Although I’ve been using Outlook since June ‘13, I was never sold on it. I love the MS Office suite, but never really warmed up to Outlook. Thunderbird/Lightening worked a bit more seamlessly with my Gmail contacts and Google calendar, and I prefer the easy way Thunderbird handles junk mail with a simple click of a flame icon. Outlook had way too many steps to make it learn what is junk and what isn’t.
Although I did find a workaround to get Outlook to synch my contacts with Gmail, it was easy to find a fix with a Thunderbird plugin. I had to do a Google search to find an assortment of fixes (most of them weren’t free, but I did find one that was and worked well). Getting my calendar to synch with my Google calendar in Outlook was easy, but I would have to pay to be able to get a bi-directional fix. Since I use my phone and the web calendar when scheduling, it wasn’t that big a deal.
Despite dealing with the crappy way Outlook learns about junk mail, I was using it. I mean, it’s part of the Office suite, so why not use it. It wasn’t that awful…until I got the new computer.
So I set up the new computer, get all the fixes for Outlook to work the way I want and suddenly my sent mail doesn’t synch with my e-mail MAPI server. I called my server host only to have them tell me that it’s an Outlook issue. So I Googled the problem and found a fix that didn’t really work, and then Googled some more. I then found out that a lot of people who upgraded to Windows 8.1 are having the same problem. It has to do with Windows 8.1 and MAPI servers. Yeah, it’s a bit over my head, and there didn’t seem to be a fix that would solve the problem. So I began to think about going back to my old friends Thunderbird & the Lightening plugin. It wasn’t until I read a few posts from people who reverted back to Thunderbird and said they had no problems that my mind was made up.
I have to say that once I had Thunderbird/Lightening configured, it was like seeing an old friend. Using the flame icon to remove junk mail was a breeze and made me realize how much I hated wading through context menus to do this one simple task. The problem with sent mail not being saved the sent mail folder was no longer an issue. All was good with my e-mail.
Although Lightening is working well with my Google calendars, I will have to say that I’m having a bi-directional problem with Lightening. I can view my calendars, but changing them via Lightening gives me errors. I don’t know if this is because of Windows 8.1, but I never had an issue with it on Windows 7. Hopefully it will get fixed or I can find out how to fix it.