Outlook 2010 - Many Accounts, Different Domains = Multiple Inboxes or A Per-Domain Inbox or Just One for All?

In Outlook 2007 no matter how many accounts you added, nor the domain, the program had just one Inbox - all messages from every account went to that Inbox.

Just upgraded to Outlook 2010.  Seems like since 2010 each time an account is added, there is the option to create a new set of folders - Inbox, Drafts, Sent Messages, Calendar - the whole list.

At the same time, there are methods for to combine messages from multiple accounts into a single PST - though it takes some doing.

Need some best practices advice from heavy Outlook users.  If you've got multiple email accounts over different domains - what's the best way to handle this?  Seems like it's going to be hard to switch between multiple Inboxes every few minutes to find new messages.  What's the most efficient way?

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William ColucciManaging consultantCommented:
Forward all accounts to one or add a rule that moves email to all accounts into a single folder.
Adom MithTechnical AnalystCommented:
I would like to suggest one one such ideal tool that allows to merge multiple mailbox account into single PST file without any loss of your mailboxes data. You can try Merge PST tool to easily merge multiple account into single folder.
Bill PrewIT / Software Engineering ConsultantCommented:
A few thoughts.

(1) You can have an incoming email rule on each Inbox to move to a single consolidated Inbox.  Keep in mind though that once you move the email in Outlook, it won't be visible in the original folder in a web email view, etc.

(2) One approach I have used is to add each Inbox to my Favorites, and have that visible to the left of the Outlook Window.  Then when new mail comes in the little "new mail counter" shows up next to each Inbox and I know to take a look there.

(3) I have also used the "quick search" box at the top of the window when viewing email since it searches across all Inboxes if you configure it that way (see below).  So using a search like this will identify all unread emails received today for example:

    isread:false AND received:today

(4) One other approach to stay on top of incoming emails without moving them is to use the "notifications" panel when new mail arrives.

Just a few thoughts in case something helps...

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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
The answer to your question is really a matter of personal preference mixed with the type(s) of email accounts you are adding to Outlook.  I prefer POP3 as you then have a PST file which is a local copy of the email and then have the personal responsibility to back it up; but, then, even if the internet is down, the email is accessible.  I also have fourteen email accounts at several domains using a common inbox that are included every time I do a send/receive with an extensive set of rules that move them to various folders which lets me know I have something new in that folder.
If you are stuck with IMAP or Exchange accounts; though, I would use a different file for each account, teaching the client how to collapse and expand the different folder lists.
oaktreesAuthor Commented:
Hi Davis,

I, too, am using PSTs & POP3.  

So, those 14 email accounts at many domains all going into a common Inbox: how did you get them all to the same Inbox?  Like this: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/combine-outlook-inbox or Like this: https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/outlook/1361-outlook-combine-inbox-folders.html


David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
both links are basically the same.. just use the same inbox
Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
As you setup each account, there is a box to choose using a new file or an existing one. Just choose the existing one.

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oaktreesAuthor Commented:
Hi Davis,

Ah!  Yep.  Saw that when I was testing.  I got it - can do it DURING the setup.  That's great.  Thanks for the detailed explanation of how you're running things, Davis.  Really useful!  Same to you, Bill.  I am grateful.
oaktreesAuthor Commented:
Can't thank you enough!  I've been sidelined for almost a week transitioning to the new Outlook.
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