Microsoft Windows 10 comes with new versions of the free Mail and Calendar apps. While the apps don't include all of the features of Outlook, they do their jobs, and they do it well. This is especially true because of their native Windows 10 ability to display real time information from the tiles on the Start Screen.
Setting them up isn't difficult, but it does take a few steps, so let's walk through them.
Click the Start Button or press the Windows Key to get the Start Screen. It should look similar to Figure B. The Mail and Calendar apps are at the top of my tiles.
Go to the Start Screen.
Click the Mail tile to start the app, where you can begin the setup process by pressing the Get Started button (Figure C).
Press the Get Started button.
If you're logged into your Microsoft account, the app should already have your outlook.com email address in the list. Click the plus sign [+] to add additional mail accounts (Figure D). In my case, I have a Gmail account and an account for my personal website (markwkaelin.com) run through Office 365.
You can add mail accounts.
As you add each account, you will be asked to accept the privacy requirements necessary to establish a connection. If you're connecting to an account managed by Microsoft Exchange, you may have to accept enhanced security policies required by that server.
Once you get all of your accounts setup in the app, you can start viewing and managing your email with the Windows 10 Mail app. Figure E is an example of what it might look like.
The Windows 10 Mail app.
Figure F shows you one of the nice features of Windows 10. When we set up our accounts for the Mail app, the information transferred automatically to the Calendar app, so our accounts are already connected, and we're ready to go.
Information is automatically transferred to the Calendar app.
As you can see in Figure G, I organize my calendar using color coding. I like how the Calendar app merges all of the calendars together in one place and maintained my color scheme, for the most part (more pink than usual). I may have found my new default calendar app.
You can organize your calendar using color coding.
If you take a closer look at Figure G, you can see that some of my calendar events are listed twice. This is because I subscribe to a service called Oggsync that synchronizes my Outlook Calendar and my Google Calendar. It works great and has served me well these past two years.
However, with the Windows 10 Calendar app, I just might be able to eliminate that annual expense. Combine this with the live tile feature (Figure H) and you have a very useful and free app that can consolidate all of your email and calendar events into one place.
The Windows 10 live tile feature.
Have you tried the new Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps? Did you dismiss them before even giving them a chance? As I have shown you, that is a mistake. Give these free apps a try, and let us know what you think in the discussion thread below.
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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.