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We work with a shared inbox to provide support to customers and use the read/unread status to know whether an issue has been worked yet or not. Because we all have access to the same box, though, if one person reads an email (or their reading pane marks it as read and they forget to mark it back as unread) and hasn't decided to work that issue the ball gets dropped.

For the moment we have to look beyond the fact that we're using Outlook/email as a ticketing system (it's out of my control) and have got to make due. We've looked into simply changing the 'mark as read reading pane time limit' but due to other kinds of inboxes we manage that isn't the best solution for us (unless that setting can be changed on an per-inbox basis). Is there a way for us to see which user has marked an email as read in the shared inbox? Perhaps with a custom category, or even a macro?

Bonus: What other method does outlook offer to provide a shared inbox, a completion state for us to track issues, and accountability between users?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • It is a very bad practive to track something by read/unread status. Consider using flags, categories or even folders for that.
  • You can maintain per-user read/unread message state by using Public Folders. But this is a deprecated method.
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Bad practice or not, it looks like management decided things work just fine with read/unread (argh). I'll advocate for the flag idea, I think that could help. Thanks for your input all! – Mr. Buster Dec 9 '11 at 23:34
@Mr.Buster I know this is an old post, but we use a combination of categories, flags, and conditional formatting: to take a task I right-click to assign my category, add a flag to show it's currently underway, and then change the flag to "complete" when I'm done. In the meantime, conditional formatting is set so any task without a category (i.e. worker assigned) is marked in a highly-visible red, so nothing is ever missed and read/unread state can be ignored. – eisb Jan 2 '14 at 17:41

I don't believe there is a way to see who marked an email as read.

I recommend creating folders with each persons name to work on an issue. When an issue comes in for Kevin and Kevin decides to work on it, put it in Kevin's folder.

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