Microsoft Outlook continues its reign as the top business email client in the land. In 2015, estimates say that more than 1.1 billion users were running the broader Microsoft Office software suite, with half of them—approximately 500 to 600 million people—relying on Outlook to access their messages.
Outlook boasts a number of industry-leading features: email, calendar, and contact integration; offline access to email; customizable categorization and organization options; clutter-minimizing rules; and intuitive search. But did you know that a bevy of add-ins and plugins can boost your use of Outlook as well? From security to connectivity to efficiency to productivity, here are five of our favorites to make your everyday use of Outlook even better.
1) GoToMeeting Plug-In. If you’re like most modern workers, you probably spend a lot of time participating in webinars and remote meetings. GoToMeeting is one of the most common third-party applications for such teleconferencing, so this plug-in is a big timesaver: you can schedule, manage, and start meetings directly from your Microsoft Outlook calendar, while an Add Meeting button can be plugged directly into your main toolbar for convenient access. And if you have an Office 365 subscription that includes Skype for Business, you’ll find a similar Skype Meeting button in your toolbar.
2) Starbucks for Outlook. Audio and video conferencing are great, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned in-person meeting to discuss business. The Starbucks for Outlook plug-in adds a “Meet at Starbucks” button to your main toolbar so that you can create a meeting request, search for your favorite or most convenient Starbucks, and automatically set it as the location of your next face-to-face.
3) Reply All Reminder and Auto BCC/CC. This runs two ways: these plug-ins can help you to A) avoid sending a response meant for a specific individual to a bigger distribution list and B) ensure that everyone on an important email thread receives the relevant responses. In addition, Auto BCC/CC rules that regulate distribution lists can save you time when composing and sending messages.
4) mxHero’s Outlook Utility. This powerful add-in is considered the Swiss army knife of Microsoft Outlook tools. Users can schedule emails to send at later dates and times, set up self-destructing message threads, and enable private BCC delivery, all while tracking email opens and clicks, read receipts, and attachment downloads. mxHero works hand in hand with Mail2Cloud, which can streamline email management and whittle down your bloated inbox.
5) Evercontact. Sick of spending an hour every week updating your address book? Evercontact automatically updates existing contacts based on email signatures in Outlook messages, while also flashing back up to five years to grab older contact info. The plug-in can even populate contact info straight from websites through a Google Chrome extension.
Everyone uses Microsoft Outlook differently, but everyone’s goal with the mail program is the same: to find a way to work more efficiently and boost productivity. Whether you achieve that through basic Outlook functionality or more advanced add-ins like the ones mentioned above, CMIT Solutions is here to help. We consider email the lifeblood of any business, and we value the security and integrity of your communications.
Want to know more? Contact CMIT Solutions today. We worry about your IT so you don’t have to.