So I’m forced to use Outlook during the day–but in my free time I use Gmail.
I proclaim: they are not even the same species.
Fundamentally, it’s about flexibility and rigidity. It’s about the way humans use things and the way Microsoft robots think humans use things.
Case in point: folders.
Microsoft: since when does an email only pertain to one subject (and have to reside in one folder)?
Gmail’s labels are intuitive, and they map pretty well to real life (and the way the brain works too): our mental organizational structures are not like Windows Explorer–they’re more like a web of relationships. It’s pretty clear that the more our tools resemble our mental infrastructure the more efficient we’ll be (or I should say: the easier things will be to do). Tools should make things easier for us to do–they shouldn’t be things that create mental work).
And don’t get me started on searching my inbox in Outlook (I use Google desktop search!).