Outlook Add-ins: 8 boosters for teamwork

Outlook Add-ins: 8 boosters for teamwork

These Outlook add-ins accelerate collaboration with colleagues and ensure greater efficiency. […]

The multitude of platforms and tools for collaboration purposes can be overwhelming. How much time do you spend jumping back and forth between apps like Trello, Dropbox, Slack and others? If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can significantly reduce your time expenditure-for this you only need to resort to the following add-ins, which can be integrated directly into Outlook. This allows you to collaborate with others without leaving your inbox.

Note: The screenshots in this article are from the online version of Outlook (OWA). The shown add-ins also work with the desktop apps of Outlook for Windows and Mac.

Boomerang adds several features to Outlook. For example, you can filter your inbox for a defined period of time so that only emails sent under certain criteria are delivered. You can also receive notifications about mail openings and schedule your emails to be sent later.

When it comes to collaboration, Boomerang can help you plan meetings with colleagues – without the usual back and forth, because no appointment fits all. Use the add-in to mark the times when they are available on a calendar embedded in an email. Each participant chooses a time when he is available-then the Boomerang server automatically sends an invitation to all participants.

Boomerang helps you quickly identify meeting dates that fit everyone (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2013 or later (Windows), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA;

Price: Basic (free), Personal ($5 per month), Pro ($15 per month), Enterprise Teams plan (about $ 15 per user per month);

The DocuSign add-in makes it easy to send documents that require a digital signature. While composing an email, just click the button on the bottom toolbar to open the DocuSign sidebar. This will guide you through the next steps and then launch a web app from the main Outlook page. Here you get a preview of the document and can also mark where the recipient should digitally sign.

Works with: Outlook 2013 or later (Windows), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA;

Price: 30 Days Free Trial, business plans from $ 10 per user monthly;

If you and your colleagues use Dropbox to share files, the official Dropbox add-in for Outlook should make life easier for everyone involved. Instead of attaching a file stored on your PC, you can “attach” it to your Dropbox account (link to your Dropbox file will be embedded in the email). If the recipient of the email has their own Dropbox account, they can immediately access the sent file. This means that even extremely large files can be conveniently shared via Microsoft Outlook without having to upload them first in order to send them as an e-mail attachment.

blankWith the Dropbox add-in for Outlook, the size of the file attachment no longer matters (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2013 or later (Windows), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA;

Price: Basic (free 2 GB of storage space), Professional (17 euros per month, 3TB), Standard (10 euros per user per month, 5TB), Advanced (15 euros per user per month, unlimited storage);

If you’re using Outlook, chances are you’re using Microsoft Teams for video conferencing. A popular alternative to this is Google Meet. You can use the Outlook add-in to create Google Meet appointments directly from Microsoft’s email program.

Once the add – in is installed, just click on the icon at the top of the screen, similar to how you create a meeting in Outlook. The invitation will be sent as a link in an email and recorded in your Outlook calendar. Recipients can click the link to attend the meeting on the scheduled date.

blankGoogle Meet video conferences can be set up directly via Outlook with the add-in (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2016 or later (Windows and Mac), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA;

Price: free, some features only available with a paid Google Workspace license;

Microsoft’s Quick Poll add-in works with the Microsoft Forms web app, which is part of Microsoft 365, and embeds surveys in your emails. These are set to a multiple choice format, where recipients can read a question and then click on one or more answer options. The results of the vote are visualized as a bar chart.

This works very simply: when composing an email, click on the three-dot icon on the bottom toolbar and select the Quick Survey option from the menu to open the sidebar of the add-in. Then enter Question and Answers in the sidebar, done.

blankThe Quick Poll Add-in enriches your emails with surveys (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2016 or later (Windows and Mac), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA;

Price: free Microsoft 365 account required;

If you and your team are working together through Slack, you can use the official add-in to forward an email or email thread from Outlook to your Slack team.

All you need to do is open the corresponding message and click on the Slack icon to the right of the header. In the sidebar, in the first field, you can choose whether to forward the email to a Slack channel or individual team members. If the e-mail contains file attachments, you can optionally forward them as well. In your Slack team, the email under your username is then posted as a message to the channel or as a direct message to the team member.

blankJust a few clicks to share an Outlook email with your Slack Channel (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2013 or later (Windows), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA, Outlook Mobile App (Android and iOS);

Price: Microsoft 365 / Microsoft 365 Business or Enterprise and Slack account required; Slack free or from 6.25 euros per month;

Trello is a collaboration tool that uses a map system to organize and record task progress in projects. With the Trello Add-in, various aspects of your Trello board can be managed via Microsoft Outlook.

When you open an email, you can use its contents to create a card. You then add them to your Trello board and “transform” an important message into a project or task. You can also forward all attachments of the email to the new card. The Trello add-in also allows you to add or change the due dates of cards, view the latest updates and leave comments without leaving Outlook for it.

blankEmail becomes Trello Card? No problem with the official add-in for Outlook (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2013 or later (Windows), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA, Outlook Mobile App (Android and iOS);

Price: free; for businesses from $ 10 per month;

Zoom is another popular video conferencing platform used in many companies-mostly alongside Microsoft Teams. The Zoom add-in works similarly to its Google Meet counterpart: just click the zoom icon at the top of Outlook’s meeting scheduling window to turn it into a zoom meeting. Attendees will receive an email with a link they can click to join the meeting.

blankZoom video calls can also be initiated directly via Outlook (c) IDG

Works with: Outlook 2016 or later (Windows and Mac), Outlook for Microsoft 365 (Windows and Mac), OWA, Outlook Mobile App (Android);

Price: free; for companies from 140 euros per user per year;

This article is based on an article from our US sister publication Computerworld.

* Howard Wen is the author of Computerworld.

**Florian deals with many topics related to technology and Management. He is also active in social networks.

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