From mergers to personal preference, there are numerous reasons a person may decide to migrate from Gmail to Outlook. Here are some basic tips to lessen the learning curve.

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From corporate mergers to personal preferences, there are myriad reasons an individual may choose to migrate from one email platform to another. After using a particular email account for an extended period of time and tailoring the system preferences, daily digital correspondence becomes second nature. Migrating to a new email system with its own unique interface, nuanced settings, and capabilities can be challenging at first. Microsoft Outlook and Gmail are two of the more popular email platforms for personal and professional use. There are many tips to keep in mind when migrating from a Gmail email account to an Outlook account and we’ve detailed a few of these concepts below.

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Keep contacts in the loop

One of the more complicated parts of migrating from one email account to another is ensuring regular contacts are aware of the change. That said, the transition from Gmail to Outlook will require a few proactive measures. To keep regular contacts abreast of the address change, people could consider using the vacation responder in Gmail’s general email settings. Using this feature, people are able to provide a basic message briefly detailing the migration underway and provide their new Outlook email address.

Customize email notifications

Customizing various Outlook notifications could help take some of the clunkiness out of the early transition process. To customize notification settings, click the megaphone icon at the top right side of the screen. These settings will grant users control over a wide range of notification options including new email alerts, reminders, chats, and more. Individuals can also choose to enable desktop notifications. In the short term, enabling these notifications could help ensure people do not miss important emails or meetings during the somewhat awkward transition to an entirely new system.

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Tweak the layout

One of the most discernible differences between Gmail and Outlook is the general layout. As a result, people may want to dedicate time solely for the purposes of acclimating to the new user interface and tinkering with the layout. These layout settings can be accessed within Outlook’s mail settings. Using these settings people are able to choose how large or compact a message will appear and determine the positioning of new emails as they hit the inbox. There are other layout settings related to the position of the reading pane, preview text, nudge preferences, and more.

Set some ground “rules”

Aside from adjusting the general layout, there are other ways to help organize a new inbox. For example, Outlook’s rules feature enables individuals to set custom procedures for certain contacts and correspondences. To do so, individuals will need to open an email, click the hamburger icon to access “advanced actions,” and create rules. These custom rules allow individuals to direct email from a certain account to a particular folder, archive, or trash. Additionally, people may want to create a new folder and always move emails from certain contacts to this folder. This is a helpful way to compartmentalize emails sent from auxiliary team members, freelancers, and others.

SEE: Navigating data privacy (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Sync Outlook calendar with Slack

Syncing one’s Outlook calendar and Slack is another great way to facilitate the transition. Along the left Slack sidebar, there’s a dedicated section for connected apps. To sync Outlook Calendar, select “add apps.” Once connected, you will have the option to enable Outlook Calendar notifications in Slack. Next, you will be prompted to enable automatic updates. By doing so, Slack will automatically update your status to reflect calendar events throughout the day. This eliminates the need to set status updates for each meeting or calendar event. Once connected, you will also see a summary of scheduled events and receive notifications before upcoming appointments to reduce the risk of missing appointments.

Embrace Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft’s Outlook AI-enabled productivity assistant and there are many helpful ways to utilize this feature. For example, Cortana delivers a daily briefing email to help professionals organize their workday. Before a scheduled Outlook meeting, Cortana provides “meeting insights” and lists relevant emails to consider before or during the event. To help set time and space for productivity or mindfulness, Cortana will also list a series of blocks to “schedule time to focus” throughout the day.

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