What Should be the Preferred Mode of Email Communication in 2022: Outlook Vs. Gmail?

The growth of chatbots, messengers, chat apps, etc, has still not been able to replace email in the online world. As per 2022 reports from Statista, there are 4258 million email users globally. 

Outlook & Gmail are both holding the reins in the email communication domain of the current information age. Both of these tools have had a greater fanfare for over 15 years since their inception & continue to grow at a tremendous speed. 

Without an ounce of doubt, the popularity of Gmail by far is self-explanatory. Having traffic of more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, this email tool is highly in-demand. Outlook, on the other hand, is one of the email clients different from Gmail which is essentially webmail, which means it can be operated via web browsers & apps only. As of 2021, Outlook was ranked #4 in the email market share, which continues to see an upward trend. 

Each day over 300 billion emails are transmitted around the world. Gmail is the most popular email service, followed by Apple Mail & Outlook. 

Outlook Vs Gmail: A Brief Overview

Despite the growing popularity of Skype, WhatsApp, etc email communication remains the primary mode of communication in the corporate world. Gmail & Outlook have been widely used for email services across the globe for quite a few years now. How are they different? Let’s take a look.

What is Outlook?

Outlook offers various functionalities apart from just sending and receiving emails. It is a desktop-based email application that is a part of the MS Office Suite. Besides configuring any email account, an outlook user can save contacts, plan a to-do list, make plans, check the calendar, etc. 

This application is flexible enough allowing you to configure even your Gmail account in a hassle-free manner. Want to know some of the benefits of this configuration?

  1. It is always good to have a Plan B in this era where everyone heavily relies on the technological ecosystem. Let’s say if you lose access to your Gmail account under any unforeseen condition, what would you do about your emails?

In this kind of scenario, backup can help. Thus, if you configure your Gmail account in Outlook a copy of all your email data will be saved in your system in the form of OST & PST files. This can then be your saviour in times of crisis.

  1. A lot of email services allow online access only. On the contrary, if you use Outlook you can avail offline access to your email account & can view previously downloaded emails. 

What is Gmail?

Gmail, the popular email friend in the 21st century is a web-based email service. It is a free email service provider of Google that offers 15GB of storage space. As the name suggests it is commonly known for sending and receiving emails, along with which it also offers other functionalities such as calendar access, preparing notes, creating contacts, adding tasks, etc.

Being webmail Gmail can be accessed only by Web or a third-party app. All the email communication trails that are done using the extension @google.com are stored in the Google servers. 

Just like a bilateral coin, you can have the benefit of obtaining a backup of all your emails on Google but at the same time, your mail data might also get deleted from the Google servers because it is a free service. As a result, a lot of organizations prefer to use custom G Suite email. 

Gmail Vs Outlook

Now that we are a little familiar with the use of both of these email tools, let’s draw the differentiation between them based on a broader understanding of various categories.

  1. Features:

The primary difference between Gmail & Outlook is that Gmail is an email service provider but Outlook is an email client that absorbs the services of all the email service providers. This means that Gmail allows only those email addresses to be configured that have the @gmail.com extension whereas Outlook can configure any email accounts be it Yahoo, Gmail, Hot Mail, Zoho Mail, etc. 

When it comes to features hands down Outlook wins the bet. Outlook has rich functionalities like:

  • Automatic email management
  • Delete multiple email threads with a Cleanup tool
  • Customizable templates
  • A separate Archive folder for all your archived messages
  • Internal integration of contacts & calendar

In contrast, Gmail sends archived messages to the ‘All Mail’ folder thus making it difficult for users to navigate. Also, Gmail doesn’t integrate contacts & calendars within its interface, rather has separate Google apps: Google Calendar & Google Contacts that are integrated with Gmail. When you want to draft an urgent email wouldn’t it frustrate you as a user to jump between the screens of different apps?

Winner: Outlook

  1. Design:

Considering the design interface of both of these services can be subjective yet Gmail is more preferred in terms of easy yet appealing design. 

