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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Outlook 2011 - Definitive answers?


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IslandOwl

 
Member Since: Oct 06, 2009
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Long-time Outlook user on a PC. Have been using Mail since switching to a MBP in fall 2009. Purchased Office 2011 and planned to switch to Outlook but now looking at it I have some big questions!

1. Is there a way to use Outlook for Email and Contacts but NOT for Calendar? (Outlook calendar does not sync - to anything - especially to an iPhone.) I would like iCal to remain my default calendar.

2. Is there a way to archive the mail? I can't find that option. I have about 7 years of mail that I sometimes need to search but it seems like the whole pst is either there or not - no such thing as having an archived pst that you can occasionally check like on the Windows Outlook. Am I correct about this?

3. If I am correct about that has anyone found a work around? Could I have two differently named pst files and just choose which one to open?

3. No Outbox? No option to Send on a manual basis? Like having it not send until I click on "Send & Receive"? One of the features I loved the most in Outlook on Windows is that I could set it to hold the email in the Outbox until I told the program to send it. I often think of something to add or change in an email after I have hit "Send" on the email. I loved having the manual option. It is one of the things I miss the most in Mail.

4. Are there any other hidden surprises that I need to know about? Any warnings?

5. Anyone using Outlook 2011 for a while now? What do you think? Would you recommend switching from Mail?

TIA.
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Hi. I'll tackle a couple for you.

Quote:
1. Is there a way to use Outlook for Email and Contacts but NOT for Calendar? (Outlook calendar does not sync - to anything - especially to an iPhone.) I would like iCal to remain my default calendar.
Of course - why not? That's what I do. I use Outlook for e-mail accounts and iCal for my calendar which is synched across all of my mobile devices with Mobile Me. There are other ways to do this if you don't want to use mobile me.

Quote:
2. Is there a way to archive the mail? I can't find that option. I have about 7 years of mail that I sometimes need to search but it seems like the whole pst is either there or not - no such thing as having an archived pst that you can occasionally check like on the Windows Outlook. Am I correct about this?
Well - I'd be surprised if there isn't an archive function but before I even go look - my question is why do you need it? I guess it boils down to how you organize your e-mails. I know for my work e-mail - I've used Outlook for years - and I create a new .pst file each year. (This is in part because for a long time Outlook couldn't handle .pst's as they approached 1 or 2 GB. I only use the Archive function as a little trick I discovered a few years ago to quickly recreate my complex file structure in the .pst file - without copying all the e-mails over. Worked great. Of course there - I'm also using .pst files to ensure that I pull all the e-mails off the server in a timely fashion before they automatically disappear.

I guess my point is - I've always found the use of multiple .pst files to be better than a single .pst with the use of the archive function - but in truth - it's never something I've explored closely.

Quote:
3. No Outbox? No option to Send on a manual basis? Like having it not send until I click on "Send & Receive"? One of the features I loved the most in Outlook on Windows is that I could set it to hold the email in the Outbox until I told the program to send it. I often think of something to add or change in an email after I have hit "Send" on the email. I loved having the manual option. It is one of the things I miss the most in Mail.
You can turn off automatic send/receive just by going to tools>schedules - and removing the periodic send/rcv

Quote:
4. Are there any other hidden surprises that I need to know about? Any warnings?
I'm sure there are some. I do know that for some reason Outlook doesn't seem to like .png files from Text Expander as a signature. Office 2011 as a whole still have plenty of little bugs I'd like to see uSoft squash. You can visit the Office for Mac forums for fun reading.
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IslandOwl

 
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Thank you for your response, Brian. Back to you here (or anyone else).

Quote:
I use Outlook for e-mail accounts and iCal for my calendar which is synched across all of my mobile devices with Mobile Me. There are other ways to do this if you don't want to use mobile me.
I only see the option to "Make Outlook the default application for e-mail, calendar, and contacts." Do you select that and then go back in and reset iCal as the default calendar?

Sorry that I am being cautious but I had a lot of data erased recently when trying to sync my calendar to an Android. In hindsight I know what caused the problem. I am thoroughly backed up so was able to restore the iCal files with no problem however I would rather not have to go through that hassle this time around. I am also on an iPhone now - which is why I want to stick with iCal.

The thing I love about Apple products is they do "just work". However this is a Microsoft product - and my motto for them is "We're Microsoft - we know what you want better than you do!" Therefore, I am distrustful. But I did love Outlook when I was on Windows and I do find Mail lacking.

Quote:
I'd be surprised if there isn't an archive function but before I even go look - my question is why do you need it? - I've used Outlook for years - and I create a new .pst file each year. . . . . I guess my point is - I've always found the use of multiple .pst files to be better than a single .pst with the use of the archive function - but in truth - it's never something I've explored closely.
Have you tried opening a different pst on Outlook 2011? My concern is - I think that the program ONLY imports - not opens. That was why I was asking. I have done some more searching and am pretty sure there is no Archive function.

