Email In Actionstep

Created by Dakota Martin, Modified on Thu, 12 Jan 2023 at 03:48 PM by Robert Butler

Actionstep offers multiple ways to send and receive emails. Office 365, Gmail, mailgun (built-in), and SMTP mailboxes can be setup to send emails. Actionstep plugins, add-ins, mailgun (built-in), and POP3 collection can be used to get emails into Actionstep.

 

This article covers the many aspects of setting up and using email functionality in Actionstep.

 

Note: All features mentioned in this article may not be available in your system. Please, see the features listed for your product plan at https://www.actionstep.com/pricing/

 

Getting Started

Before setting everything up, it's important to take stock of the services you already use to determine your best configuration in Actionstep.

 

Note: When new Actionstep systems are created, there is no mailbox configured. If no mailbox is configured, some functions in Actionstep may not function as expected.

 

Here's a table of the most common configurations.

Email Service

Outbound

Inbound

Office 365

Office 365 mailbox

Actionstep Office 365 Outlook Add-in

Gmail

Gmail mailbox

Actionstep Gmail Add-on

Other email service

(with Outlook)

SMTP mailbox

Actionstep Office Plugin

Other email service

(no Outlook)

SMTP mailbox

POP3 collection or no inbound

No external email service

Mailgun(Actionstep built-in)

Mailgun(Actionstep built-in)

 

While these are common, other configurations can be used. Multiple services and methods can be utilized to manage email in Actionstep. For instance, you could have both Office 365 and Gmail, or other combinations, configured in your system.

 

Outbound - Sending Emails from Actionstep

Actionstep uses mailboxes to send emails. Mailboxes can be setup for specific users (personal mailboxes) or for use by anyone in the system (system mailboxes).

 

Personal mailboxes are only available to the user who set them up. System mailboxes can be used by any user with email access.

 

Types of Mailboxes

Office 365

Connects to your Office 365 account. Emails are sent from your Office 365 email address.

Gmail

Connects to your Gmail account. Emails are sent from your Gmail email address.

SMTP

Connects to you email account using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is useful for other email providers such as yahoo, AOL, etc.

 

Setting up SMTP requires specific information including:

  • Host name

  • Authentication method

  • TCP Port

  • User name/password

This information can usually be found by doing a websearch for your email provider and "SMTP."

Mailgun (Actionstep built-in)

Actionstep provides free email functionality which is provided by Mailgun (https://www.mailgun.com)


This service allows you to send and receive emails via matters@yourorgkey.actionstep.com without any setup or configuration.


Note: This mailbox is not as reliable as a commercial system like Office 365 or Gmail and your email may get marked as spam from clients who are not expecting this email domain name.


This service is NOT designed to replace your inbox, rather be a quick and easy way to use email within Actionstep. Once enabled you can disable at any time.

 

Composing Emails

Once mailboxes are set up, email messages can be composed and sent from Actionstep. There are multiple places from which emails can be composed.

Global Create Button > Email

(most common)

 

The Compose Email screen can be launched by selecting the Global Create Button in the top-right corner of the screen and selecting Email.

Email screens > Compose

A Compose button is present on all email inbox/sent/draft screens. These screens are located under the Comms menu item on the Main Menu.

Smart Create > Email

The Smart Create button is available on Scratchpad notes and File notes. Selecting Smart Create > Email launches the Compose Email screen and adds the note's contents to the subject of the email.

 

Note: When emails are composed that are not associated to matters, the current user's default personal mailbox will be used. When sending emails from a matter, they are automatically associated, and they are sent using the default system mailbox.

 

The Compose Email Screen

 

 

Automated Emails

With automatic notifications, reminders, and invitations (client portal), many emails are sent from Actionstep without user-intervention.

 

This table outlines the source of the emails and how the FROM mailbox is determined.

Calendar event invites/reminders

Calendar invites/reminders are sent from the default personal mailbox of the user who creates the event. In the case that the user does not have a personal mailbox, the email is sent from the default system mailbox.

Task notifications

Task notifications are sent from the default system mailbox.

 

This is true of manually-created and automatic tasks.

 

Note: Task reminders will not be sent if there is no system mailbox.

Step change emails

Step change emails can be sent from either personal or system mailboxes.

 

This is based on a setting in Admin > Email > Outbound email

System or personal mailboxes can be chosen to send the emails

Client Portal invitations

Portal invitations are sent via support@actionstep.com

 

They do not use personal or system mailboxes.

Client Portal - Client replies

When a client replies, an email is sent from the default system mailbox to the email of the user assigned to the matter of the portal client.

Client Portal - Communications to client

Communications to clients are sent via the default system mailbox.

Bill emails

When bills are produced, emails are sent from the system mailbox.

 

If only a personal mailbox is set up, the bill will not produce.

 

Manual bill emails can be sent from either personal or system mailboxes.

Matter alerts

Matter alerts are sent from the default system mailbox.

 

Note: Alerts will not be sent if there is no system mailbox.

 

For more information on alerts, see Matter Alerts

 

For more information on setting up mailboxes, see

 

Inbound - Getting Emails into Actionstep

Having access to emails inside Actionstep is valuable, as it makes it simple to see a history of communication for specific matters. There are multiple ways to get emails into Actionstep. The method is largely determined by your email configuration and services you use.

 

The following table contains all methods of getting emails into Actionstep and considerations for specific configurations.

