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In depth advice on configuring email with IMAP, multiple computers and

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Hi folks

First post.

I've joined as I am looking for a solution to a predicament that I have put off for a very long time. I am about to get a new laptop running Windows 7 Pro 64 and Office, so it seems that now is a good time to make the necessary changes.

The question is this:

How can I make multiple email addresses associated to different domains completely synchronise across multiple devices AND operate as only one inbox, rather than multiple IMAP inboxes.

I don't really fully understand IMAP and how it works with Exchange 365 etc.

Here's the details.

I currently run my email on one laptop running Outlook 2003 (this will be updated to Outlook 2013 when I move to the new machine next week).

I have a Gmail address (not Google Apps, just standard) an old email address from BT that many people still use, and many email addresses running from domains that are registered with Hostgator, Bluehost and others - I work for clients in digital marketing and often end up with email addresses at their domains.

ALL of these emails come into Outlook as POP3!!!

I then also access my mail using an iPhone 4s. There I have to have separate inboxes for each email address - a pain. And, of course, if I deal with an email on my phone it is still in my Outlook when I am next at my machine - no synchronising.

Ideally I want to switch all of these email accounts to IMAP.

However, as I understand it, if I was to do that, then in Outlook I would have an inbox for each email address - which I don't want to do.

Also, how would that work (i.e. would it be stable if as many as 15 email addresses on different IMAP servers were all going into the one Outlook?).

So, I thought I could route all the emails into my Gmail account and use aliases for sending and make that a single IMAP account.

That way I could run a single IMAP account in Outlook and presumably that would be fine. Any issues there?

If I do that, does the folder structure I set up in Outlook get replicated in my Gmail account?

Also, I could then set that up on my iPhone - either using Mail or the Gmail app. Again - would the folder structure be mirrored? If I change and add a folder on the iPhone Mail app would that change be reflected in Outlook?

OR, do I need to do that through Exchange 365 either using the one Gmail address or by using the multiple addresses as separate IMAP accounts - does Exchange 365 allow me to do that?

Do I need to do the single Gmail address thing and then run it through Exchange?

Lastly - I also run a desktop and am very likely to also get a lightweight laptop for travel.

If I went the Gmail route, I could just login online and have no Outlook on those machines, but, is it possible to run Outlook in more than one machine and have them mirrored if using one or multiple IMAP accounts?

And last lastly, would all the other stuff in Outlook sync properly - contacts, calendars etc?

If someone can give me a clear verdict on this - which must be a relatively common requirement - I will be very grateful.

Many thanks.

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Anyone got any help for me on this?
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