Outlook: the best mail app on the iPad

IMG_0076Whether you use Google, Yahoo, iCloud or Outlook for your email, there is one iPad mail app that stands taller than all the others: Outlook. Its integration of mail, calendar, contacts, and file storage in one single app will help you be more productive and efficient. Who wants to spend MORE time responding to email? No one.

What makes the free Outlook app different than Apple’s built-in Mail app? For one, your email and calendar are integrated into one app. You can switch back and forth between your mail and your calendar by choosing Mail or Calendar at the bottom of the screen. This  might not seem like much, but when someone emails you to ask if you are free on a given day and time you can switch back and forth with one tap instead of leaving Apple’s Mail app, going back to the iPad home screen, tapping on the Calendar app to see your availability, then closing the Calendar app, going back to the home screen, and then opening your Mail again. One click is faster than four or five or six.

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Because your mail and calendar are contained in one app you also save space in the iPad Dock, which are the five main apps you always use. You can only choose five, so being able to use up one space with Outlook instead of two spaces with Apple’s Mail AND Calendar is quite useful.

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The iPad Dock only holds five apps. My five are Outlook (mail and calendar), Chrome (Internet browser), Schoology (LMS), Drive (document storage), and Settings (iPad).
Outlook integrates with online document storage: Office 365, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box

Second, Outlook integrates your online documents with your mail.  You can send a document saved to Office  365, Google Drive, or Dropbox account from within the Outlook app. When someone emails you to ask for a file, you can find it and email it without leaving Outlook. Again, fewer clicks, less time, and fewer mistakes. Document integration is by far the best feature of Outlook.

Third, your entire contact list is easily searchable. It combines the contacts you have added yourself with your entire school district or company’s global address list which is the list of every person you work with.

Fourth, and this is for people who use Outlook for their work email already, is that the email on your iPad now looks the same as it does on your computer.  Email looks clean and is easily sortable, conversations can be grouped into threads, and the button layout is pretty much the same whether you use the app,  the online version of Outlook (OWA), or the desktop version of Outlook 2013. The Outlook app is simply easy to use, especially for people who use it daily.IMG_0086

For directions on how to add your email account to Outlook on the iPad, read the article titled, “Signing Into the Outlook iPad App For the First Time.”

(I use Pixlr.com to do quick image editing including smudging out names and adding text. It’s free.)