Microsoft Outlook is a great software to use for our daily real estate business. Outlook first came out with Microsoft Exchange 5.5 during the mid 1990s and then bundle as part of Office 97. The program can be used for contact management, calendar, emails, notes, and to-do list. Many businesses do have the program and have Microsoft Exchange Server as the hub that does all the work in the background.
Outlook by itself is a powerful program with a wide variety of add-in programs to give it additional functionalities and the ability to create features using Microsoft Visual Studio to give it unlimited potential. The problem that I have with Outlook is that once it become so important to your business, if the program crashes or stop working, it becomes ugly and lost of time and business to fix it. It happened to me a few times. The question is not if it will happen, but when, that is why safety precautions such as disabling Macros and backups are important and which I will talk further in a different date.
Many real estate offices does not have the budget to have a copy of Outlook on each computer and that is where Outlook's sibling, Outlook Express, which is bundled with most versions of Windows since Windows 95 and I talked about on Day 1 of my 365 Days. Another alternative is the open source Thunderbird, which I don't use too often.