I have a role with a corporate client. It's a financial company with all the regulatory supervision that brings. I am, therefore, in possession of the proper corporate moniker stuart.lennon@companynamehere.com. The company hosts Exchange on Azure and all that good jazz. E-mail lives in Outlook, which, for me, means on Mac and IOS. I haven't reinstalled it on my Windows machine, as accessing from a new device will start alarms ringing in HQ, and I worry about getting IT on the phone too late to call off the automatic drone strike on my location. 

Outlook on Mac is great.

It's great in that sort of "Eugh, what is this horrible cluttered interface" sort of way. The Outlook home screen is a full-blown dashboard with folder structures, mail lists, previews, and more menus than you can shake a big stick at. But if you want a place for everything and everything in its place, Outlook is perfect. Need all the mails selling water coolers in one place? This is the application for you. 

Outlook encourages the anal retentive in me. It drives me to organise. To make rules. Employ filters. Combined with Microsoft Teams, it is perfectly possible to work a taxing ten-hour day doing nothing but messaging and organising one's messaging. 

However, it's also great. It is organised. It is corporate. It wants you to have a twenty-eight-line signature including four links, three disclaimers and six ways the poor recipient can contact you. If you're the type who wants your e-mail address in your e-mail signature, then Outlook, running Exchange addresses (or 365 ones) is the place for you. Whimsy? Piss off. I'm working here. Outlook wears a tie.

The bigger the screen, the more I like Outlook. On a large external display, everything I want is there before me. On a laptop, things start getting cramped. I'm never sure where things are. On a phone - for me, it's strictly triage. I don't want to be doing corporate e-mail on the phone. Outlook on IOS is built for that.

For a while, I experimented with piling all my domains into Outlook. But non Microsoft hosted mail doesn't get the full white glove treatment. In my Exchange account, I can flag an e-mail and it becomes a task in Microsoft To Do (a simple task manager that runs cross-platform). Flag one in my own domain, and nothing happens. Small things, but enough to derail thoughts of "Outlook - Ruler of Productivity".

That said, Lime, the consultancy company, is the closest I get to wearing a tie these days. I want to be anal about e-mail in Lime. Do I want it enough to to pay Microsoft $150 a year per user? I'm not sure yet. 

So, @companynamehere and @Lime, in Outlook. On my macs, my windows laptop (when I pluck up the courage) and my phone. Done.


Outlook has loosened its tie, and is wearing it as a headband. "Check out our new cool applications!"
"What these awkward looking things that seem to be Web applications?"

Microsoft has decided it wants to be Google. Running everything through "Progressive Web Apps". Menus are replaced by big bold touch targets. Functionality removed or hidden. For the moment, I can reject "new" and stick with "classic", but on Windows 11, even classic isn't what it used to be.

Just as I come looking for the stiff formality of Outlook that I used to dislike, but have come to recognise is appropriate in some circumstances, Outlook has gone all hip on me. I'm sure the changes on the Windows versions will make their way across to the Mac soon enough. 

Bizarre that the best version of Outlook is on the Mac - at least for the moment. 

I'm not sure how this will roll out. Microsoft is discontinuing Calendar and Mail, pushing everyone to Outlook. The Office 365 suite should have what EVERYONE needs, whether a student, a home user or a merchant banker. Will Outlook remain the corporate mail hub of choice? I imagine it will. It has such a huge chunk of market share, but I'd expect the corporate world to push back if they feel utility is being impacted by the changes, so perhaps Microsoft will build in more user choice. Who knows? 

Outlook has a place on my devices at the moment - and is where my "jobby-job" personae live.

Next - where to put the hobby-job. No, not the jobby-job, the hobby-job. Keep up!

My writing is supported by people like you. You can become a member of the site here . Members access the serialisation of my first novel draft and give comments to me in a member's Slack. They also get a free electronic copy of anything that I publish during their membership. Sign up - help me move writing from a side project to a main project.