17 Sep 2018
Email Clients: Gmail, Outlook 2016, and other alternatives
Someone asked me this question, “What are the pros and cons to using Microsoft Outlook 2016 with Gmail?”
I’m not impressed with Outlook. I have set it up for someone recently and the Gmail contact groups don’t sync with your Outlook contacts distribution lists if you have any (read up on gSyncit, an Outlook Add-in) and the rest is managed offline so if your computer ever crashed your workflow would be hit hard.
If all you need is to send and receive emails, not match contacts copies between Gmail and Outlook, manage offline calendars, offline tasks/reminders then Outlook is okay as an offline client but it’s not my favorite go-to. You should also consider the extra delay you add to receiving new emails and if you don’t IMAP your account, then all your email organization is stored offline with no recovery option in the event of a computer failure or corrupted hard drive. And Outlook has a complicated PST file that keeps growing and it’s a pain in the neck to transfer across to a new computer. But if you IMAP and don’t use any other features of Outlook, then PST is not a problem and you have a backup available. When I was younger, I wanted every whiz-bang feature, but as I grow older, I want to keep what I have set up already and simplify it as much as possible but not abandon useful technology and techniques for the archaic non-digital methods of yesteryear.
I use Kiwi for Gmail (Mac and Windows). It allows for a more productive workflow and acts as a local program. It needs an internet connection, therefore it’s not an offline client. I get local notifications and can reach for my Google Drive, Docs, Contacts, and Calendar whenever I want. I can switch between multiple accounts with ease.
I would also look at Mozilla Thunderbird as an offline solution (all platforms). There’s also Windows 10 Mail, which I haven’t used. Definitely would not use Apple Mail (macOS) because the Gmail muscle memory of archiving mail is different.
Other email client alternatives are (no order):
Here’s how to set up Gmail in Outlook 2016 the right way.
For all other software that I have used, see my Life Stack.