I’ve now used Outlook instead of Thunderbird for a month and have gotten used to it. I like the Office integration with Outlook, and how easy it is to use One Note with Outlook. The calendar function is actually more appealing than Lightening, although I still wish I didn’t have to pay to be able have bidirectional support for Google Calendar. And no, I still have not broken down and paid for that function. I do have to say that I might actually find a way to get the Outlook calendar to synch with my phone (HTC Incredible 2). Adding an event from an e-mail in Outlook is much better in Outlook. You have more options and can easily edit the content before it goes to your calendar. You can also make a note using One Note if you feel the need.
Not being a huge note taking person, I can’t compare One Note to anything. I have started a project that One Note has been helpful with. It’s also good for adding an e-mail to a note. Screen clips have also been great, as have adding images with notes about the images. Being able to access them via my phone via the One Note app for Android has been nice, although they don’t render the same as on the computer. One Note is something I can see myself using more often, especially once I start using Outlook calendar functions more often.
Word is probably the part of the new Office suite that blows me away the most. I love it! It’s clean, unobtrusive and keeps your focus on your work and not the program. It handles adding notes for collaboration easily, even if it does take a little figuring out to get them to come up the way you want. I like my notes in a side panel, not a balloon or a separate window. highlight text and all the common functions you might want pop up in the ready.
As for Excel and Access, I don’t use them on a daily basis the way I do Word, Outlook and now One Note. I only call Access and Excel up once a month for sales figures, royalty reports and invoices. They have the same unobtrusive look and feel that excites me about the entire Office suite, and they’re easy to use.