Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager software developed and owned by Microsoft. It was solely designed for emails but also comes with a calendar, task manager, note-taking, journal, web browsing, and contract manager features.
The app can be used as stand-alone software, but if you intend to incorporate multiple users, you can use it with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SharePoint Server. Several versions of the app are in the market today, and you can always choose what works best for you.
While these versions have many similarities, they also have different features that make them stand out.
Read: Microsoft Outlook 2019 Review
What Similar Features Does Microsoft Outlook-2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019 Have?
Quick Access Bar
This is a common feature in all Outlook versions and one of the critical parts of this application. The access bar offers you quick navigation into the outlook features and helps you manage your work.
The bar is located at the bottom of the Outlook window and can be set to display button names or even relevant icons that stand for features. You can determine what options appear on the quick access bar for your convenience.
Emailing is the primary function of Microsoft Outlook. Emails help you connect and communicate with relevant individuals from within or without your organization. You can add an attachment or an electronic signature to your emails.
To create a new email, in the File menu, click the new email or hit Ctrl+Shift+M on your keyboard. To add signatures or attach files once you have created your message is quite easy. The options are readily available on the new message window.
Microsoft Outlook also allows you to forward messages that you have received from other sources to new sources.
Create Calendar Appointments
Outlook sets clear boundaries between meetings and appointments. Appointments are scheduled activities that do not entail invitations or resource reservations. They are just reminders of your planned activities.
You can create appointments from the calendar folder by right-clicking on a time block and selecting New Appointment. You can also hit Ctrl+Shift+A on your keyboard.
Schedule a Meeting
Meetings call for invitations are resource allocations according to this app. As such, it allows you to schedule meetings and receive responses in your inbox.
To create a meeting schedule, choose the New Meeting option on the calendar folder or press Ctrl+Shift+Q.
With this app, you can set reminders for email messages, appointments, and contracts, among others. Reminders pop up in the alert window when you open the Microsoft Outlook window to keep you up to speed with your tasks.
To set a reminder, open an appointment and add it to your reminder list with your preferred schedule.
Outlook allows you to create contacts for people with whom you have engagements and generate an ordered list.
In the people button on the Quick Access Bar, click New Contact to add new people. You can also hit Ctrl+Shift+C.
With Outlook, you can also create to-do lists for your tasks. Moreover, you can assign these tasks to members of your team by sending them into their inboxes.
What Makes Different Versions of Microsoft Outlook Stand Out From Each Other?
Microsoft Outlook 2010
This version kick-started an array of improvements on all Microsoft Outlook versions. Most of the recent versions' developments are built on this version. It flaunts several impressive features that include:
Outlook Social Connector
The outlook social connector links this app with your various social networking sites. As such, when your contacts make changes on their social media accounts, it is reflected in Outlook.
Ability to Manage Many Emails
Outlook 2010 enables you to deal with a large number of emails in your inbox. You can condense, categorize, and sort emails according to your preference.
Moreover, with the new conversation management tools, many emails can be reduced into a few relevant items. To organize conversations, select "Show conversation" on the View tab.
The improved ribbon comes in handy to increase user interaction and help you focus on what is essential. It comes with an Ignore button that allows you to get rid of conversation threads that you are not interested in.
This is a section on the Home tab that allows you to perform multiple steps tasks with only one step. For instance, if you want to forward an email, you do not have to retype the address of the new recipient. You click the To X link, and the forwarded message appears with X's address.
Microsoft Outlook 2013
As soon as you launch this version, a new look comes into view if you have been using older versions. This version was developed in a bid to draw your focus to what is essential and with a better view.
Here are the features that come with this version of MS Outlook:
With this version, you have complete control of your inbox and can navigate as you please. The feature allows you to:
- Preview messages in a list, you can decide what messages to read and attend to first.
- Faster replying, you can instantly respond to messages by typing your responses in the reading pane. Furthermore, you can start a real-time Lync IM conversation.
- Outright commands next to the messages, mark as read or delete messages as you read them.
Sneak a Peak
You can stay on schedule for your appointments without having to switch from email to calendar mode. The feature allows you to monitor and stay on top of your program.
Search and Filter
You can easily search for your emails, attachments, calendar appointments, and contacts with the utmost ease.
Check the Weather
The Microsoft Outlook 2013 calendar comes with a weather forecast. You can check out the current weather conditions as you go about your tasks.
