The world is all a-twitter today over the new Starbucks add-in for Outlook 2013/2016 for use with Exchange Online or Outlook.com accounts. Me? I think it's a solution looking for a problem. Maybe I just don't hold enough business meetings in Starbucks get the point of it.... and I can use the app on my smartphone to buy or replenish a gift card.
As a proof-of-concept add-in to introduce add-ins to new Outlook.com and Exchange Online users or to show developers a small sample of what you can do with add-ins, it's not bad. More importantly, it gives people a reason to check out the other add-ins in the store, where they will find add-ins that do actually serve a need.
One of my favorites is TakeNote from Messageware. I use it to make notes in messages. Template Phrases inserts predefined text into messages. Microsoft's version is My Templates but it takes an extra step to use. Both will let you create and edit templates. Reactor makes it easy to reply with predefined text although you can't edit the templates or create new ones.
There are several add-ins that make it easier to file messages, such as MessageFiler. FindTime helps you schedule meetings when you don't have Free/Busy information on the invitees.
What are your favorite add-ins from the Office Outlook Store? Send us your favorite add-ins and the reasons why you like them to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't have any favorite add-ins yet, check out the Outlook Add-ins Store and try a few. At the end of July 2016, I'll draw a couple of names for your choice of a $5 Amazon, Starbucks, or Windows, iOS, or Google app store gift card.
2016 Office App Awards Contest valid until August 15 2016