Which Email Solution is Best for My Business?
Microsoft Outlook and Gmail are the best and most popular email solutions in use right now. They may look similar at a glance. But Outlook and Gmail work in different ways. Deciding which email is the best for your business depends a lot on your requirements. Here’s a quick summary guide on the differences between the two to help you find the best solution.
What is Microsoft Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook is an email client. An email client is an application that downloads emails from a server to your computer. You can then read, receive and manage emails without having to log in and out.
You don’t need an internet connection to access emails – they are saved on your computer. Open, read and compose a reply; the next time you get connected to the net, the email will be sent automatically. This is a specific advantage for professionals who move around a lot – you don’t need an internet connection to get a task done.
What is Gmail?
Gmail is primarily a webmail. With a webmail, you receive, send and manage emails with a web browser and a web interface. You can access email from any device at any time, provided you have internet connectivity. This is useful for those who access emails from shared or public computers, as emails don’t get downloaded on systems.
Gmail can be accessed through an email client. But you will need to sync to Google Workspace to access Gmail on Outlook.
Why Should You Choose Microsoft Outlook?
Multiple Email Accounts Management
With Outlook, you can easily manage multiple email accounts in one place. You can filter, categorise and prioritise emails from multiple accounts, making email management productive and easy.
Outlook lets you reply in-line to messages. This is a great option when you need to reply point by point – which often happens with office emails. This is also a great option when more than one person replies to a point, and you need to know who said what – right below the original text. Once you set up in-line comments option, your replies happen in a different colour. While webmails have the option of in-line comments, you need to manually format your replies for them to stand out from the original mail text.
When you need to send an attachment, the chances are that you have just finished working on the file. When you click on the attachment option, Outlook will prompt you with the last few files that you worked on. You don’t need to browse and go multiple levels of folders to find your file.
Also, the Office suite apps have the option to directly mail the current document as an attachment or as a mail. Mail merge, anyone?
Using Add-ons Security Concerns
Outlook is already feature-rich and comes with all the features that you will need for business emails. Gmail allows for a lot of add-on tools. But for companies who take security and compliance seriously – employees will be restricted by policy to download these add-ons.
Emails are assigned to only one folder. While some users may find this restrictive, an email in multiple folders can make it difficult to track. This is especially true for professionals, who need their emails clearly marked and filed under correct folders.
Why Should You Choose Gmail?
One Time Customisation
Creating rules, filters, signatures and other customisations across multiple devices can be time-consuming. If you need to access your email account from multiple systems or shared ones, Gmail is a great option. All your emails and customisation are saved in webmail itself.
With Labels, you can mark an email to a particular folder while it is still in the inbox. So, when you open a mail, you can see it’s in the inbox as well as relates to a particular folder. You can opt to move the email to the appropriate folder later. It can take some time to get used to; some users find it confusing. But it can be a great way to categorise emails once you can get your head around it.
Gmail looks more modern and sleeker than most email clients. Outlook’s Folder and File system makes it look a bit dated, though familiarity helps in easy onboarding.
Storage and Attachment
Gmail and Outlook both have 15 GB of free storage. Outlook has an extra 5GB free with its cloud service. With Gmail, you can send attachments up to 25 MB, against Outlook’s 20 MB. So, both options have pretty much the same to offer. Outlook may have a slight advantage with the extra 5GB space, though.
So, which email solution is best for your business? As we mentioned earlier, it depends on what you need from your email account.
Go for Microsoft Outlook if you need –
- A feature-rich email client that can boost productivity.
- To manage multiple email accounts in one place.
- To access emails offline.
- Need more storage.
Go for Gmail if you
- Use multiple or shared systems to access emails.
- Cannot or are restricted to download applications.
- Operate multiple accounts as a separate inbox for each account.
Google Workspace – Previously known as G-Suite, is a collection of productivity and collaboration apps.
Mail Merge – A tool in MS Word to create a batch of documents, customised for each recipient with pre-addressed envelopes.
Inbox Rules – A set of directions that prompt emails to automatically move to certain folders as soon as they arrive in the inbox.