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Comparison and Contrast: An Outlook Vs. Gmail Review

Posted by Anastasia Kryzhanovska on November 30, 2020

Outlook vs. Gmail
Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Anastasia is a content marketer and manager with a strong IT background, passionate about storytelling and SEO. She likes creating high-quality content and helping others develop their skills. Besides work, she loves traveling, extreme sports, and reading fantasy books.

Published on November 30, 2020

Outlook and Gmail are two of the most popular email clients available to consumers. Both are accessible for personal use and companies. While each service offers something a bit different to users, they have many features in common as well. Let’s jump right into this Outlook vs. Gmail review, see what services these two share and how they differ.

User Experience & Interface

121 emails are the average number of business emails a person receives each day. This number is only expected to grow with each passing year by 5%. Personal email statistics are harder to estimate, though Mailbird’s recent study puts it at 71 emails sent and received.

And since you could be processing 71-121 emails a day or more, ease of use and the aesthetic of a person’s email interface is rising in importance with each year. Here is what each of these email clients offers their users in terms of their user experience and interface.

Gmail

  • Email service that also offers web access
  • You can add and customize the background of your account on your laptop/desktop
  • The default view is a two-pane view, but the user can customize the number of panes they use. 
  • Clean layout with the ability to customize their experience
  • Easy to use mobile app

Outlook

  • Email service that offers web access for its users
  • Keeps the blue/white color scheme that is familiar to those who use other Microsoft products
  • Design updates have removed the number of buttons and other clutter that had been present on other versions
  • Default three-pane view
  • Easy to use mobile app

Both Gmail and Outlook

  • Both email clients are easy to use and are considered intuitive. Things such as new emails and folders are easy to find and reside in a place where a person would think to look for them. 
  • Both have phone apps that are free to download and easy to use
  • Both permit IMAP and POP account creation

Gmail Vs. Outlook: Features

These email clients also offer additional features to customers. These features serve as enhancements and excellent compliments to a user’s email account. Here are how the respective features stack up for each email service.

Calendar

The differences between the calendars available to users of these email services are very few. Any differences are noted below. Aside from those differences, the calendar functions are virtually the same between both services. Both have their calendars open as separate windows on your laptop, have the choice to view calendars in day/week/month format and allow you to share calendar events with others.

Gmail

  • You can tag a function as either a task, event, or a reminder.

Outlook

  • When you add people to a calendar event they are referred to as attendees and not guests.

Search

Email accounts hold considerable volumes of information that you might need to find quickly and easily. It is important that an email client have multiple ways to search your account so you can find what you were looking for. Here are the ways Outlook vs. Gmail stack up in terms of their search functions.

Gmail

  • Has advanced search features that allow the user to search by file size, email address, date, and keywords.
  • A separate search function that lets a user search through chat logs.
  • A separate search feature that allows the user to search for only contacts.
  • Ability to use search operators to facilitate faster searches for commonly referenced items/terms.

Outlook

  • Users can implement advanced search features that allow the user to look for information by day, file type, etc.
  • Create search operators for commonly searched terms.
  • Search contacts separately.

File System

Not every email can be discarded after it is read. To keep our email inboxes organized, both Gmail and Outlook offer filing systems to their users. Here are some key aspects of Outlook vs. Gmail file organization.

Gmail

  • Folders are called labels instead of folders
  • Users can set up labels (folders) as well as nested labels (subfolders) to move emails into.
  • Messages can have more than one label.
  • Account comes preset with traditional folders like spam, inbox, scheduled, drafts, etc.

Outlook

  • Users can set up folders and subfolders to move emails into.
  • One email can only live in one folder at a time.
  • Account comes preset with traditional folders such as spam, inbox, drafts, etc.

Attachments

Many of us need to handle files of varying sizes for our jobs or organizations we belong to. Here’s how each platform handles attachments.

Gmail

  • Ability to preview files
  • Attachments are capped at 25 MB
  • Files larger than 25 MB need to be shared through Google Drive

Outlook

  • Ability to preview files by clicking on preview in the attachment menu
  • Attachments are capped at 20 MB
  • Files larger than 20MB that need to be shared must go through OneDrive or Sharepoint

Storage

As we depend more and more on email and other forms of cloud services, our need for storage increases. Here is what these platforms offer in terms of storage.

Gmail

  • Individuals with free accounts get 15GB
  • If you exceed your 15GB, you can enroll in Google One to purchase additional storage, increasing your storage space to 100GB or more depending upon your plan
  • Gmail for Business accounts have storage levels from 30 GB to 5TB based on your plan level

Outlook

  • Users on free plans start with 100GB of storage across their accounts
  • Office 365 plans come with 6TB of storage in OneDrive
  • All Outlook for Business plans come with 1TB of OneDrive storage per user

Videoconferences

Video calls and conferences were rising in popularity before the coronavirus pandemic. These tools are now more important than ever. Here are the videoconference tools offered by Gmail and Outlook.

Gmail

  • Videoconferences and calls can be conducted through Google Meet or Google Hangouts
  • Google Meet is the equivalent to Zoom or GoToMeeting 

Outlook

  • Videoconferences and calls can use Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Teams is equivalent to Zoom or GoToMeeting
  • Skype is now part of the Microsoft family and part of a 365 subscription plan

Integrations

It is not practical to have a multitude of digital tools that currently exist but not be able to integrate them with our email and calendar services. Let’s look at what tools will integrate with these email providers.

