This post mainly applies to Cru staff who have a Google apps email account.
How to Use Google Apps and Outlook Together
Did you know you could have the best of both worlds, Google Apps and Outlook? You may prefer the way one works over the other or, like me, you could use one tool for certain functions while using the other tool for other functions.
If you like the benefits of these two tools and know you’d be more efficient using both, read on. First, let’s look at what you can do with these tools and then I’ll explain how you can sync them together.
What You Can Do with Google Apps OR Outlook
- Your basic functions for email, calendar, contacts. I find Outlook contacts better, though.
- View emails in a conversation mode (but different in look and use).
- Keyboard shortcuts.
- Search for mail, tasks, calendar items,… and even within attachments. Google is faster and easier.
- Have multiple calendars and calendar views.
Best Uses for Google Apps
- I like using the Google Calendar better just for function, but also:
- Google Calendars embed on a blog
- A Google Calendar feed posts events on my WordPress blog with the “Upcoming Events” widget.
- I imported a spreadsheet schedule into Google calendar.
- You might want to try Todoist or Remember the Milk to make Google tasks better for you. I’ve tried them both and like Todoist better.
- The Boomerang app allows you to schedule when to send your email and/or sends you a reminder to follow up an email if you did not receive a response (follow the link for eleven ideas for using Boomerang).
- Canned Responses in “labs” helps you create templates that you can use over and over again.
- Because our emails are “housed” with Google, you can only indicate that an email is spam through Gmail.
- Outlook doesn’t have anything like Drive, Groups, Hangouts, Google Sites, and the social aspects of Google+.
Best Uses for Microsoft Outlook
- Sort emails by many fields (date, subject, to, from, …)
- Drag emails and contacts to folders, tasks and calendar.
- Use tasks “as is” or try adding Todoist to Outlook.
- If you synchronize with a mobile device, Outlook is your best option. (See two articles listed in the notes.) Syncing TntMPD as well brings your financial partners’ contact information on to your phone.
- Work offline when no wi-fi is available or when you don’t want the distraction of incoming email or of being on the Internet.
- Flag emails with a due date.
- Do mail merges, especially with TntMPD.
- Drag and drop your email history into TntMPD.
- Outlook has Notes, but I use Evernote because I needed something more robust.
A Coin Toss
In general, I personally think choosing how you will use each tool depends on your workflow and how easy these tools are for you. What fits your style?
The same thinking goes between choosing Outlook’s rules and folders versus Gmail’s filters and tags. How do YOU like to organize? I’ll admit I haven’t taken the time to clean these up for my email. Much of the “sales” type email does go into my bacn Outlook folder or is labeled as “promotions” in Gmail , but not all, yet.
I decided to leave RSS feeds out of this discussion, because you have various options for reading feeds. Jared Gorelnick recommends Outlook in the two articles noted below.
How to Get Started with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook
Download Google Apps Sync and then watch the following video for the steps to sync Google and Outlook. It will take a while for Outlook to sync with all your data on Gmail, but after you’ve done this initially, what you do in one will show up in the other fairly quickly.
<< First (in series posts)
Visit the Table of Contents for the You-Can-Too series posts. This post is the third in the communication series. Keep following the series for posts on databases, communication, websites, and social media.
- The image is made up of trademarked icons from Google and Microsoft.
- Thanks to Lifehacker for their content in Outlook vs. Gmail – The Definitive Comparison. You might want to read their more thorough research.
- I also recommend Why I use Gmail and Outlook – and how it helps with email & social media by the same author.