When it comes to email, Microsoft Outlook has long been considered the choice for professionals and business users. It’s one of the jewels in Office’s crown, and that’s before you consider its other capabilities as a general tool for organising your life.
Outlook 2010 finally adds the full ribbon interface to Outlook, and does so in such a way as to help make it easier to stay top of the ever-increasing volume of email that appears in your mailbox. It’s now possible to condense, categorise or even ignore entire conversations with a few clicks. The new Conversation view helps you manage an overloaded inbox by organising it into just a few relevant conversations. Two other new tools – Mail tips and Quick steps – also help speed up the way you navigate your mail folder.
If you have multiple email accounts set up, you’ll be glad to know you can now combine them all into one single, easily accessible view – the same is true for calendars and address books. A new Schedule View also allows you view multiple calendars from Outlook, Windows Live and other shared calendars using a single horizontal display.
New easy-to-access contact cards, which segue in with IMessenger-compatible apps like Windows Live Messenger, give you an at-a-glance view of a person’s availability, or you can get a more detail viewed of someone using the new Outlook Social Connector, which doesn’t just provide a recent history of your dealings with that person, but links in with other social networking platforms including Windows Live and SharePoint 2010 to provide updates about that person and links to their colleagues and friends.
Finally, as with all Office 2010 apps, the File tab on the ribbon provides access to the new Backstage view – in Outlook it’s your one-stop shop for managing your accounts, inboxes and more.
Note that there is no trial version of Outlook 2010. You can try the Office 2010 suite.
If your inbox is becoming unmanageable than Outlook 2010 has much to offer, along with a much better, more streamlined ribbon compared to the halfway house adopted in Outlook 2007.