Anything sent will look like the first account.

If you want to send from another address, compose the memo, select the account just before you send and then send the email. It will look like it came from the other address.

This all works for me, and has done for Outlook 2002, 2003, 2007 and now 2010.

It is not automatic because you have to overtly choose the sending account (so choose your default carefully).
... Thinkpads_User
CE101Author Commented:
To thinkpads_user:

Thank you very much for your response.
The way you explain it, is exactly how I am currently doing it (including the use of "Send/Receive Groups", which I forgot to mention in my posting).

As you say, "it is not automatic because you have to overtly choose the sending account (so choose your default carefully)".

That's exactly my problem. I am managing dozens of these client email accounts and I am constantly bouncing back and forth between them, so the time switching Outlook email accounts is really quite significant. I would like to reduce the amount of this tedious, non-productive work. Also there's a real danger of forgetting to change accounts and this can have serious consequences.

I wonder if there's a way to trigger the setting of the Default-EmailAccount based on some predetermined piece of text in the subject or email body, the same way Rules work. So for example, if the email body contains the text "Larry.Jones@ABC-Services.com" in the signature area, then the appropriate Outlook Email Account will be set?  I wonder if this can be scripted (with VBA, etc)?
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
>>> It's also very time consuming setting the default account (via Tools/EmailAccounts) each time I change hats from one client to the next.

I probably interepreted this differently. I rarely ever change my default account (and yes, if I did, it could be time consuming). I have my accounts all pre-programmed and just select the one I want at the time I send. This is very quick.

>>> I wonder if there's a way to trigger the setting of the Default-EmailAccount based on some predetermined piece of text ...  I wonder if this can be scripted (with VBA, etc)?

I don't think so. I have looked from time to time about default accounts and have not seen such a capability. That doesn't mean the capability does not exist, merely, that I do not know of a way.

... Thinkpads_User
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CE101Author Commented:
To thinkpads_user:

> I probably interepreted this differently.
> I rarely ever change my default account

From your comment I now realize I have not fully explained the situation. You must be wondering why I do it this way. Why not do it the simple way -- change the account (the Account button on the Tool bar) from within Draft mode and then Send via the appropriate "Send/Receive Group".

Here's what I forgot to mention...

The emails I send out on behalf of my clients are not drafted within Outlook. They are created in my ACT/CRM program which integrates with Outlook. ACT mail-merges the database information into a template document (which I personalize ever further) and then sends it out through Outlook. Typically I send out 10 or 20 emails in this way for each client. Emails created in this manner get account-stamped (for want of a better term) with the Default Account. I could go back into Outlook and change the account on the individual drafts, but this would be very time-consuming. So instead of doing that, I change the Default Account each time I switch from one client to another. Changing the Default Account once for each client is much less work than changing each individual draft.

Nevertheless, changing the Default Account is not a great solution either because:
(1) It too is very time-consuming.
(2) There's a danger I may forget to set the Default or I may set it incorrectly.

I wish this whole process could be automated somehow.

CE101Author Commented:
My question really was not answered (perhaps there is no resolution to it). Nevertheless, I appreciate your response.
John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you. I was pleased to assist and provide information. Good luck going forward. ... Thinkpads_User

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