How Difficult is it to Learn Microsoft Outlook?

Gain a comprehensive understanding of Microsoft Outlook and its role in the modern workplace. Discover how this versatile platform goes beyond email, serving as an application manager for Microsoft Office and offering functions ranging from accounting and data entry to word processing and presentation creation.

Key Insights

  • Microsoft Outlook is not just an email service but also a platform that integrates with Microsoft Office applications, enabling a wide range of tasks including data analysis, document composition, and presentation creation.
  • Outlook began as Hotmail in 1996, later purchased by Microsoft and eventually becoming in 2012. Today, it serves as the hub of Microsoft 365, providing access to a suite of tools for efficient work environments.
  • While Outlook is widely used in corporations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations, its subscription cost can be prohibitive for some individuals and organizations.
  • Alternative email servers like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail offer comparable functions to Outlook, including calendars, customizable folders, and protection against spam, phishing, and malware. However, costs vary for different versions.
  • Learning Microsoft Outlook can pose challenges, particularly when it comes to unlocking advanced functions like the calendar or integrating Office applications available through Microsoft 365.
  • Noble Desktop offers training courses on Microsoft Outlook, providing hands-on lessons to improve understanding of the software and its functionalities. These courses are available in-person in New York City or live online, at varying costs.

Are you curious about training related to Microsoft Outlook but not sure how much more you can learn about the email service and app manager? The difficulty with picking up new skills for Outlook can vary depending on an individual’s goals or needs. 

Another challenge with learning more about Microsoft Outlook may include fitting the time needed for training into your schedule or simply finding your comfort level with learning about the application’s functions and features.

What is Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlookis among the most used email servers on the planet. However, Outlook provides more than email access. Outlook facilitates email communication, setting up contact lists for your organization, and using the calendar to organize business meetings and other events. It also serves as a web app manager that allows coordinating and integrating Microsoft Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for the workplace or personal use. Also, Microsoft Outlook does not share data collected for integrating Office applications within Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Outlook began as Hotmail in 1996 without any connection to Microsoft before the company purchased the email site and renamed it MSN Hotmail and eventually Windows Live Hotmail. The product became in 2012. As stated, Microsoft provides Outlook as the center for managing its software applications for mainly work settings and personal use. Outlook allows users to conveniently access the software needed for establishing an efficient working environment, allowing an organization to communicate through email or share content using the Web or the cloud through Microsoft 365. This includes sharing content from the Office software bundle that offers a variety of functions for word processing, building databases, organizing spreadsheets, or designing promotional material.

Read more about what Microsoft Outlook isand why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Microsoft Outlook?

Microsoft Outlook is mainly considered an email facilitator but also functions as an application manager for Office software programs provided through Microsoft 365. Outlook allows users to control emails using filters and folders, locate names in the address book, or schedule emails to respond automatically when the user is unavailable. Outlook also provides a calendar for organizing meetings, events, or project deadlines.

With being able to interface with other Microsoft Office applications, Outlook functions for tasks as wide-ranging as accounting, data entry, word processing, or presentations through access to software like Excel, Access, Word, or PowerPoint. Outlook provides an efficient tool for any workplace, academic institution, or home.

In addition to many using Outlook for their personal email, business corporations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations use Microsoft Outlook for getting projects done in addition to email communication and organizing schedules. Outlook provides an assortment of features and functions for getting work done efficiently:

  • Outlook offers a variety of options for sending, receiving, and forwarding emails, as well as navigating the inbox and folders.
  • Outlook interacts with other Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
  • Microsoft Outlook users can collaborate with coworkers by exchanging Microsoft Office content easily.
  • Companies and organizations can share Outlook calendars among staff members to optimize collaboration in the workplace.
  • Users can sync personal data using Microsoft Outlook on computers, smartphones, or tablets.
  • Outlook allows entering information into the calendar that syncs with a variety of devices.
  • Personal data can be integrated into Outlook, including virtual sticky notes, calendars, address books, and to-do lists.
  • Microsoft Outlook can integrate with other online services and apps, including Uber, Google Play, Facebook, Yelp, Skype, Boomerang, and Evernote.
  • Microsoft Outlook has font options for professional-looking formatting and various color themes.
  • Users can set the Microsoft Outlook calendar for daily, weekly, or monthly schedules to keep track of important appointments and meetings.
  • Users can send out meeting requests to people listed in their contact list through the calendar feature.
  • Outlook also provides security features, including data encryption for a user's mailbox after sending an email.
  • Premium Microsoft Outlook automatically deactivates unsafe links containing viruses, malware, or phishing scams and can recover important files from Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Users can run Skype directly through Microsoft Outlook for online chatting in real-time.

