Chat with the chief: A negative Outlook

I’m just going to come out and say it: I despise the new Ferris Office 365 email setup, and I know I’m not the only one.

I am constantly checking my email. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see when I go to bed. Due to the frequency of my email usage, I rely heavily on an email system that is simple to use, clean and organized.

Office 365 is none of those things.

Let’s start by discussing the organization. On the Microsoft Outlook app on my phone, which is what I typically use to check my email, the emails are organized into two folders: “Focused” and “Other.” Emails in the Focused folder are primarily from others within the Ferris Office 365 system, such as students and faculty. Pretty much everything else goes in the other folder and I don’t get notified of them unless I search for them. I’m sure this is intended to sort out the spam, and sure, about half of the messages in the Other folder are, indeed, spam. However, the other half of the messages that I’m not seeing are from my professors on Blackboard, loan services with critical information about my financial aid and shipping information for online orders. Certainly, these are all important things that I need to see in a timely matter, but unless I remember to check the Other folder multiple times a day, I’m not going to see everything I need to see right away.

Another major downfall of the Office 365 switch is that all of my older emails are still in my Ferris Gmail account, as they were not automatically transferred over. This is tedious more than anything. I have a significant amount of previous messages from classmates and coworkers that I need to reference regularly.

As a result, I constantly have both Outlook and Gmail opened on my laptop, so I can hop back and forth between the two, feverishly searching until I finally find what I’ve been looking for. Yet, this method can’t last forever, as our Gmail accounts will be deleted in May, so eventually I’ll have to transfer three years’ worth of vital documents — my resume and other hiring documents, notes, conversations with potential employers—over to Outlook, all to use it for one last semester before I graduate.

Not to mention the infinite amount of documents that we all kept in our Google Drive. The thought of saving and moving all of that makes me want to cry.

Don’t get me wrong: there are a few small benefits that Ferris Office 365 has to offer. Now that we’re all in the same system, you can just search a Ferris student’s name and their email comes up, which, admittedly, has really come in handy for me. It’s also nice to not have *EXT* in front of all of my emails from my professors. However, I think there’s definitely some significant flaws in the system, and I’m beyond frustrated that I have to spend so much time researching and trying to tweak my account to be more user friendly (of course, with little success). It shouldn’t be this difficult to receive a damn email. I want my old Gmail back!

For those who loathe Outlook as much as I do, there’s a settings tab on the desktop version of Outlook. If you click on that and then “Mail,” you can mess with some of the settings. I’ve been unable to fix any of the major flaws I’ve discussed previously, but I figured out how to add an email signature, so hey, it’s a start.

R.I.P. Meg’s Ferris Gmail account: 2016-2018. I miss you more than you know. I should have never taken you for granted.