The Disadvantages of Microsoft Outlook 2007

Written by amy dombrower
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For many people, Microsoft Outlook 2007 is the one place they go for organisation of their busy lives and communicating with others. It has e-mail and calendar capabilities that allow you use both at once and integrate everything together. However, there are a few disadvantages---some things that create a hurdle or two when trying to get tasks accomplished.

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Meeting Organization

If you are trying to organise meetings, there is plenty you can do with Outlook to help you. But there are some things you can't do. For example, once someone has organised a meeting, she stays the organiser until the meeting is over. You cannot transfer the organiser role to someone else. Perhaps the organiser wasn't able to attend the meeting for emergency reasons and needed someone else to take over. According to Microsoft, the only way to work around this problem is to delete the meeting and reinvite everyone. Likewise, the meeting stays on the organiser's calendar and he is the only person that can change the meeting. If you decline to attend a meeting, it will disappear from your calendar. You can't easily track all of your group's meetings, including the ones you decline. Also, you cannot reply to an e-mail message by sending a meeting request. A meeting invitation must be a separate e-mail, which can be frustrating in some cases.

Restraint on Views and Folders

In the "Mail" portion of Outlook, you can rearrange your "Favorite Folders" in the Navigation Pane and shortcut buttons at the bottom however you like. But the "Folder Lists" and "Mail Folders," which include "Inbox," "Draft," "Sent Items," and any other mail folders you create, are always sorted alphabetically and cannot be changed. You can get around this by renaming your folder (putting a 1 in front of a folder). Each mail folder has its own view and can only be changed individually. You can't change the view of your "Inbox" and multiple personal folders at the same time. You cannot change the font attributes, including the style, size and colour, of the Navigation Pane.

Distribution Lists and Email

One of Outlook's main features is e-mail, but there are some features that it lacks. For one, you can only create distribution lists from "Contacts." If a person sends an e-mail and wants to be put on a distribution list, you must first add her e-mail address to your "Contacts" list and put her in the address book for the distribution list. It would be simpler to have a function to add a person directly to the list. It would also be helpful to be able to search for e-mail senders whom you want to put on a distribution list and add them to your "Contacts" in one big group. However, Outlook requires you add e-mail senders to "Contacts" individually. You cannot set up recurring e-mails, for example, to send people ongoing reminders. Outlook will not do that directly. However, you can download third-party add-ins to create the function.

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