A question we frequently get from customers is: “Why would I use the Outlook app on my iPhone versus the built-in Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps?” It’s a great question and the answer is: there are times when it makes sense and there are times when it may be better for you to stick with the onboard apps. This article is going to focus on the use cases where it makes sense to use Outlook (stay tuned for a post that will address the times when it doesn’t make sense to use Outlook).
Reasons to use the Outlook App on iOS
- Email triage is super simple on Outlook. If you are reading email on your phone – you want to focus on the key messages – you can address the other messages when you are back at your desk. You can set Outlook up to do fast tasks by swiping left or right. These options include: Delete, Archive, Flag/Unflag, Mark Read/Unread, Move, Schedule, or Read and Archive. I have my phone swipe options set to “Flag” and “Delete”. Anything that requires action when I get back to my desk gets flagged so I can easily find it when I sit back down.
- Search rocks. Originally added in 2017, the search functionality is extremely robust and keeps getting better! When you click the Search button, the Microsoft Graph knows who you interact with most frequently and will show them in little bubbles. Click any of these bubbles and you will immediately see all messages involving that person. (You can also filter for attachments for those times when you are searching for that one file.) Search also bubbles up any files you’ve recently opened for quick reference. Of course, you can also type keywords into the search bar to find that elusive email or file.
- Easily send availability or invites. I seem to get a ton of requests for meetings – and when I am on the go it can be tough to swipe between apps to suggest available times. Outlook gives you the ability to Send Availability (which will automatically pull up your calendar so you can see when you are available) or convert an email into a calendar invite. This feature was added back in 2016 – but few people seem to know it’s there! (Bonus tip: You can also include Skype/Teams meeting links on your calendar invites from Outlook on iOS)
- While we are talking about calendars – the Outlook app supports multiple calendars, including shared calendars. You can see the calendars of your direct reports, shared resources (like conference rooms), or any other person in your company that has shared their calendar with you.
- Add files to your messages with a single click. You can also integrate cloud-based storage services like DropBox, Google Drive, Box and of course OneDrive/OneDrive for Business. You can add multiple services as well – making it super easy to share multiple files from multiple services.
Ready to get started? Follow these instructions to set up Outlook on iOS. Of course – it’s not all rainbows and unicorns with Outlook on iOS. There are several use cases where using the onboard apps makes life much easier! Stay tuned for our reasons to avoid Outlook on iOS...