Advice on migrating work email/calendar from google to outlook
May 13, 2024 8:20 AM   Subscribe

My work is moving from google workspace for mail and calendar to microsoft outlook. I've not previously used outlook. What can I do to make the transition more smooth and to avoid common pitfalls?

I've never previously used outlook for email or calendaring. I know that I can look up tutorials for the basics, but would like more advice on how to think about or set up outlook to work well for me after using gmail since it was first available.

Where is good to start?
posted by medusa to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
If you have a shared calendar, by which I mean a calendar that more than one person would need to create invites on, it will never ever work right no matter what the settings say, and it will be easier for you emotionally to accept this now rather than fight it.

We moved to outlook 6 years ago and I am still grieving the loss of calendar functionality.
posted by phunniemee at 8:31 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]

Phunniemee is on the mark. Calendar works COMPLETELY differently and annoyingly. If you have teams integration it's worse with a whole nother calendar to mind. Things do cross over, but you can only start meetings from teams.

The way Outlook does email threading is also extremely annoying; don't dare change a subject line if you want to keep tracking something. There are some tricks to make it work more closely to gmail (link 1, link 2) but it isn't the same. I've also found search to be really sluggish if you do try to make it work more like gmail.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:46 AM on May 13

Before I retired but during WFH my company was doing the whole Teams/Outlook thing. What annoyed me the most was that people would talk about doing a particular thing in Outlook and I would ask what function/command did that and they said "Oh, you have to sign-in to Outlook through your browser to do that", whereas I used the Outlook App on Windows. I can only assume it's like drawing lots at Microsoft, the worst programmers and UI designers are assigned to Outlook, everybody else gets a real job.
posted by forthright at 6:05 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]

I don’t think Outlook is so bad! But it’s certainly not as full featured as gmail. However, more secure. So, tradeoffs.

Personally I recommend de-threading emails. Outlook sucks at it. It’s easier to just not read in threaded format.

If you’re encouraged to use the “New Outlook,” (yes they actually call it that) I recommend that you don’t - stay with the regular “Outlook.” New Outlook is targeting people who upgrading from Microsoft’s antiquated Mail software, and while it looks like outlook, it’s missing a lot of features. Microsoft even formally advises business users to just stick with regular “Outlook.”

Personally I don’t file anything, I just rely on the search function.

If you have a recurring calendar meeting, and you need to cancel the meeting moving forward without deleting past instances from your calendar, you need to open up the meeting invite and change the meeting recurrence so that it ends by X date. Don’t just cancel. If you cancel, all previous instances of the meeting will be removed from your calendar.
posted by samthemander at 7:18 PM on May 13

Perhaps I have really low expectations or am just brainwashed because I have only worked in jobs where we were using all MS Office so take this with a grain of salt. I have no problems working with both outlook and teams and open meetings from either. I also have no problems with a shared calendar but will admit we manage shared calendars via a separate outlook mailbox dedicated to that team. I have no need for my own calendar to be shared.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:18 PM on May 14

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