The benefit that I found with using the archive function on the Windows version is it kept adding the data to the same archive file. So when I needed to search for something in the archive I could easily search quite a few years at once instead of having to search a bunch of different psts.

Quote:
You can visit the Office for Mac forums for fun reading.
Is this the forum you are recommending? Office for Mac Product Forums I just signed up and will ask some of the above questions there. It looks like a fairly active forum. If that is not the one you were meaning - which forum do you think best?

Thanks again for your response.
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandOwl View Post
I only see the option to "Make Outlook the default application for e-mail, calendar, and contacts." Do you select that and then go back in and reset iCal as the default calendar?
I'm not quite sure what you mean here - but if I'm following you correctly - then the answer is yes. The good thing about iCal - is it operates as a stand alone application (doesn't require mail) - whereas the Outlook Calendar requires Outlook to be up (obviously). So for my implementation - I did just what you described - set up Outlook as my default - but whenever I have a Calendar entry or reminder to set - I use iCal and make then entry in my "cloud synced" calendars.

One thing I haven't explored - because it hasn't bothered me - is how to have iCal interface with Outlook (if that's even possible). For instance - often I'll set a reminder to include an e-mail sent to me - and it appears that iCal brings up Apple Mail to perform that. If you're not doing any e-mail reminders - then Apple Mail is never invoked. There may be a way around this, I just haven't looked since, cmd+tab and then alt+Q - can be done in about 500ms - and I'd expend many times that finding the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandOwl View Post
The thing I love about Apple products is they do "just work".
Nothing's perfect - but I too have been enjoying "using" my computer for computing, instead of wrestling with an OS for a couple of hours before sitting down to do what I intended in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandOwl View Post
Have you tried opening a different pst on Outlook 2011? My concern is - I think that the program ONLY imports - not opens. That was why I was asking. I have done some more searching and am pretty sure there is no Archive function.
I have not - but I will - but will not be able to until tomorrow. I would expect it to operate as I'm accustomed to with Windows. For example - right now if I look at my second monitor that has Outlook open - I see all of my mail folders (well going back to 2007). I keep them all collapsed - and older .pst's I don't even have showing. They all have very complex file systems - akin to what my hard drive has - and I can search through them - if necessary directly in Outlook. I don't keep my .pst's in the default location that Outlook specifies - in fact, they are the only "files" in my root directory - and of course - they get backed up regularly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandOwl View Post
The benefit that I found with using the archive function on the Windows version is it kept adding the data to the same archive file. So when I needed to search for something in the archive I could easily search quite a few years at once instead of having to search a bunch of different psts.
Can't really comment since I've only used the archive function for one thing. A lot of people probably organize similarly to what you describe - just for me - I get so many e-mails - that going by year made sense. Otherwise - for a multiyear program - I could easily have exceeded the capability of a .pst file in size and would have had to start a new .pst - but now with no logical structure. Hard to explain - but makes sense if I were to show you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandOwl View Post
Is this the forum you are recommending? Office for Mac Product Forums
Yes - That's the one.

Thanks again for your response.[/QUOTE]

You're welcome.
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IslandOwl

 
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See the next post for the reply.
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IslandOwl

 
Member Since: Oct 06, 2009
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Quote:
Have you tried opening a different pst on Outlook 2011? My concern is - I think that the program ONLY imports - not opens. That was why I was asking. I have done some more searching and am pretty sure there is no Archive function.
Answered it myself! I got brave and imported my mail from Mail too once I took a good look at how Outlook handled the import of the pst. Sure enough, it does separate them out just like Outlook for windows does. It appears that the data is in two User files "UID" at ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records/UIDs - but that is just what I "think" is happening. I do not know for sure and have no need to explore further as long as it is working.

Interestingly, right now I have both Mail and Outlook running simultaneously. I won't have time until next week to really set Outlook up to my needs, plus learning/relearning the program after using Mail for the last 20 months. So it is faster for me just to quickly use Mail since I know it better at the moment.

Looking at Outlook though - I think I am going to be VERY happy to be using it. I found Mail to be quite limited as compared.

Thanks again for your responses.
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IvanLasston

 
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One gotcha I found is that there are no templates allowed in the Mac version of Outlook. So I have a TPS report I have to do quite frequently - It is now a cut and paste instead of just starting from a template.

I found the My Day function to be different - I like the Entourage 2008 version where it compacts everything - but I am getting used to the calendar view in Outlook - so maybe it won't be so bad.

Other than that I've been pretty happy with Outlook on the Mac.
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