May 16, 2015
Last November (2014), Microsoft released a new Mac version of Outlook—one that replaces Outlook 2011 for Mac. While some people are calling this Outlook 2015, or Outlook 15, Microsoft is simply calling it Outlook for Mac, and it is only available to Office 365 subscribers.
We had put off looking at it since we rarely use Macs anymore and none of our clients were asking us about it. But recently we have been getting a few questions asking for guidance, so we downloaded it (through our Office 365 subscription) and took a quick look today.
MYN/1MTD Recommendation: Don’t Uprade if Using Tasks
To cut to the chase, if you are an MYN or 1MTD user and using tasks in Outlook 2011, don’t upgrade yet. The reason is Microsoft has for some reason removed the Scripts menu, so there is now no easy way to convert emails to tasks using a script. Converting e-mail to tasks is a crucial part of MYN/1MTD, and in Outlook 2011 for Mac an added AppleScript was the only way to do it quickly. In this newer version, there is NO way to do it quickly—the only way we see to do this now is to copy and paste the contents of an e-mail into a manually-created new task (ugh!).
That said, there may be a workaround. In the comments section of the article cited below, some people say they have figured out hack-like ways to make some scripts work. But they don’t cite the convert-to-task script, and in any case, we’re not going to recommend our users jump through hoops like that (unless you really want to, but you are on your own).
And perhaps Microsoft will add the Script menu back in, in later releases of the product.
Also, the same limit in task subsorting that was in Outlook 2011 still exists in this new version, so MYN users are still forced to create smart folders to group by priority and subsort on date. That was never a good solution.
So for now, if you must use tasks in Outlook on a Mac, stick with Outlook 2011 for Mac. That’s what ships currently anyway if you install Office 365 on a Mac. To find the newer Outlook for Mac version you have to make a special effort. And you cannot buy a boxed or separately licensed version of the newer version. It’s almost as if Microsoft is treating this like a beta, while awaiting the new version of Office for Mac to be released (likely this fall).
Because of all these limitations, Outlook 2011 for Mac is still the only Mac version of Outlook that we have documented for use with MYN or 1MTD. See the 4th Edition of the book Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook for that documentation.
Not using Outlook Tasks? Go Ahead and Upgrade
All that said, perhaps you don’t use tasks in Outlook 2011? As an MYN or 1MTD user, perhaps you are using Toodledo for tasks (as we recommend), and only using Outlook 2011 for everything else: Mail, Calendar, and People. If so, the script omission is no big deal, and in that case then sure, go ahead and upgrade to this new Outlook version. There are no huge feature improvements—the software looks and behaves much like Outlook 2011 for Mac. But a lot of behind the scene improvements have been made that reportedly make it faster and more reliable. So an upgrade may be worthwhile to you.
Note though, support for Exchange 2007 has been dropped. And you need a new-ish version of the Mac OS to make it run (OS X 10.9.4 or later). There are other caveats as well; see the article below for more details.
Good Article on the new Outlook for Mac
To learn more, take a look at this linked article. It discusses the new Outlook for Mac version including new features, system requirements, and the missing scripts menu: http://www.officeformachelp.com/2014/11/microsoft-revamps-features-for-outlook-for-mac-15/