Outlook is one of the most popular email clients available. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is available for use on a range of devices. With scores of millions of users worldwide, it is easy to see why Outlook is such a powerful tool.
One of the great things about Outlook is that it can coexist peacefully alongside other, more specialized apps like Evernote or Salesforce. You can use Outlook to send and receive emails, but you do not have to. You can also use it to manage your tasks and to view webpages, documents, and pictures.
While Outlook is a great tool, it does have its limitations. One of the biggest problems in using Outlook is figuring out what to do with all that email you receive. Most people struggle with staying organized with all the unread messages in their inbox. To top it off, when you are working with Outlook, you have to use a different URL for all your logins. Because of these complications and the fact that it is a ‘general-use’ application, Microsoft does not recommend using Outlook to access your bank accounts, buy items on eBay, or make any important transactions. (Source: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/help/contact/Email/)
Although these restrictions may be frustrating, they are there to protect your security. Using specialized apps or browser extensions to access your email account is much safer and more efficient. To this end, you should try one of the following alternatives to Outlook.
Gmail is the largest free email service in the world. It is owned by Google and it offers a huge range of features to users. You can check your email, create new contacts, set up filters, and more all from the convenience of your inbox.
If you are looking for a free email account that you can use for all your communication activities, then Gmail is a great option. You can download the app to your phone or tablet and use it to access your account whenever you need. Alternatively, you can go the web-based route and access your account from virtually anywhere.
The main drawback to Gmail is that it is a ‘free’ service. That means that you will receive ‘unlimited’ storage space, but you will need to make ‘free’ email accounts for yourself (Gmail, Google Apps etc) available to the public. You will also need to pay for any queries or transactions handled by your account. (Source: https://www.google.com/settings/email)
Inbox is a popular email client that Google bought and integrated into Gmail. It is a standalone app that you can download to your phone or tablet. Inbox is a fast, secure, and easy to use mail client that focuses on filtering your email and providing you with a simpler way to stay organized. It does this by showing you relevant content in the form of emails, texts, and calendar events. To view your inbox, you will need to have a Google account.
You get 20 GB of storage space on Google Drive with your inbox. This is more than enough space for most individuals. You can also set up folders to keep your emails organized. You can use labels to apply categories to your emails so you can find them more easily later on. You can also set up automated rules to have your inbox respond to certain emails or words in your incoming messages. (Source: https://www.inboxapp.com/features)
Protonmail is a popular choice for people seeking a safe, easy to use, and more personalized email experience. It is available in a number of different editions aimed at different user groups. These groups include individuals who just need a simple, clean interface and enough storage space for their emails, business email customers who need a more traditional email experience, and security-focused users who want to keep their communications private.
You get 2 GB of free space when you register. This can be expanded to 5 GB with a paid subscription. Once you have your space, you can enjoy all the usual features. You can keep your emails organized in a variety of ways, create filters to catch specific types of content, set up tasks and appointments, and more. (Source: https://protonmail.com/features)
Mail.Ru is one of the largest free email services in Europe. It was launched in Russia 20 years ago and since then it has become one of the most popular email services globally. The interface is very basic and functional with little visual fluff. You get 4 GB of storage space when you sign up and this can be expanded to 16 GB with a paid subscription. You can also set up filters, mark emails as ‘unread’, and more using the web-based interface.
You can’t carry out certain transactions with Mail.Ru including buying items on eBay, making payments, or accessing your bank account. To do any of these things you will need to use a different app or service that supports these functions. But beyond that, Mail.Ru is a perfectly usable email client that lets you stay organized without too much thought. (Source: https://help.mail.ru/hn/mail/general-mail/overview)
Fastmail is one of the most well known email service providers globally. It is owned by the Australian company Fastmail,Inc and it is available for use in over 200 countries. Their focus is selling online marketing, but they also offer a standard email package that you can use for free.
You get 500 MB of storage space when you register and this can be expanded to 1 GB with a paid subscription. You can also set up filters, use bold fonts, colors, and images in your emails, and mark certain emails as ‘priority.’ It is a simple email client that keeps your emails neat and easy to follow. (Source: https://www.fastmail.com/help/email/overview.html)
Use Outlook (legacy)
Outlook is a legacy application and it is available for use on a number of platforms including Windows, macOS, and most modern Linux distributions. Despite being a mature product, it is still considered important to have a separate email app for accessing your account. The interface is very basic and functional with little visual fluff. You get only 4 GB of storage space when you register and this can be expanded to 16 GB with a paid subscription. You can also set up filters, mark emails as ‘unread’, and more using the web-based interface.
While you can use almost any other app or service to access your email, it is usually recommended to use Outlook because it is a mature, stable, and popular product.
MailChimp is similar to other email clients with the exception of its unique UI. Instead of using the traditional ‘row of emails’ style layout, MailChimp presents all of your emails in long, scrolling lists. You get a lot of functionality for free, but you will need to create a free account to use it. You can choose from a number of different plans depending on how much you want to use it and how often you want to send out newsletters. (Source: https://us.mailchimp.com/faq)
Thunderbird is the open source reimplementation of the popular Microsoft Outlook email client and it is one of the most popular apps in the MATE desktop environment. It is also available for a number of platforms including Linux, Windows, and macOS. (Source: https://www.thunderbird.net)
Thunderbird will import your existing email accounts from Gmail, Outlook, and other popular providers. So if you are looking for a simple, streamlined app that will let you access your email, then Thunderbird is a great choice. While it is considered a good idea to separate your email client and bank account, with Thunderbird you can do this and more without leaving the app. You can access your bank account, look at email accounts, and stay on top of your tasks all from within the app.
Use the Cloud
Over the last decade, the cloud has emerged as a popular and efficient way of storing and accessing digital content. The most popular service is undoubtedly Google Drive. You get a free account with 1 TB of storage space and this can be expanded to 5 TB with a paid subscription. You can also set up folders, create documents, and access your account from anywhere. (Source: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/Q2KZXV7VZGGEBbHXDyj7UNNXK6nMUw)