Written by D. Gowen

What is Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is an information and email manager, available as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. Though primarily an email client, Outlook also includes such functions as calendaring, task managing, contact managing, note-taking, journal logging, and web browsing. If you already subscribe to other Microsoft applications, Outlook is included. You may download it onto a device such as desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone. You can also utilize it directly from any browser via its cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) model.

Since 1997 this product has undergone various names and versions yet has remained the mainstay product / service for business regarding email management. Many applications your enterprise use may even require a Microsoft mailbox. If you are new to Outlook, it’s like anything else we’ve navigated through with technology solutions, it’s worth the journey. With a little bit of knowledge, you will get started quickly and then persevere to learn more features as you go.

What are the benefits of using Microsoft Outlook?

  1. Preferences configure the interface as you wish. Start with the defaults or customize features just like you do in other Microsoft products. With Outlook, you control how emails display, toggle on/off conversation view, customize menu bars, “out of the office” notifications, folder and retention management, incoming email alerts, mail handling rules and much more.
  2. Search has rich features to find what you need quickly with the advanced capabilities. Key words, filters, phrases, dates, ranges, and even span the search across tasks, calendars, contacts, and other apps.
  3. Security features are built into the platform with mail filtering options to protect from phishing attacks, dangerous links, suspicious senders, as well as account management, permissions, multi-factor authentication for login, email encryption, digital signature and much more.
  4. Multiple email accounts can be managed from a single Outlook interface. You don’t even have to have a Microsoft mailbox to use Outlook. No matter how many email accounts you have, they can all be accessed from the same place by using Outlook. Even if the accounts are on other platforms like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. Therefore, all your emails can be managed with the same great features of Outlook.
  5. Calendar has many features for scheduling, different time zones, multiple calendars for different purposes, color coding, categorizing, sharing with others both from inside and outside your organization, meeting management, integration with Microsoft Teams, and customized views to name a few.
  6. Contacts is not simply a list but rather think of it as a contact management system / database. Customizable, categories, multiple fields of useful information, searchable, import/export records for other uses, business cards, groups and much more.
  7. Tasks keeps you on track with all your work activities (to dos) and assignments across your team members which then integrates across your calendar and other apps. Tasks alone as an app / service has evolved immensely with rich features, functionality, and integration across the Microsoft suite besides its interface with email and Outlook.

What to do next?

If you haven’t tried Outlook, start now. Once you try it, learn something new about it every few days ongoing. It’s human nature to be fearful of the unknown or get swept up in “analysis paralysis”. On the other hand, if you are a veteran user of Outlook – exploit some more of its capabilities. It is also human nature to learn on a need to know basis and underutilize the functionality of most software products. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Look for a new feature every day or week to find something useful and exciting to enhance your workflow. Become a power user, lead the way for your peers, work smarter, not harder!

Microsoft provides efficient and effective business tools via their apps and online services. Wouldn’t you like to leverage the tools you already have? This will save you time, you will become more organized and efficient, serve your customers better and be less stressed.

The Bottom Line

Let’s face it – email has taken over a huge chunk of our workday. As the volume of information, speed of communication and business has increased, our email boxes have exploded. Newer more collaborative work products like Skype, Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint have come along to assist. However, no matter how many emails you have, you still need to get them managed, under control, improve efficiency and take back your time. Think of Microsoft products as people productivity solutions.

AKAVEIL Technologies is home to industry experts who offer consulting, design, implementation, maintenance, and support services.  We can work with you at any level necessary to improve your business in the achievement of its goals. As a Microsoft partner we possess experience and understanding of the various products and license plans. We work directly with each business as a trusted advisor to assess and recommend the best fit products and services now and scalable into the future. Remain competitive and grow your business with AKAVEIL.

AKAVEIL Consulting Services: https://www.akaveil.com/consulting/

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