What Are the Most Challenging Parts of Learning Microsoft Outlook?

Among the difficulties with learning Microsoft Outlook is unlocking the advanced functions such as the calendar or integrating Office applications like PowerPoint or Excel available through Microsoft 365.

Microsoft 365 uses Outlook as the anchor for integrating Office applications using basic functions with Excel, Word, or PowerPoint for performing data analysis, composing documents, or creating presentations. 

How Does Learning Microsoft Outlook Compare to Other Applications/Languages/Fields?

Because Microsoft Outlook is considered the industry-standard platform for email communication and scheduling for workplaces worldwide, many companies and educational institutions use the software to work seamlessly with Microsoft Office applications. However, the cost of subscribing to Microsoft 365 could be prohibitive for many individuals or organizations. Fortunately, there are free email alternatives to Outlook or less expensive and also compatible with Office applications.

If someone is looking for an alternative email server to Microsoft Outlook, Google offers Gmail, which is available free of charge. Gmail provides comparable functions to what you find with Outlook, including a calendar for scheduling meetings and appointments, access to Google Meet, a video conferencing application, 15GB of Google Drive cloud storage per user, and spam, phishing, and malware protection. In addition to those features, Gmail offers Smart Compose, an assistive software with the Google Docs Editors suite that helps with spelling and grammar. It's crucial to note Gmail has more users than Outlook mainly because people often use the free personal version as their backup email account. And although the popular personal version is free, Gmail Workplace Individual and Gmail Workplace Business currently cost $7.99 per user a month and $12.99 per user a month, respectively. Both Gmail Workplace versions offer calendar features that facilitate sharing content for collaboration in working environments.

Another alternative to Microsoft Outlook would be Yahoo! Mail, which provides free email service. As with Outlook and Gmail, Yahoo! Mail allows users to organize their mail into customizable folders. Users can also customize layouts for their accounts, including displaying previews for messages with only a click or two. Yahoo! Mail also provides smartphone users options, including viewing online receipts, connecting to or unsubscribing from online accounts through their email inbox, and tracking packages or receiving notifications.

Learn more about the difficulties with learning Microsoft Outlook.

Key Insights

  • Some people may believe they will have difficulties with learning new skills for Microsoft Outlook.
  • While Outlook is a popular email service, it also offers more than simply email communication by providing features and functions that help with scheduling or keeping track of projects and assignments.
  • Outlook also serves as the anchor for Microsoft 365 for integrating Office applications for composing, editing, saving, sharing, or uploading documents.
  • Microsoft Outlook provides functions that contribute to efficiency in the workplace and homes.
  • New learners may have difficulty learning some of Outlook’s advanced functions.
  • There are email services like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail that provide alternatives to Microsoft Outlook for email communication and other workplace functions.
  • Noble Desktop provides hands-on training for learning more skills associated with Microsoft Outlook, available at varying times and costs.

Learn Microsoft Outlook with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you’re looking to improve on knowledge of using Microsoft Outlook, Noble Desktop has courses that provide training for a better understanding of the software application. This includes in-person classes available in New York City, along with live online courses offered at times that may fit your schedule at varying costs.

Noble Desktop offers in-person and live online Microsoft Office courses that provide hands-on training from expert instructors. These courses provide training that includes lessons for Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Project, and Outlook, which serves as the hub for access to this bundle of integrated Microsoft Office applications. These classes can be taken inside a classroom or live online. 

Students can enroll in Microsoft Outlook Level I for lessons on the fundamentals of the application. This one-day course focuses on teaching participants about using Outlook efficiently with lessons on setting up email folders, automating email, managing calendars and to-do lists, or organizing schedules and contact lists that can all contribute to improving workflow.

People may elect to take the Microsoft Outlook Level II class. This follow-up course builds on the training established in the Level I course. Level II emphasizes lessons for configuring email accounts, performing advanced searches, filtering spam, learning about working with advanced calendars, and handling contact lists.

How to Learn Microsoft Outlook

Master Microsoft Outlook with hands-on training. Learn how to use Outlook to draft and send emails, schedule meetings, create mail merges, and more.

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