Email is an integral part of any business today, and in the world of email clients – two giants reign supreme: Gmail and Outlook.
If everyone were to check their email during a meeting, about 50% of the room would open Outlook while the other half would open Gmail. They are considered the two superstars of the email world. In this showdown, we will look at the difference between each platform along with some of the often overlooked yet equally critical features of each to help you decide which is best for your business.
What is the difference between Gmail and Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook and Gmail seem very similar on the surface; both send and receive emails. However, the foundation of each makes them quite different. The key distinction here is Outlook is an email client, while Gmail is webmail. This distinction is vital to understand when considering your organization’s structure and use of messaging platforms.
An email client downloads emails from a server to your computer, allowing you to send and receive emails that are accessible without an internet connection. Webmail is an interface where all elements of the email system, from inbox to calendar services and contacts, are accessed by a web browser. Users access emails from anywhere at any time with an internet connection.
Outlook is feature-rich with offerings such as ‘Rules’ to designate emails as they arrive, templates to automatically customize emails, and a ‘Clean Up’ button to automatically delete duplicate messages in an email thread. Outlook also has a dedicated ‘Archive’ folder to store emails you want to keep but no longer want in your primary inbox. For someone who manages a large amount of incoming and outgoing communication to a variety of teams and contacts, this ability to manage the chaos is a huge plus if you take the time to set the platform up correctly for your needs.
When emails archive in Gmail, they are moved to a folder called ‘All Mail’ instead of a folder labeled ‘Archive.’ Gmail also lacks some of the features Outlook itself has because Google integrates other products into Gmail. For example, your calendar and contacts are separate applications not built into Gmail, while Outlook automatically integrates your calendar and contacts. This ability to choose and integrate only the applications you need is a key upside for many users.
Outlook refers to app integrations as “connectors.” Available connectors for Outlook include Asana, Trello, and GitHub. Grammarly, Boomerang, and Evernote are also available to connect to Outlook. However, it is important to note that connectors are not available for Outlook on the web. To take advantage these extra integrations, you must be using outlook from the native computer Application.
Gmail has a substantial number of extensions that you can add to the Chrome web browser. Gmelius (collaborative inbox), Boomerang, and Giphy are a few popular extensions. Slack, Zoom, and Evernote can also integrate into Gmail.
How do I know which is best for me?
Both Gmail and Outlook have excellent features and functionalities to suit the needs of a business, and deciding which platform is best depends heavily on your working style and organizational preferences. If you’re looking for a streamlined experience with a clean interface and great integrations, then Gmail is your superstar. Conversely, if you desire a feature-rich email client with native integrations that make your email work for you, then Outlook may be the hero your business needs.
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