Giving Up Outlook

A few weeks ago I decided I would try giving up Microsoft Outlook. I already used Gmail as my primary email account, and was getting frustrated with trying to achieve a two-way sync between Google Calendar and my Outlook appointments, so I thought I would just give up Outlook for Google. And honestly, it’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. The main reason I used Outlook wasn’t just for use as an email client – if it was as simple as email, I would have given up Outlook for Gmail years ago. No, I used Outlook as a management system for my appointments, tasks, address book and email.

Everything I liked about Outlook, I can accomplish with Google, with few exceptions. I love Google Calendar, and the ability to manage my calendar and appointments online. I can share my calendar, manage invites, and have my daily agenda emailed to me so I don’t forget anything. With the personalized Google homepage, I basically created a web based version of Outlook’s “Today” view; email inbox, upcoming appointments, and tasks with upcoming due dates. Embedding my email and calendar into my homepage were the easy tasks; Google doesn’t yet have a to-do list, and so I had to look elsewhere for list management. Remember The Milk does Task management, and then some. You can share tasks with other users, tag tasks, associate a web page, give a time estimate, and more.

Honestly, the only thing I can’t accomplish with Gmail is auto-adding birthdays and anniversaries from contact information into a calendar, which would be really nice. Otherwise, I can never remember who has an upcoming birthday or anniversary. Another thing I wish Google would add is the ability to label/tag/categorize contacts. I would love to be able to filter out contacts; say I want to send an email out to family, but I don’t want to make a “Family” mailing list. If I could just filter out business contacts and friends, that would be convenient.

3 thoughts on “Giving Up Outlook”

  1. I love my google calendar. I use it for everything! What makes it even better is that Jesse has access to my calendar and he doesn’t need me around to see it. Plus I have access to his so if he tells me an appointment, he knows it gets onto the calendar because I’m better about it than he is. 😉 It’s so handy to have it online, I can check it everywhere and I can add things no matter where I’m at.

    What’s the difference between adding a label to a contact and making a mailing list? You’re basically doing that with the label. Honestly, gmail’s contacts has the labeling feature, but it does create a mailing group. It’s just like the labeling feature for email. I can have multiple groups attached to one name and all I have to type is “IRC” in the to field in an email and all 20 names appear (for instance). It’s actually really nice considering I don’t have to open each contact to attach it to a group either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *