How to Quit Microsoft Outlook, Part I: Why I'm Jumping Ship

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Outlook
Dear Outlook,

I want a divorce.

Although we’ve been together since the early days, I’m just not happy anymore. If I’m being I honest, I haven’t been happy for a long time.

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when message indexing suddenly stopped working; my most recent emails no longer appeared in search results. Following the suggestion on Microsoft’s own support site, I rebuilt the index – and now search doesn’t work at all.

That’s just one of many problems that have plagued me over the years. For example, awesome plug-ins like Baydin Boomerang and Outlook Duplicate Items Remover flat-out refuse to work. They install just fine, but they don’t function. After lengthy troubleshooting efforts, some of which even involved the developers, I just gave up.

And you’re not even good at some of your core functions. Your mail client works well enough, but your task manager? It’s a joke. Just try to work with it in any view except the full-screen Tasks view. It’s impossible!

I’ve spent hours in your horrendous settings menus trying to make Tasks more manageable, to add something as simple as a completed-task checkbox, to no avail. I feel like I need a programming degree just to make heads or tails of the Manage Views dialog. Blech.

Perhaps worst of all is your load time: 3-4 minutes on my system. Obviously something’s broken there -- other users I surveyed said you start much faster -- but you’re the only program on my system that has this problem. Other software loads normally, in just a few seconds.

I also don’t like your interface. I don’t like your feature bloat. And I especially don’t like that I have to spend a small fortune on Microsoft Office just to get you.

So I’m done. My business doesn’t require me to use you, so I’m going to shop elsewhere for a mail client and information manager. Making the transition will undoubtedly be a bit painful, but in the long run I think I’ll be better off.

I’m not saying everyone should follow my lead, but I do think there are plenty of other small-business users who might benefit from considering other options. I’ll be exploring many of them in posts to come.

Hoping we can still be friends,

Rick

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