Gmail has a basic design that is split into 2 strips: one is the menu section on the left that displays the email categories such as Inbox, Drafts, outbox, spam, trash, etc & the main section on the right presents the emails. This design is very straightforward to navigate for even a new user with a toolbar running across the top of the screen for easy access.

On the other hand, Outlook has a little complicated design with several options within one ribbon that run across the screen. A new user might feel a little overwhelmed & take some time to get used to its functioning. 

Winner: Gmail

  1. Productivity:

When it comes to the productivity of these email services it’s a crucial characteristic to address. According to Email receiving statistics, the average person receives over 100 emails per day. With 80% of the users checking their emails daily it is very crucial to have an organized & clutter-free inbox for proper email management. 

Gmail has advanced customization options as compared to Outlook. Let’s look at the extensions that can help foster productivity.

Gmail has 3 popular add-ons:

  • Right Inbox - A suite of tools such as email reminders, customizable email templates, etc help supercharge the inbox.
  • Crystal knows - Uses publicly available data to predict someone’s personality.
  • Voila Norbert - This chrome extension is highly useful for sales & outreach teams. It builds a list & contacts people of interest for building profitable relationships. 

Outlook also has 3 widely known add-ons:

  • Docsend for Outlook - This tool ensures secured file & document sharing with status updates at every step. For instance, you can see who is reading the shared files & how much of those files did he/she read. 
  • FindTime - Don’t you get tired of the back & forth in finalizing meeting time? FindTime helps streamline this process by pinpointing a time slot that works best for all the meeting attendees. 
  • Evernote - The MoM needs to be well-noted during project discussions. This add-on can make it easy & less time-consuming by directly moving note-taking to your inbox. 

Winner: Gmail

  1. Cost:

Nothing that comes for free lasts long enough. Both Gmail & Outlook offer free subscription plans but to unlock advanced functionalities, you need to select a payment plan. The payment plans largely differ with the storage space available.

G Suite has the following plan options:

  • G Suite Basic plan is for $6 monthly with 30 GB of cloud storage available.
  • The Business plan is priced at $12 for unlimited storage with more than 5 users & 1 TB for less than 5 users. 
  • G Suite Enterprise plan costs $25 offering some additional security features with the business plan features. 

NOTE: INCLUDE AN IMAGE SHOWING DIFFERENT G SUITE PLANS WITH PRICE

For Outlook you either need to subscribe to the premium subscription or purchase the Microsoft 365 package. Premium packages are priced as mentioned:

  • Microsoft 365 Home is for $69.99 annually per user.
  • Microsoft 365 Personal is for $99.99 annually.

Microsoft Outlook subscriptions need to be renewed from time to time & thus Gmail is a more economically feasible option.

Winner: Gmail

NOTE: INCLUDE AN IMAGE SHOWING DIFFERENT OUTLOOK PLANS WITH PRICE

  1. Storage & Attachment Limits:

Storage is a dominating factor when it comes to a greater market share. 

Gmail supports attachments up to 25MB. For greater file sizes you can upload them to Google drive & share them via Gmail. Gmail provides a free storage space of 15GB which includes both Google drive & Gmail. For an additional storage space of 30GB, you will have to subscribe to the G Suite Basic account.

On the other hand, Outlook supports an attachment size of 20MB & uses OneDrive to save files. However, the integration between both is not as seamless as Gmail & Google drive. When it comes to storage space Outlook can be declared the winner because it offers a free storage space of 15GB for email & a separate 5GB of storage for its OneDrive cloud products. Microsoft 365 subscribers get 50GB of storage.

Winner: Outlook 

  1. Connectivity:

An individual today has multiple email accounts bifurcated as per his/her use. Managing all these email accounts is a crucial requirement & a lot of people use third-party tools to do the same.

When it comes to connectivity, both Gmail & Outlook support POP & IMAP which means any email client on most operating systems will work easily with the email service. 

However, Gmail appears to be much faster in setting up & also retrieving emails & folders for users. 