Outlook Add-in for Office 365

The Outlook Add-in for Office 365 is the best option for users with an Office 365 subscription. The add-in offers a wide array of functionality to manage your emails and multiple items in your Actionstep system.

 

Features include:

  • Assign emails to be available in Actionstep

  • Use of Actionstep email templates

  • Attach files from Actionstep matters

  • View assigned matter information

  • Create contacts

  • Create file notes

  • Manage and create tasks

  • Create time entries

  • Organize email attachments in Actionstep

  • Send SMS messages

For more information, see Setting up Actionstep's Outlook add-in for Office 365

Gmail Add-on

The Gmail Add-on is the best option for users managing email in Gmail.

 

The Gmail Add-on allows users to assign emails to matters and view information about matters, parties, file notes, and tasks. Items in the add-on are hyperlinked to Actionstep. So, selecting some items launches that item for quick access in your system.

 

For more information on installing the Gmail add-on for your domain, see Installing The Gmail Add-on



Microsoft Office for Windows Plugin

The Microsoft Office for Windows Plugin is the best option for users who use Outlook on Windows to manage emails and do not have an Office 365 subscription.

 

In Outlook, the plugin allows you to:

  • Assign emails to matters

  • View and email matter parties

  • Read/write file notes

  • Add/edit tasks

  • Manage email attachments

  • Record time records

The plugin is also used to open documents from Actionstep in other Microsoft Office programs like Word and Excel.

 

For more information, see Microsoft Office Plugin

Mailgun

Mailgun(Actionstep built-in) is the best option for users who do not wish to connect any service to Actionstep. When mailgun is enabled, Actionstep provides a wildcard email address for the system.

 

By default, that email address is matters@yourorgkey.actionstep.com.

 

To send an email to a specific matter, that email address uses the letter "a" before the matter number to rout it correctly.

 

For instance, to send an email to matter 243, the email address would be a243@yourorgkey.actionstep.com

 

This method is used for both inbound and outbound. When sending an email from a matter, or just from Actionstep when the email has associations, the email address is updated with the proper routing information. This ensures that the email is associated with the correct matters/invoices when a reply is sent.

 

One consideration is that the mailgun address may be marked as SPAM by your recipient's email provider. It's a best practice to communicate with the recipient to whitelist emails coming from your mailgun domain.

POP3

With POP3 configured, Actionstep automatically checks the connected inbox every 5 minutes to pull emails into Actionstep.

 

There is also a Check for Mail button on email list screens to manually pull in items from your inbox.

 

To determine the associations of the email, Actionstep looks at the subject of the email. Certain routing information must exist for the emails to be assigned correctly.

 

For more information on POP3 email routing, see the Subject Line Method section of Email Associations

 

Note: Some popular services are discontinuing POP3 support. We suggest those with Office 365 or Gmail use the Actionstep add-in respective to those services.


Email Associations

The purpose of the aforementioned inbound methods is to associate emails with items in your Actionstep system. Associations can also be created when sending emails from Actionstep.


 

Email Menus

Actionstep has several places to access and view emails. Each email menu has a specific purpose to make it easy to find emails based on their associations.

 

From the main menu

Hover over the Comms menu item to reveal the email menu items.

 

 

My Email

The My Email views have several functions. My Inbox is used to alert users of emails when they are using mailgun or POP3. When using those methods, inbound emails associated with matters to which the current user is assigned will be placed in the My Email > My Inbox.

 

Note: Emails assigned via plugins, add-ons, and add-ins do not display in My Email > My Inbox, as those mailboxes are managed externally.

 

My Email > My Drafts contains any emails that are composed in Actionstep which are saved instead of sent.

 

My Email > My Sent Items contains emails sent by the current user.

Matter Email

The Matter Email Inbox contains emails that that were assigned or received that are assigned to matters.

 

The Matter Email Sent Items contains emails that were sent while associated with matters.

 

The Matter Email Drafts contains emails that were saved and not sent that are associated with matters.

Sales Email

Sales Email Inbox contains emails that are received via POP3 or mailgun that are associated with a bill or sales invoice.

 

Sales Email Sent Items contains emails that were sent from Actionstep that are associated with bills or sales invoices.

 

Sales Email Drafts contains emails that were created in Actionstep and saved and not sent while being associated with a bill or sales invoice.

Purchases Email

Purchases Email Inbox contains emails that are received via POP3 or mailgun that are associated with supplier/vendor invoices.

 

Purchases Email Sent Items contains emails that were sent from Actionstep that are associated with supplier/vendor invoices..

 

Purchases Email Drafts contains emails that were created in Actionstep and saved and not sent while being associated with a supplier/vendor invoice.

Unassigned Email

The Unassigned Email Inbox contains emails received via POP3 or mailgun that don't contain valid routing information to place them in one of the other email views. That is, they are not associated with participants, matters, invoices, or bills.

 

 

In matters

Hover over the Comms icon to reveal the email menu items.

 

The matters Comms menu contains email views for emails associated with that matter.

 

Email Aliases

Email aliases are used for wildcard/catchall accounts. They assign a specific email address in your domain that can contain several members to receive copies of emails when that address receives a message.

 


 

Email Templates

Email templates are preconfigured email messages that automatically populate an email. These can be selected in parts of the program as automatic emails or they can be selected when composing an email. This saves tons of time, not having to write out repetitive communications.


Related Articles:

- Introduction to Emails

- Introduction to Email Integrations