Pasting Gmail and Outlook together

I had an interesting question this week from someone in my network. Their IT decision-makers have chosen to host their email and calendars in Gmail. My contact and her colleagues would all prefer to keep using Outlook 2010. She wanted to know how that was possible.

Well, it is possible using IMAP to connect the Gmail account to Outlook. Start by clicking on the File tab and Add Account. Enter all the information about your Gmail account and if prompted, choose IMAP. You’ll notice it now in the left-hand Navigation pane in Outlook.

It might be slow to load it the first time and a bit pokey thereafter, but you will be able to use most of Outlooks tools on your Gmail, such as Quick Steps and some of your Conversation Tools. If you can deal with the speed issue, you might be fine. You will have follow-up flags, but not be able to set them due for specific times. Your color categories are also off the table. There may be more little things that are different, I’m still poking around.

In order to make sure your Outlook and Google calendars stay in sync, you’ll want to use a tool called Google Calendar Sync to make sure that what’s on Google is also what’s in Outlook and vice versa.

Both sides of the argument (Google and Microsoft) will tell you both that it’s doable and that a pure solution of either one is best. For myself, I’m a Microsoft Office girl to be sure. I understand the cost savings of Google Aps. But it is not an apples to apples comparison. The robust toolset in Office makes sense for my business. For those that like their apples and oranges mixed. The IMAP solution may be for you.

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