Outlook – eternal love/hate

I love Outlook because it’s the center of my day. My appointments, contacts, notes, and email are all in one place. However, for a product that has been around for this long, it shouldn’t have so many “quirks.” Outlook works great with Exchange and POP3 accounts. I’ve recently moved to an IMAP account and find Outlook’s IMAP handeling simply idiotic. With their IMAP setup, you can’t specify a different “Sent Items” folder. You can setup a rule to move your sent mail to your “Sent” folder in your IMAP account, but now the item appears as unread. Not a huge deal, but I find the bold unread reminder distracting. I find myself looking at my mail more often thinking it’s a new incoming message. I know you can write some VB code to modify this behavior but this is way too complicated to resolve an obvious deficiency. Additionally, if you use the Outlook rules to move a copy, you will now have two copies of the email. If you choose to not save a copy in the default sent items folder (and only have a rule to put a copy on your IMAP server) and your connection goes down right after the mail is sent, you loose your copy of the sent email – really nice MS. You’ve got to love your options.

On my linux machines, I use Evolution which does not have any of these problems. Unfortunately, I had to switch my main desktop back to Windows as its difficult to find support for syncing things like the Blackberry, Treo, iPod, etc. I know there are some projects out there (such as GtkPod) but rarely do they support bleeding edge products. However remote the possibility, I hope one day all device manufactures use open standards for syncing and make driver writing easier.