Using FreeScout for email collaboration

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Overview Overview


Shared inbox software provides a collaborative space for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. teams to answer emails jointly. Shared inboxes can also aggregate multiple email accounts into one inbox for streamlined management. Below are some of the benefits of using a shared inbox for your WordCamp;

  • Multiple inbox support for flagship WordCamps (flagship@wordcamp, flagship-sponsors@wordcamp, flagship-venue@wordcamp etc)
  • Assign user permissions
  • Tags / labels
  • Workflows (auto-assign, auto-reply etc based on conditions)
  • Read receipt
  • Saved replies (saves sponsor replies, welcome emails, attendee FAQ)

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FreeScout FreeScout

FreeScout is the super lightweight free open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. help desk and shared inbox written in PHP7 (Laravel 5.5 framework). It is self-hosted and very similar to HelpScout or other shared mailbox services.

  • Some of the additional features require paid modules ranging from $2 – $20 one-off payment.

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Requirements Requirements

FreeScout is a pure PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php./MySQLMySQL MySQL is a relational database management system. A database is a structured collection of data where content, configuration and other options are stored. https://www.mysql.com/. application just like WordPress, so it can be easily deployedDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. even on shared hosting.

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Installing in a Shared Hosting server Installing in a Shared Hosting server

Many shared hosting comes with the Softaculous script installer pre-installed. From your control panel, navigate to Softaculous and search “FreeScout”.

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Installing in a Cloud hosting provider Installing in a Cloud hosting provider

Please follow official installation instructions from Freescout here;
https://github.com/freescout-helpdesk/freescout/wiki/Installation-Guide

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Setting up WordCamp email with FreeScout Setting up WordCamp email with FreeScout

As a WordCamp organizer, you should have received a WordCamp Gmail address such as city@wordcamp.org.

In order to set up your WordCamp Gmail with Freescout, please follow the following steps;

Step 1: Setup a Two Factor Authentication
Visit https://myaccount.google.com/security and click 2-Step Verification and set up your phone number to secure the account.

Step 2: Create an App password
Visit https://myaccount.google.com/apppasswords and create a new App Password for FreeScout. Copy the password that you created in this step to be used in your FreeScout setup.

Step 3: Setup new Mailbox in FreeScout
Go to Manage > Mailboxes > New to add a new Inbox in your FreeScout instance. Enter the basic details as required.

Step 4: Setup Outgoing Mails
In the next screen, set up the outgoing mails or SMTP. Use the settings below to set up your WordCamp email. Replace the username with your WordCamp email and the Password is the app password you created in Step 2 (Take note that this is not your WordCamp Gmail password).

Step 5: Setup Incoming Mails
Finally, set up the incoming email. Click on the Fetching emails tab and set it up as the following example. Replace the username with your WordCamp email and the Password is the app password you created in Step 2 (Take note that this is not your WordCamp Gmail password).

Important Note: Make sure you save all settings before clicking “Check connection” or “Send test mail”.

Repeat Step 1 to Step 5 to add other inboxes if you have more than one email ID for your WordCamp such as sponsors@ or venue@.

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Managing Users Managing Users

Now that you have configured FreeScout inboxes, the next step is to add fellow organizers to access and collaborate in conversations.

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Adding a new Organizer / Co-Organizer / WranglerWrangler Someone, usually a person part of event organizing team, who looks after certain things like budget or sponsors. Adding a new Organizer / Co-Organizer / Wrangler

To add new users to your FreeScout, go to Manage > Users > New. Fill up the form and the user will receive an invitation email.

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Useful Modules Useful Modules

Below are some of the useful modules (which are not free);

TAGS – Allow tag issues such as “Sponsors”, “Attendee”
https://freescout.net/module/tags/

WORKFLOW – Allow set automation. Such as auto-forward email, Add tags when containing specific subject, etc.
https://freescout.net/module/workflows/

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