Now that we've completed our systems migration, I'm actually using Outlook 2007 on a daily basis. Previously, we used Novell Groupwise at work, and I'm also a huge consumer of gmail for my personal stuff.
I don't mind Outlook 2007 overall, although I've heard some complaints that there are too many steps to get to each thing. Most of it is that people are trying to get used to the new UI, but I'd agree that it could be more efficient in certain areas.
Things I do like about Outlook 2007:
- It has a softer feel than Groupwise 6.5
- I can code against the object model (Okay, I'm a geek, but we knew that)
- The calendar has a neat feature that, when shared, overlays others appointments against your own, so you can see everything that is going on.
Things that I think are sorely lacking
- In Groupwise you could set up rules to file email once it had been marked read. In Outlook, even in 2007, you cannot do this. We can set up rules to file it when it comes in the door, but not after the email is read. Come on Microsoft! I don't want my email filed until I've had a chance to see it, or I'll miss it. This is WAY overdue!
- Filing in folder vs labels. Microsoft needs to take a page from gmail and get this into the next version. Filing in folders is soooo 1997! I want to be able to label each email with MULTIPLE labels. None of this filing an email in one folder. I want to be able to tag it with each person's name, and maybe even a project description. As it is, I file based on the original sender, which means I'm pretty much restricted to using the search feature and waiting for it. Gmail is incredibly powerful in this regard, as I don't need to remember the original sender, just one of the participants in the thread, and I can find the entire email conversation. Ultimately, I'd like to combine this with rules, automatically applying rules to label the email when it arrives, (based on sender and/or subject) and having it clear out of my inbox once it's read.
The thing I'm still trying to figure out, that I'm sure is possible...
- I'm still trying to figure out how to get all my contacts to file, and flow into email, by LAST name. By default, I have to enter the person's first name to get the email prompting to work. This simply isn't the way I work. I know it can be done, but haven't had time to fight it through yet.
I'm sure I'll have more as I go along. As it is, I've started publishing short articles to our staff on how to work with Outlook 2007, which I'm reproducing in the Outlook General Tips section of my website.