Working From Home: Outlook Email Alternatives

in Email, Mobile Computing, Productivity

If you are working from home during the Corvin-19 pandemic, you may be struggling to pick up business emails from your corporate servers.  If your organisation has provided you with Office 365 to work with you may find that Outlook is struggling to cope.  A company I do consultancy work for provided me with Office 365 but I found that Outlook was, like most Microsoft software,  bloatware. Fortunately, for this blog, I had examined alternatives and offer three alternatives for you to consider.

eM Client

eM Client is the nearest thing you will get to Outlook but it is fully functional and without all the useless bells and whistles.

Setting up email accounts is simplicity itself.  Just type in the email address and password and eM Client kicks into action, working out whether the account is Gmail, Exchange, Office 365, iCloud or another major email service and sets up all the relevant fields. No more manually entering server details, whether it is POP3 or IMAP, port numbers, etc. That has to be a positive for people with dyslexic fingers.

For even more simplicity there is also a facility to import all data from your existing email client.

eM Client also populates the relevant account calendar with two-way synchronisation.  I found that Google Calendar doesn’t always play ball, but this is nothing to do with eM Client as the same happens to my calendar apps on my Android devices.

Mailbird

I have never been a huge fan of browser-based email systems, preferring instead to use a third-party email client.  It’s a personal thing. Starting on the Internet in the early 1990s the only real web-based email system was Hotmail which I avoided like the plague because of the dreadful spam issues associated with it. I unwittingly fell over the benefit of using email clients some years back when Gmail was having major outages in that people could not access their email via a browser but my email client worked perfectly.

I really liked Mailbird, but felt that there were issues with the slowness of syncing and, very rarely, emails not being delivered.  I transferred my loyalties to eM Client and Popstbox; more on that later. However, being self-isolating with very little to do, I revisited Mailbird and am still impressed.

Douglas Adams, the late lamented author wrote about the interconnectedness of all things and as with many other evolving web services, this is where Mailbird scores Big Time, over Postbox which has been my choice of late. Mailbird allows you to quickly access a number of services such as Google Drive, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote by turning on access to the services of your choice.

Postbox

Let us clear one thing out of the way right away. Postbox does not have all of Mailbird’s integrations with third-party apps and services. So, if you want to access  Trello, Todoist and the like from one interface, then Mailbird is the service for you. I believe that in Postbox you can link and sync with Evernote, but only on the Mac platform and as I am a Windows and Android man I cannot say how efficient it is.

The first thing I noticed about Postbox was how quickly emails were sent and delivered, there was no lag with the message “Loading …” as happened on occasion with Mailbird. I had mentioned this to Mailbird support but the response was they could not find anything wrong.

ASs with eM Client, setting up multiple accounts is very simple and Postbox easily manages the nine email accounts I run daily. I also really like the interface with all your accounts neatly lined up on the left-hand side

For the more advanced Postbox users,  there is the potential to change the behaviour of the program using the config editor. It does warn you that you could screw up, but if you follow the advice for certain procedures, then you are on a pretty safe bet.,

 

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