I have six email accounts which I actively use. I recently mentioned this to a colleague, and she was shocked: “How do you keep up with six accounts?” It’s easy. I have all my emails land into a single consolidated Outlook inbox.

First of all, why have so many accounts? Now more than ever, your email address is part of the first impression you make. Between personal contacts and several businesses, I want to use the right email address for the right communication. By having multiple accounts, emails to my friends and family can be from my personal domain, and emails to clients and customers of my various business entities will be from the appropriate business domains. (Read more about the importance of using the right email address.) Using a consolidated inbox allows me to have just one place to go for my email yet keep separate accounts–which saves me plenty of time and helps me stay organized..

You can set the inbox for existing accounts or new ones. In Outlook 2010, when you create a new account, you are given the option of having it create a new data file (.pst) for the account.

If this will be a very active account, it is a good idea to let it create a new PST. Or if you have an established filing system set up for sorting emails, choose one of your existing data files. (Read more about organizing Outlook data files.) If you let Outlook create the data file, then you will see that show up as a folder in your email client, mixed in alphabetically with your other personal folders, and this will contain your inbox for this account.You’ll take another step to change it to your consolidated inbox.

When your account is set up, go to the file tab, then click Account Settings to go to Account Settings window.

In the Account Settings window, select the email address you would like to work with. At the bottom of the window it lists which folder is used for your inbox. To have this email account use Outlook’s general inbox, this should say Personal Folders\Inbox.

If it is set to a different folder, change it by clicking the Change Folder button. This will present you with a list of all your folders. Scroll to the bottom of the list to “Personal Folders,” then expand that folder to find the Inbox folder. Select Inbox, then click Ok.

Do this for each of your accounts to free yourself from having to check multiple inboxes to stay up to date with your email!

Sending email

Note that when you have multiple email accounts in Outlook, you’ll need to get in the habit of checking which email address you are sending from — use the drop-down beside the From address to make your selection.


Moral of the story

Especially for those of us with multiple businesses, using the appropriate email address for your correspondence is important as it supports your brand. By consolidating your emails into a single inbox, email maintenance is much easier.


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