A month of Outlook: days 1 to 3

After using Word and Access 2003 since they came out, I decided it was high time I upgraded to Office 365. Doing so was a lot cheaper than buying the discs ($100.00/year) and will ensure that I always have the latest version. Also, I get all of Office (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, One Note, Powerpoint and Publisher).

I love the sparseness of the programs once you hide the ribbon and how easy Word is to use. In fact, Word was the first program I used and was in instant love. Highlight text and a menu comes up with the items you’re most likely to need. The note function is a right click away and if I need anything else I can easily call up the appropriate ribbon. I loved it.

The second program I called up was Access, which I’ll be needing soon to update my sales information in the database. Access was also easy to use, but I haven’t had to design a report or query in a very long time.

I was using open Office Calc, but will switch to Excel, which looks easy to use. in fact, there doesn’t seem to be much difference. And again, it has that cool ribbon that i can hide and call up when I need it. It’s a spreadsheet program and works very much like Open Office Calc. I use a spreadsheet to gather sales information to enter into the database, so I should have more on this later.

Then there’s Outlook. I hadn’t intended to use Outlook since I already use Thunderbird and love it. Then I thought, why not give Outlook a shot. So I decided to do just that. I set up my IMAP e-mail account, which was easy. As you know I’m a big Android fan, so I wanted to synch my Google calendar with Outlook the way I do Lightning in Thunderbird. It was easy to set up to display my Google Calendar (more on this later), but I forgot about bi-directional access.

Setting up my Google contacts to sync with Outlook was a bit more tricky. I had to Google a workaround to do this one simple task. I found a free program called Go Contact Sync Mod that does an excellent job synching my Google contacts with Outlook. It was easy to use and worked as promised.

So I thought all was well. I started using Outlook as my primary e-mail client. Now my only problem was filtering out junk mail. As we know Thunderbird learns what is junk mail as long as you tell it which messages need to be designated as junk by clicking on the flame next to the e-mail subject line. In Outlook, that option was a right click away (Junk>Block Sender). And yes, it works fine.

At this point it was day three of using Outlook and I felt as if I just might stick with it. Then I had to add something to my calendar and found out that the Outlook Calendar only synched one way (Google to Outlook). I could not add an event to any of my Google Calendars via Outlook! There had to be a workaround, so I turned to Google to find one. So far I have not found a free workaround. i did fine three workarounds that I would have to pay for, but the add-on for Thunderbird to give Lightening the bi-directional ability is free, so I really do not feel as if i should have to pay to get Outlook to do the same.

Well, I said I would try Outlook for a month, so here we go.

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