Seeking Replacement for Outlook:mac 2011

What e-mail and calendar applications do you prefer?

August 24, 2014

It must be my fault.  

I must have done something to my MacBook Air that causes my version of Outlook for Mac 2011 (the latest version) to freeze. Nobody would believe that the spinning beach ball of death that I see regularly on my Outlook Mac client is a widespread phenomenon. Surely, if other Mac users were also experiencing Outlook hanging incidents, they would be marching on Redmond. Or at the very least writing angry e-mails (tweets?) to Satya Nadella.

So I’ve accepted that my Outlook for Mac 2011 troubles must be the result of something that I’m not doing in Outlook (rebuilding some database, clearing some buffer, saying the correct incantations), or something that I have done to my 6 month old MacBook Air (OS X 10.9.4).

Having accepted what I am powerless to change, I am on the lookout for what I can. I’m looking for a new e-mail and calendar application.

Whatever applications I settle on need to work seamlessly with Office 365 (Exchange) in the Cloud.  

These are my work e-mail and calendar applications. They need to work seamlessly.

For Mail, I’m tempted to go with Apple Mail. I know that many folks are moving to a Web-based e-mail, forwarding to Gmail or using the online version of Office 365.  These are good options, but I think that I want the full client version. The ability to work offline.  

Can anyone make a strong recommendation one way or another about Apple Mail? Do you have another e-mail program for the Mac that works with Exchange and that you really like? I still miss Eudora.

The calendar is a bit more tricky. I’ve never been able to get Apple Calendar to work well with my College’s Exchange system. The problem is always in shared calendars. It never seems to work quite right to share my calendar, see other people’s free/busy, and to make group meetings. It is like the Microsoft and the Apple engineers are speaking slightly different languages when it comes to making their calendar applications work together.  

Is my problem with Apple Calendar also something that I’m doing wrong? Have you had these difficulties as well.

An alternative that has been recommended to me is BusyCal. Word on the street is that BusyCal works beautifully with Exhange, as well as shipping with some great feature and an elegant and simple UI. Any BusyCal fanatics (or haters) care to weigh in? Is BusyCal worth the 50 bucks?

Maybe you have an alternative calendar choice for Mac? One that will play nice with Exchange?

The choice of an e-mail and calendar application is not a trivial one. We spend much of our lives writing e-mails and trying to arrange meetings.  

What are your recommendations for e-mail and calendar applications for the Mac? 


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