Winner: Gmail

  1. Chat:

The global live chat market is projected to reach $987.3 million by 2023. Instant chat is a feature that is largely preferred by users over the extensive email threads for quick & urgent communication. Gmail & Outlook have both incorporated this feature in their list of offerings.

Gmail has a built-in functionality popularly known as Google Chat. This is an updated version of Google Hangouts with a robust team-based experience & better integration with the G Suite. 

Outlook uses Skype for its live chat. Skype has also been popular in the market for quite some years now for its easy-to-use interface, appealing design, end-to-end encryption, video & voice calls, & a lot more. 

Winner: Outlook

  1. Security:

Emails are sensitive communications that include a lot of confidential details. Ensuring complete privacy & security of these emails in the transition is very crucial. 

Gmail & Outlook both offer 2-step verification. This is an extra layer of security as it provides you information if any other device is trying to log into your email account thereby preventing hacker access. Besides, Gmail automatically encrypts the email in transit via Transport Layer Security (TLS). 

Outlook also provides an encryption option but users have to select that option before sending out the email. Imagine if you are in a rush to send an immediate email & you forget to click that encryption option? You can be at risk of various data thefts. 

Winner: Gmail

  1. Customizability:

Customization of the user interface is a prerequisite for an enriched user experience. Gmail & Outlook both offer various customization options. 

Gmail offers a good number of customization solutions to users. These include customizing the overall design of the inbox ranging from the placement to the features & size. Features can be turned on & off along with access to semi-hidden features for enhanced efficiency. Gmail also provides various app integrations for productive results like Grammarly, Slack, Evernote, etc. 

Contrarily, Outlook offers limited customization options like pre-selected or custom themes to change the app appearance, slightly changing the placement of things in the inbox, etc. 

Winner: Gmail

  1. Customer Support:

When using such technology-oriented tools, customer support is a preliminary requirement for a smooth customer experience. Customer support helps troubleshoot the problems at a breakneck speed. 

Gmail & Outlook both offer exceptional customer service. Apart from Gmail’s Help Center it also offers round-the-clock customer assistance to help in real-time.

Microsoft Outlook on the other hand offers extended technical support in the form of free online chat support. For an expert opinion, both Gmail & Outlook users need to upgrade to the paid plans. Outlook beats Gmail with its live chat option because users want instant solutions in their busy lifestyles.

Winner: Outlook

  1. Search:

There’s no second-guessing when it comes to the Search capability of Gmail. Google is popularly regarded as the king of the search engine market. A basic search & even typing shortcuts can yield a large pool of results in seconds on Gmail.

Outlook has almost similar search functionalities with advanced techniques that let you browse the data you are looking for quickly. For example, you can search within your messages with the quick view folders. Despite this, Gmail has more search sophistication compared to Outlook.

Winner: Gmail

Which One Should You Use for Your Business: Gmail Vs Outlook?

After reviewing both the email services based on multiple categories, it can be noted that Gmail has a score of 7/12 while Outlook has 5/12. But this can’t be the only basis to choose your email tool. Consider the following points before you make a choice.

Outlook or Gmail

Choose Gmail for the following priorities:

  • For a modern interface with streamlined user experience & intuitive collaboration
  • Freedom of monthly plans
  • Simultaneous team collaboration on Docs, sheets & slides
  • Conducting International business operations that require translations in multiple languages to send & receive emails

Choose Outlook for the following priorities:

  • If you are willing to undertake a little learning to have an email client with feature-rich options.
  • Manage other users’ email inboxes & calendars
  • Advanced features & security like email encryption, email scheduling, automated email management & built-in appointment booking
  • Higher storage capacity

Final Remarks!

In a nutshell, if you want to narrow down your choice from Microsoft 365 Outlook or Gmail it’s not a plain-sailing task.

Make a checklist of what priorities are you looking to address in your email communication & take your judgment based on which one of the two check marks most of the boxes. Sacrificing one or two points on your list is not a big deal.

Your end goal should be to pick an ideal fit that boosts your email communication for improved productivity. 

Editorial Team

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