Cannot Open Linked Outlook E-Mails When Folder Changes

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Hi Folks, using the "Send to Mindjet Map" plug-in, i can create links to emails in my Inbox folder that open the corresponding email on right click--> "Open Microsoft Outlook Item". If the email is moved from my Inbox to any other folder, the link is broken and when trying to open, i get the following message:

"The operation cannot be performed because the message has been changed."

Outlook 2013 15.0.4641.1001 32-bit
Mindjet for Windows 11.3.305
Windows 7

Thanks, -g
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George Knoll

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Posted 4 years ago

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Marian Kocmanek, Official Rep

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Hi George, 

We use the EntryID for the Outlook Item to create the link. When an Outlook item is moved to another folder, the EntryID changes and the link will be broken. At this time, the only solution would be to re-create the link in your Map. 

Thanks,  
-Marian
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George Knoll

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Thanks Marian. That seems like a really poor design decision you guys made. Pretty reasonable to assume that people are going to be moving emails from the inbox into another folder, yes? This was my last update to MM, i am finished with your product. PS: was a user since v7. I can't believe how Mindjet killed this product. What a shame.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I've been a strong critic of many of Mindjet's decisions relating to MindManager but to be fair to them I don't think this particular problem is of their making, nor is it specifically the result of a MindManager upgrade.

Unless MindManager is constantly in contact with Outlook in real time (which obviously it isn't), it would not be aware of any changes in the Outlook EntryID as this isn't a global ID. As Marian's response suggests, the EntryID changes whenever an email or other Outlook item is moved. This is difficult to work around; there are some full-blown CRMs like Teamscope that can do this by storing a backup ID, but even after reading their material explaining this I'm not sure how this works: http://www.teamscope.com/support/faq.asp#gen-hyperlinks

This and some issues with the Outlook protocol that commenced with Outlook 2007 could be the reasons why there are comparatively few programs or apps for hyperlinking to Outlook emails (see the Teamscope FAQ link for further explanation). And I may be wrong about this but I recall that moving an email broke the link in the same way in previous versions of MindManager, so this is hardly a new issue.

The simplest thing is either to move emails to the relevant folder and then use the Send to MindManager facility or alternatively use categories instead of folders, leave the emails in the Inbox and continue to link them to MindManager from there.


(Edited)
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George Knoll

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Thanks Alex. I have trouble believing that there is no GUID for a single email message in Outlook that does not change with folder location -- but i am not a programmer nor do i understand the arcane internals of Outlook file management. It seems very strange.

btw, i just tested the same use case with "The Brain" and it fails as well. So you are right, this is not just a MM problem. 

For the record, i did not have this problem with Outlook 2010, but i can't recall which version of MM i was using (i want to say 9 or 8).

Your workaround does not correspond to my work practice of linking to an email while in my inbox and then moving that message out of the inbox so as to structure/prioritize work based on the link and then follow up later.

I tried leaving them in the inbox but then as the size of the inbox grows, the sync process slows down Outlook as to become unusable. I am not at all deep on why this is the case but the client connection is IMAP and i have a feeling that is one of the reasons it happens.

If you have other ideas, i'd be happy to try them out. Appreciate your time and suggestions.

-g

PS: this is still very likely my last MM purchase. The product is no longer a mapping product but completely bloated with unnecessary project management capabilities that simple users don't require. Each new line of unnecessary code is a feature i won't use, but will pay for, and that can introduce another bug. I really used to love this product, such a shame.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Are you certain that when you were using MM 8 to achieve this that it was working with Outlook 2010? I think it may have worked with the 2003 version but I understand that after that Microsoft made some fundamental changes to Outlook. The other possibility is that this feature may have worked with MM8 and (I think) MM9's facility to create an email and send it to Outlook, which was subsequently dropped, something I wasn't happy about at the time.


I'm afraid I don't have a workaround other than the one I suggested. For what it's worth, in Outlook I use an add-in called QuickFile from Standss software which speeds up the filing of received and sent emails in Outlook folders, and then I send any emails I need to track to MM.


I agree to some extent with your comments about MM becoming a bit bloated but I think the real problem is Mindjet being too keen to purchase successful add-ins, integrate them with the core program only to end up with very mixed results. The impact of this practice has caused MM to lose some of its flexibility (for example, when the relationship between start date, expand date and duration had to be locked down to integrate JCV Gantt) and often for the add-in to lose the very features that made it attractive in the first place (eg, conditional formatting in Power Markers). It would have been much better to leave these as add-ins.


The other thing to remember is that while as with Word, Excel and other major desktop programs, many people might say that MM is suffering from feature bloat and that "80% of users use only 20% of the features" etc etc, they would then disagree about what those features are - in other words, my 20% (or in my case, probably about 50%) is never going to be the same as yours. And when you state that MM is bloated with many "unnecessary project management features" many mind mapping purists would agree with you, but they would also include the ability to link Outlook emails to MM in that category.


I think we all have to accept that MM has become much more than just a simple mind mapping and brainstorming tool. The trick is getting the balance right between simplicity and flexibility. Personally I think the best way to do this would have been to have had a robust core program with a reasonable set of features a reasonable price, but with a vibrant add-in industry to provide solutions for more specialist uses and users. However I think that Mindjet has gone too far down the throw everything including the kitchen sink route to turn back now.
(Edited)
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Andrew Wilcox, Champion

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That's odd. I have tested this in past and moving linked Outlook items to another Outlook folder did not affect their operation on the map.  It worked just now for MM14 and Outlook 2013. I linked an email and then moved it to another folder. Everything was fine.

Also tested the drag and drop email (new feature in MM14) to create a link and then deleted the email.  The MM link still opened the email from the deleted folder.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Thanks Andrew - that will teach me! 

I usually try to see if I can experience the problem as described myself before commenting but for once I didn't. This was partly because I have had similar issues in the past, and the response from Marian on behalf of Mindjet seemed both to confirm that this is standard behaviour and also to provide a reasonable explanation.

However I just tried it and much to my surprise it works exactly as you describe - you can change folders and MM seems to find the email consistently, which is quite a neat trick given the apparent absence of a global ID in Outlook.

MM will even pick up the category applied to the email in Outlook, though subsequently changing this categorisation in MindManager (after importing Outlook categories using the approach I've posted about in this forum before) doesn't always get picked up immediately in Outlook. However it seems to recognise the category change if you subsequently move the email between folders.

This still leaves the mystery of why George is experiencing problems with this. He mentioned using an IMAP connection and it may be that syncing emails works with POP3 and not IMAP, though that's just a guess. 

(Edited)
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George Knoll

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Thanks for your responses guys. Can you confirm: are you using POP or IMAP connectivity to your mail server? I have a feeling this is related (i use IMAP and am guessing that you are both POP-based).
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Andrew Wilcox, Champion

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POP - It's all in a local Outlook file.
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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Hi George - yes I'm using POP.

As I said I have a suspicion that using IMAP could possibly be the issue, but it would be great if other IMAP (and POP) users could try syncing and then moving their emails and report back on what happens.

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Peter D

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I am experiencing the same issue. If I link an email and then leave it in my inbox (Outlook 2013) I can open a copy of the email from MindJet. If I move the email in Outlook to another folder, I can still open it in MindJet. However, once I save the MindJet file, the link is broken and I no longer can access that email from MindJet. Please advise.