It’s also for you, if you are forced to use Microsoft Outlook in your business, but hate it. The kind of serious hate that makes you want to pull out your hair.

Or, perhaps, you’re one of those people who has had the opportunity to learn what outlook.pst is, and probably when you broke it.

Here’s my truth: I hated it too. A lot.

I really, truly did. In fact, as far as Outlook was concerned, I always hated it. There was always something better.

In the early days, there was Eudora (remember that?), and Thunderbird.

“Please, please, just let me use Thunderbird instead of Outlook!” he shrieked, while throwing his computer across the office.

Then, it was GMail – the saviour of the whole idea of webmail. Hook up your POP3 account (which Hotmail couldn’t do at the time), and gone was Outlook – forever!

Until you joined a larger organization, and they were using it. Why? Because shared calendars, tie-ins to other Microsoft programs, office standards, etc. You know, IT stuff. And you’ve suffered through with it, because you’ve had to.

OK, I think you get the sense of where I’m coming from.

I managed to avoid using Outlook for several years, until in 2011, I joined a company that REQUIRED it be used. And it was painful. Slow loading. Slow searching. Nothing you ever searched for was found. Calendar invites that wouldn’t sync with your cell phone, without plugging them in, or some other big work-around that wasn’t really worth the effort in the end.

When, after 25 years in the IT business, I arrived as Technology Ambassador at Smart Dolphins, I was seriously Outlook Jaded.

I actually even asked about it during the job interview…

Do I have to use Outlook?

Yes.

Oh.

Well, I’ll suffer through, just as I had for the last few years.

Then, day one on the job happened, and a gleaming light from on high appeared! OK, maybe not choirs of angels, but still pretty awesome.

Office 365!

My e-mail and calendar works everywhere – my browser, my tablet, my iPhone. And there’s apps – really good apps. And it’s easy. And it works. And it’s fast. And searches work well. And it has a really great interface that’s intuitive. And Calendar invites aren’t painfully horrible.

I think I like it.

In fact, by the end of day one, I almost bit my tongue when I said, “Wow. I might even like this better than GMail.”

And I do.

Why do I tell you all this? Because I care about you.

You may be suffering through with Outlook, nodding along as you’ve read this far. If you hate it as much as I did, you may want to give 365 a serious look.

IT managers have many choices when it comes to cloud-based productivity tools for email, documents, calendar and file-sharing. While Microsoft Office is widespread in today’s business community, there remains a weariness surrounding the 365, subscription-based service. Come hear the pros and cons (but, honestly, mostly pros) at my upcoming seminar in Victoria on January 14th, or Nanaimo on January 28th.

This is a free iDemystifying Microsoft Office 365nformation session. The presentation is ideal for those considering Microsoft Office 365 but not sure where to begin.

It’s not a sales pitch for Office, nor for Smart Dolphins. My primary mandate here is to improve lives with better technology, so whether you are a client, or never become a client, I hope you’ll get some value out of this session that makes your life happier and more productive.