Gmail

  • All Google apps will integrate
  • Chrome extensions can be applied for users that have Chrome as their web browser
  • Gmail add ons can be used to integrate with applications like Trello, Slack, Zoom, DocuSign, and others
  • Third-party apps can also be applied to your account

Outlook

  • Integrates with all Microsoft apps like OneDrive, Skype, and any Office products
  • Has the options for add ons (called add-ins) with businesses like Starbucks, PayPal, Yelp, and more
  • Add-ins are now available to Outlook users who use Mac devices
  • You can also set up Connectors and Actionable Mail with integrations with applications such as Trello
  • You can also integrate with third-party applications

Both can also be added to a desktop email client like Mailbird and use even more integrations along with your inbox.

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Security Of Outlook Vs. Gmail

Security is vital when it comes to email. While there is nothing that can protect from human error, it is important to have additional security features built in to handle any bad actors in the cyber world. Here are the security features that are built into these email clients.

Gmail

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Ability to block certain senders
  • Phishing and malware detection
  • Alerts when suspicious activities or log-ins are detected
  • Confidential mode that removes sensitive information and attachments from the body of an email.

Outlook

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Ability to block certain senders
  • Ability to encrypt individual messages
  • Can set permissions to allow others to access and edit your calendars and other Outlook feature
  • Can create password-protected folders within your Outlook account
  • Can create items in your account and keep them private from others on the exchange

Costs For Using Gmail Or Outlook

Registering for Gmail is free, as is signing up for Outlook. However, there are paid versions of each service that permit you access to additional features and services. 

Gmail

  • Gmail allows users to sign up and use an account for free. Users who create a premium account have the ability to create and use a custom email domain. Paid users also have ad-free accounts, 24/7 support, and 30GB of storage.
  • Premium Gmail accounts for individuals begin at $5 per month. 
  • Gmail is also available for businesses. They can use Gmail to support their company email addresses or they can utilize Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) and have access to features like sheets, docs, email, meets, and more.

Outlook

  • Outlook allows users to sign up for an email account for free. However, not all features of Outlook will be available. Users who register for Office 365 will have access to the full functionality of Outlook and Microsoft products (ex: Outlook calendar, Word, Excel, etc.). 
  • Outlook for individuals starts at $6.99 per month if they opt to subscribe to Office 365. Family plans that allow an individual to share with up to three other people begin at $9.99 per month. There had been a premium tiered version of just Outlook, but that service is being discontinued and merged into Office 365.
  • Outlook is also available for businesses. Outlook and most other Microsoft products are the standard for companies. 83% of enterprises use this email client. 

This chart provides a comparison of both email clients and what they offer as free and paid services. 

 

Free to Sign Up For Email?

Access To Other Features (spreadsheets, word processing, etc.)?

Ability To Upgrade To A Premium Account?

Premium Features That Are Available 

Available For Businesses?

Outlook

Yes

Only if the user signs up for Office 365. Access is limited on the free version.

Yes. The upgrade takes the user to an Office 365 account. Can no longer just upgrade Outlook.

Customer domain, full access to Excel, MS Word, Powerpoint, and all Office 365 programs.

Yes. 

Gmail

Yes

Google account comes with full access to Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, etc.

Yes.

Custom domain, increased storage, removal of ads.

Yes.

Outlook Vs. Gmail: So What Do You Pick?

Gmail and Outlook are both terrific email clients. There are pros and cons to each email service. Gmail gives individuals with free accounts quite a few features that a person would need to pay for elsewhere. Outlook has been a staple in offices for decades, so it is designed for business professionals and makes scheduling meetings and using your calendar virtually seamless. What makes an email client the best for someone will depend on what they need it for. In the battle of Outlook Vs Gmail, both offer a great product to their clients.

Mailbird is an email client that integrates with either of these services. Users can put all of their email accounts into one place, view all their calendars, clean up their email inboxes, and so much more. In a digital world where individuals need their email that is located in multiple accounts, Mailbird simplifies their life and brings all their accounts into one place. Contact us today to see what our product can do for you!

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Outlook Vs. Gmail FAQ:

Is it better to use Outlook or Gmail?

Each one of these email clients has its pros and cons. Gmail is the most popular for personal use while Outlook is the most popular for business use. Both are beginning to get more recognition in the category they are least known for. Gmail may have a slight edge based on what features come standard on a free account. 

Is Gmail safer than Outlook?

Both services are highly secure and offer many safety features to their users. Outlook may have a slight advantage due to the ability users have to password protect specific files and encrypt individual emails. 

Is Outlook more professional than Gmail?

In the professional world, Outlook has been the standard for companies. For many years, Outlook and Microsoft were the only options a business had for an email client. Gmail is making a push into the business sector and is starting to gain some traction as a choice.

Many small business owners enjoy the inexpensive price for Google Workspace/G Suite. Neither option is less professional than the other; it’s simply that one is more well known since it was the only option a company had for years. 

What email service is better than Gmail?

The only other email client in the same category as Gmail in terms of features and ease of use is Outlook. It depends on what a person needs from their email client that will help them determine what is considered “best” or “better”. 


Anastasia Kryzhanovska

Anastasia Kryzhanovska
Senior Content Manager

Anastasia is a content marketer and manager with a strong IT background, passionate about storytelling and SEO. She likes creating high-quality content and helping others develop their skills. Besides work, she loves traveling, extreme sports, and reading fantasy books.

Published on November 30, 2020

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