I work in an office with some pretty committed open sourcies that, in my opinion, are prepared to sacrifice functionality for actively not using a MS product. This isn’t neccessarily a bad thing, it’s just that for mission critical requirements (and for me given my multiple roles – email and calender are mission critical) I prefer to be a little less than leading edge.

Thus I’m a little more pragmatic and, while I love OS and SaaS, I use products that fulfill my requirements. Thus far, and for email and calendering, unfortunately Outlook wins.

So Google, Zoho, MS or whomeever, here’s what I need

  • Nice multi calender functionality with good drag and drop invitations
  • Hosted calenders with offline access
  • Seamless full 2-way sync between all calenders and my mobile device(s)
  • Multiple email addresses
  • Multiple signatures and customisable address/signature relationships
  • Robust ability to collaborate with the majority of folks (who use Outlook)
  • Smart SMTP/Connection sensing
  • An intuitive (and familiar) GUI for email and calendering on my mobile

Note that Outlook doesn’t have all of this functionality, but it has more than the competitors thus far.

GMail version two is coming to a beta tester near you and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will bridge the gap and convince me to change once.

So what do other use? And what are your most critical requirements?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Hiya Ben. I’m facing a lot of the same issues as you it seems. I’m doing a significant amount of work for a client such that they’ve set me up on their outlook, whilst my company uses Google apps for email and calendar stuff. Both have their merits, but both have flaws. And they don’t talk nicely. Which is my biggest gripe! I’m maintaining two calendars and its a bloody nightmare.

    If only you could
    a) sync outlook with Gcal (I think this can be done with a plugin), and
    b) open up Google Calendar so that “authorised” parties could see your schedule, AND you could see theirs – irrespective of what client they’re using.

    Someone’s gonna tell me you can do this!!!

  • Dan

    I have some answers (interim anyway)

    a) SyncMyCal (google it) allows two way sync between gcal and outlook – it’s not perfect but its close
    b) You can share Gcal’s but you are right it is client dependent

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