How to quit Microsoft Outlook, part I: Why I'm jumping ship

Some users love Outlook, but I can't stand it any longer. Read my farewell note.

Dear Outlook,

I want a divorce.

Although weve been together since the early days, Im just not happy anymore. If Im being I honest, I havent been happy for a long time.

I think the straw that broke the camels back was when message indexing suddenly stopped working; my most recent emails no longer appeared in search results. Following the suggestion on Microsofts own support site, I rebuilt the index and now search doesnt work at all.

Thats 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 dont function. After lengthy troubleshooting efforts, some of which even involved the developers, I just gave up.

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

Ive 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 somethings broken there -- other users I surveyed said you start much faster -- but youre the only program on my system that has this problem. Other software loads normally, in just a few seconds.

I also dont like your interface. I dont like your feature bloat. And I especially dont like that I have to spend a small fortune on Microsoft Office just to get you.

So Im done. My business doesnt require me to use you, so Im 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 Ill be better off.

Im 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. Ill be exploring many of them in posts to come.

Hoping we can still be friends,


This story, "How to quit Microsoft Outlook, part I: Why I'm jumping ship" was originally published by PCWorld.

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