See your Contacts in One Place
This version allows you to view an individual’s contact information on their People card. Such helps you to plan engagements with them; you can email them and schedule meetings based on these cards.
Microsoft Outlook 2016
Microsoft Outlook 2016 was a massive improvement from its predecessor. Lots of great features were incorporated, and some flaws were fixed to give you a complete user experience.
Some of the features that set this version apart from the others include the following:
New terms and language package was added to this version for a better translation. Language barrier used to be a problem, but Outlook 2016 came along with a solution. You can translate your text into multiple languages of your choice with the new update on this app.
To translate your text, you highlight it and hit the Translate button. You can then choose whatever language you wish to translate.
New Colorful Theme and an Improved Ribbon
The Microsoft Outlook 2016 new theme is appealing and gives you the warm welcome you need to start your task.
The ribbon has some significant improvement too that makes the outlook experience worthwhile. The quick access bar can be manipulated to display icons of your choice. Furthermore, a new “Tell me what you want to do” search field was incorporated to allow you to access options faster.
Tablet Rotation Support
This feature is only accessible to tablet users. The feature helps you have a better-optimized reading experience when you switch to portrait mode on your tablet. All your folders get minimized to give you more reading space but can reproduce them by hitting the back button.
More impressive is the fact that whenever you switch between portrait and landscape, your reading settings are retained.
Tell Me Feature
The Question mark icon that aided with search options was replaced with a “Tell me what you want to do” Light bulb icon. The icon is linked with a list of commands to ensure you get options faster.
The search option also comes with an auto-reply and automatic replay options to increase interactivity. You type what you want, and a list of recommendations is displayed from which you can select what suits you.
The feature further allows you to search for content online on your browser through a smart lookup link.
OneDrive Cloud Storage
Whenever you click on the attached file, a Browse web locations menu will appear in this Outlook 2016. This allows you to access files that you have stored in your online storage such as OneDrive and Share point. Furthermore, you can attach such files to your emails directly without having to download them.
This feature comes in handy to remove repetitive, annoying emails that you do not want in your inbox. Outlook has a learning feature that automatically disposes of your ignored messages into the clutter box from whence you can delete them.
Microsoft Outlook 2019
This is the most recent version of Outlook to hit the market. Furthermore, it is the best and flaunts some great features that will make the outlook experience great.
It has retained most of the useful features you experienced in the previous version, but great additions have been made. Here are the great features that you will enjoy:
Microsoft Outlook 2019 comes with an accessibility checker that ensures that diverse individuals are readable and editable for your email messages.
When you run the accessibility checker, it goes through your email contents and gives you recommendations in case of errors and warnings.
To run this checker, hit the "Accessibility" button on the status bar and then select "Check for Issues." You can check for accessibility in real-time as you work on your email.
A focused inbox comes in handy to prioritize emails that are of more importance to you than others. However, the app still updates you on less essential emails, and you can switch tabs whenever you want to check them out.
To turn on focused inbox, click on the “View” tab and select “Show Focused Inbox.” You can then choose how to organize your messages.
Outlook also allows you to access the Focused Inbox online through your web browser. To access your messages in this inbox, go to settings at the top of your web page and hit the toggle placed next to Focused Inbox.
Add Visual Impact
This version brings an appealing graphic visual to your documents, worksheets, and presentations. It comes with a Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG) that contains filters. You can add these SVGs and other beautiful icons to your documents.
- To insert SVGs, you drag and drop any item into your document from your window file explorer.
- To insert icons, click the insert menu on the status bar then select icons.
- A list is displayed from which you can choose what works for you.
Three Time Zones
If you need to schedule a meeting across different time zones, this version is the best. You can check out different time zones on your calendar to determine who is available at what time for your meeting.
Listen to Your Emails
Sometimes you might be so engaged that you find no time to read your messages. Outlook 2019 sorts this problem out by reading out your emails as you undertake other tasks.
To read out your messages, hit the "Options" menu on the file button and select "Ease of Access." On the "Home" menu that appears, select "Read Loud."
Automatic Download Attachments from Cloud
Whenever you drag and drop an attachment from your OneDrive to your computer, Outlook automatically downloads the file for you.
These versions of Ms. Outlook serve the same purpose but the efficiency, and the user interactivity set them apart. The most recent 2019 version is ultimately the best in all aspects if you are looking to work comfortably and efficiently.
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