So it’s been a little over a month since I took the plunge and switched my email from Domino to Exchange. All this time I’ve been trying to exclusively use Mac’s native tools for my email and calendar. After being a Lotus Notes user for longer than I remember, using Mac tools was a bit of an adjustment.
The good thing about these Mac tools is that they all integrate seamlessly with Exchange: mail, calendar and address book — even free/busy checking. Configuring and setting them up was a snap. They all sort of just found the Exchange server and configured themselves.
The best thing I like about Mail is how it consolidates multiple accounts in one interface. I have my Exchange, Gmail and the old Lotus Notes mailboxes all in one place. I can drag and drop messages between accounts. I can read an email from one account, but reply to it under a different account by just changing the From drop down list. I can open an old message from Notes and reply to it through Exchange. I even have different signatures configured for different accounts and by changing the From value, the signature automatically changes. Being able to switch identities and reply to emails from different accounts was always a big problem in Notes.
I kind of like how Mail automatically closes the open email when I reply to it. But if you hold the Option key when clicking Reply, the original email stays open.
Calendaring though is a little weak. I miss having Richtext event descriptions and being able to edit them. Any lengthy description in iCal just ends up being a long run-on text.
Scheduling events with people from outside the organization doesn’t work very well. Schedule changes, information updates and meeting acceptances don’t always know which meeting they are related to. A bit of a mess. Guess that’s where Tungle could be useful.
Now, Address is a bit of a mess. Not so much on the computer, but more so when it comes to BlackBerry synch. For some reason I keep losing email addresses. They are there in the application, but not there when the contact is synched to my BlackBerry. It takes a few edits to the address to get it to synch correctly.
The best thing I like about all of these applications is that they do the simple task of email and calendar and do it pretty well, without extra overhead and complications. They load fast. Very fast. They don’t generate silly error messages about failed provisioning. And they don’t have a progress bar at the bottom indicating some odd background process doing something.