Which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook?

I have been helping a company move to Office 365 and one of the questions was which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook? I think the answer is Microsoft Outlook.

Why? For many reasons. Outlook is better integrated and you don’t have to shift between several applications to see your data. Yes it doesn’t allow you to add a contact like the native app does, but it also offers many features the native app doesn’t. What is even better is Microsoft seems to sincerely want to improve the app and even solicits feedback and feature requests. I believe this is a change in Microsoft finally listening to its customers.

Which is better? Native email or Microsoft Outlook?Another strong reason to use Outlook is the fact that is supports the most common things people want to do in email. It allows people to view PDFs inline, and also share information with other programs like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. This is a great help to those on the go. While I don’t use these programs myself, many business people do and find them to be useful. So for a business, it makes sense to go with Office 365 on an iPad.

If you didn’t use the office applications, you could certainly buy third-party stuff that would do many of the same things. The problem is that third-party companies sometimes drop support, go out of business, and many other problems with long-term support. So it becomes kind of dangerous game to not use the vendor supplied apps for compatibility and troubleshooting reasons.

There are many fine third-party apps that are in some ways better than Office 365. However, given that most companies don’t have experienced iOS IT staff, using the Microsoft apps makes more sense. I think Microsoft became and stays popular due to more people not wanting to be retrained or learn anything new, than it being the best option.

However in this case, Office 365 is a great choice for small and mid-sized companies.

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Blue Apron not worth it

Blue Apron not worth it to me.

Blue Apron not worth itI thought I would like Blue Apron but I did not. It has some positives, but way more negatives. Here is why I didn’t like it.

  1. Not organic. They have some organic items but most of the stuff isn’t organic. In fact, they send canned goods which I avoid. Cans have BPA and that is a known problem. There are non BPA canned goods which should have been sent.
  2. Terrible recipes. The recipes are almost always terrible. I have made 12 different ones and they all were worse than something I could have have created myself. The ingredients were bland, and overpriced.
  3. Over-packaged. Everything had way too much packaging.  It was very wasteful and created so much garbage. Convenience came at too high a cost to the environment.
  4. Lack of care in delivery. Even though I was home the driver never rang my doorbell just left the items on the doorstep. When I heard him leave the packages I got up and he was already gone. I have never talked to any of the Blue Apron employees so that I can ask questions about the delivery and service. Whats more, not calling before you come is just rude. What if there was an emergency and having big boxes blocking your front door don’t help you?
  5. Poor policies. I canceled my Blue Apron subscription but rather than cancel your orders and refund your money, they insist on making a delivery for the next week. I canceled my service a week ago and because they charged the box they said they couldn’t give me a refund. Listen I understand if the delivery is on the way, but a week later a delivery should be canceled.
  6. Trying to cancel was difficult. You have to send them an email to cancel, and then approve it again to cancel your service. This is silly. If I want to cancel, I want to cancel now without creating more hurdles to canceling. They think making it difficult will slow customers. It will just anger your former customers to write articles like this warning others.
  7. Customer service was unhelpful. I did a chat with them and they were like a robot. I never had the feeling that they cared about me as a customer and wanted to find a solution to my concerns.
  8. Wasted goods like Nordic Ice. This goes back to the packaging complaint. The Nordic Ice keeps it cool but they put in so much that the food is basically frozen. Plus once you get this every week they are wasted and I ended up having to throw them away.
  9. Didn’t save time, took more time. So I thought this would save time, but all of these issues resulted in spending more time handling groceries. It isn’t worth the effort.
  10. No excellent meals. There were no excellent meals in this experience. If I am going to go through all of this and the meals don’t even have one excellent meal after spending $300, then it is not me it is them.

So do what you like, but for me, Blue Apron is a strong avoid.

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