Getting the most from Dynamics CRM/Exchange Online Server to Server Synchronisation

By James Cook

Tech General
3 August 2016

Email tagging in CRM is normally a pain in the ars*

Microsoft has gone to a lot of effort to make sure two of their key online services, Exchange Online (part of Office 365) and Dynamics CRM Online integrate in a seamless and unobtrusive way for customers.

By moving the synchronisation to a server level integration, it means there is no messing around with installing a client into Outlook or dealing with the fact that only one client can be the primary sync agent. It really is a case of set it up and leave it. This blog doesn’t cover the setup but discusses one way to setup your email to be efficient, effective and organised.

Exchange Online Setup

I am very particular about how my email is set up and I am constantly striving (and failing) for an inbox whereby I don’t have any scroll bars. This means as soon as something has been dealt with or is not relevant to me I like to file it away.

The general folder structure I use is:


You may notice, I am using SaneBox, but that is a topic for another blog post.

The general principle here is to split your inbox into areas that are more manageable. The search on Outlook/Exchange online is great, so you can rely on the power of the tool and it is best to limit the number of folders.


Key ones are:

  • Archive – for general emails that don’t fit anywhere else
  • Client facing – this is where all client emails go once they have been dealt with
  • Personal – for all the emails from my wife, friends and personal organisations I belong (this is obviously not relevant if your company doesn’t allow this)
  • Company Name – This could also be called internal and is for communication between you and your colleagues
  • Suppliers – Self-explanatory
  • Sales – For leads and opportunities you are working on
  • Zzz_alerts – this is for automated alerts I get that I want to check every now and again but that are generally not important.


Outlook Setup

One of my favourite bits of Outlook is the quick steps they introduced in the 2013 version as this allows you to set up the equivalent of macros.


I then set these up to move emails quickly into the relevant folders, once they are dealt with as so:


One of the best shortcuts I have found recently is using the back space key in outlook to very quickly move emails into the Archive folder. If you are an advanced user you can also set a shortcut key for your quick steps meaning you can minimise mouse usage to get extra efficiency.

Dynamics CRM Online Setup

Assuming your administrator has setup server to server synchronisation and “Use folder-level tracking for Exchange folders” then you will be able to click the cog in the top left of CRM and go to options.

Profile area in the top right of Dynamics CRM
Profile area in the top right of Dynamics CRM

Next click on the email tab and click “Configure Folder Tracking Rules” allowing you to setup the rules as follows:

Dynamics CRM Folder-Level Tracking options
Dynamics CRM Folder-Level Tracking options

You will notice I haven’t set a regarding record in CRM because I work on lots of different things. You may however work with a couple of clients or on projects and can then create sub folders and tag them to specific accounts, leads or opportunities.

Once this is saved, it will take a few hours to fully sync but all your emails should then be in CRM and adding new ones is only a quick step away.

If you’re looking for IT services in Bristol for your local business that allow you to make the most of your email and Dynamics CRM, then speak to a member of our team on 0117 933 0570.

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