Improvements I Would Make to Outlook
I've been using Outlook at work for my last 3 jobs at least. It's fine, but I've had occasion to wish for other capabilities or features, so I thought I'd try and make a list out of them.
1. "Irregular" Meeting Schedule
Our company has a "Town Hall" meeting once a month and we want it to be on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Apparently, that's not possible - I think every 5th Tuesday wouldn't work either
2. Message Census
I wanted to see if I could chart an upward trend in new projects involving a certain technology. I tried filtering on the sender who usually sends me the kick-off emails, but I still had to manually count and assign them to given time periods (I went with weeks, rather than months, because it was too exhausting). Being able to query the server not just with a sophisticated search but to say, "how many such messages" would have been handy.
3. Unified Messaging with Teams and Skype
This might exist, or be something done with a 3rd party product, but I haven't seen it.
4. Easy Change of Background Colour
I get promotional emails that have colourful backgrounds, and if I want to forward them or start a discussion with colleagues, I'm stuck with the (e.g. green) background, and the black text default isn't legible against it. I'm sure there's a way to turn the background into white for my text, but I haven't found it after 5 minutes of searching.
5. Custom Themes
Outlook is always open and in view. What if there was a way to make it look cooler? Colours, frames with serifs or something.
6. Auto Suggest Folders
I keep everything in my Inbox. I'm the kind of person who would like to have dedicated folders for certain subjects or themes (I organize My Documents folder this way), but I'm too lazy to set this up in Outlook. Outlook could suggest a folder and show what would go in it, but still leave the final confirmation to the user in case it wasn't desired.
7. Auto-Generate Meetings
"We should have a call to discuss..." and phrases like that should auto-generate a pop-up or something with times that are free for all participants, making scheduling said call/meeting the matter of a single click.
8. Pre-Query Attachment Size Limitations
Every server has a different attachment size limit. I can send 25MB to this person, but only 10MB to that one. As soon as I attach the file, I should get a warning that the message will bounce. Gmail already tries to convert attachments to links to Google Drive, Microsoft could do the same thing with Sharepoint or OneDrive.
9. Enforce Greetings/Salutations
It's basic etiquette that many people seem to lack. Your email should start with a Hi, Hello or something.
10. Collect Contact Info
Some people have an email signature that includes their title, phone #s, fax and address. Some people don't and some seem to use it irregularly (maybe it only gets attached on the first message in correspondence, or not when they send it from their phone or something). I should be able to go to a message from them and ask Outlook to comb every message from them to find a phone number or collate the entire history into a coherent picture that can form the basis of a new contact entry without me doing it manually.