Will the Real Outlook Please Step Forward?

Sept. 5, 2015

With the widespread adoption of Office 365, and with the recent releases of all the mobile versions of Outlook, it’s getting hard to tell who the “real” Outlook really is! There are so many different applications out there from Microsoft that are called Outlook that the name is getting very muddled.

In fact, I was helping a client over the phone the other day who said his Outlook To-Do Bar wasn’t working right, he said that he couldn’t get the MYN view installed in it. It took me a few moments and I finally realized he was using the web version of Outlook (through Office 365 online). Of course he was having troubles, because the web version doesn’t have a To-Do Bar. The main point here is he didn’t even know he was in the web version, he thought he was using real Outlook! It’s really not his fault, Microsoft has so extensively cashed in on the Outlook name recently, using it everywhere, that they’ve created their own mess.    

Just remember this: to get the full power of MYN and 1MTD, you want to be using the full desktop version of Outlook. These days that means Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2013 installed on a Windows PC or Windows tablet. (And 2016 is about to be released.) The reason why I highly encourage you to use the full desktop version of Windows Outlook is it’s the only variety of Outlook that contains a full set of task features. All the other versions have reduced or no task features at all, and you’ll be greatly limited in your ability to use MYN or 1MTD.

Of course, you can use the other versions of Outlook for the things that they are good at. Usually that means checking mail quickly, and sending off a quick note — any version of Outlook will allow you to do that. However, if you want to do category filing of email, as I recommend, then you’re a bit more limited. You can do that with a full desktop version of Outlook, or with the web application version of Outlook, or even with Outlook.com. But none of the mobile Outlook apps support category filing. And if you want to do good task management, there’s no replacement for the full Windows desktop version of Outlook.

For a full discussion of all the different versions of Outlook, see my article about the various office suites available; it’s the best explanation out there.


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3 Responses to Will the Real Outlook Please Step Forward?

  1. graduate280 says:

    Hi Michael … any thoughts on whether or when you will be considering updating to Windows 10?

    I don’t want to miss out on the free offer … on the other hand, I’m thinking i should put it off until the last minute so more of the bugs get worked out…

    And if you have upgraded, has it affected Tasks?

    Many thanks for all your service….

    • Michael Linenberger says:

      Grad: Regarding upgrading a computer to Win 10, I’d say that if it’s your main work/business computer, wait. Even if all the drivers (or BIOS) have been updated, you still have to worry about software that you depend on that may not be updated yet for Win 10 yet. If it’s not your main computer and you can fall back on other computers, then “maybe.” If that’s true, if it’s a Surface I’d go for it, Microsoft is pretty good about updating those. Lenovo, I’d wait–I’d gotten burned on an update from Win 8.0 to Win 8.1 on a Lenovo tablet. It took them 6 months to come out with a BIOS update that solved some major hardware issues that came up in that OS upgrade. Of course, you could jump on the forums and blogs and support sites for your particualr computer and all your software, and figure out what the situation is before you pull the trigger. Hope that helps. Michael

  2. graduate280 says:

    Whoops – I see I asked this question before and you answered but somehow I missed it … and also, apologies for not starting a new thread and throwing this under the post about Outlook versions.

    See below. But will you be telling us when you do update? Thanks.

    Here’s your August answer – I assume it’s the same.

    “Michael Linenberger Post author
    August 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Well, I haven’t done it yet. I’ve heard it’s much better than most previous major Windows upgrades. Common complaint is having to update blutooth drives, but not much more. All that said, I am going to wait. Michael”

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