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G Suite for Outlook: The Best of Both Worlds


If you’re happy with Outlook as your email client (or want to switch to Outlook from Gmail or any other email service) there’s good news.

You can now leverage the power of Google Workspace’s cloud-based productivity apps at your business while using Microsoft’s email client.

The beauty of Google’s suite of cloud-based productivity apps and professional email services is that you can use Google Workspace for Outlook easily, enjoying the best of both worlds.

And if you want to put Microsoft’s office suite to work across your organization while enjoying the security, reliability, and responsiveness of Google’s cloud, you can do that too with Drive Enterprise.

But that’s an article for another day. Today we’re focused on using Google Workspace for Outlook.

While it’s true that most people are switching to Gmail for their professional email service, there are some users who have used Outlook for years and are loyal to that email client. You can upgrade to Google Workspace and still use Outlook easily, and we’ll discuss how to do just that in today’s article.

Related: Gmail vs Outlook for Business

Google Workspace for Outlook Synchronization


If you have a Google or Google Workspace account through your employer and wish to use Outlook as your email client, you can use Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GSSMO) to sync up your Google Workspace email account with Outlook.

Now, this article is about using Outlook with your Google Workspace account, but if you’re interested in migrating from Outlook to Google Workspace, Google has a great guide for that process which you can read right here.

Ok. Let’s walk through the steps to complete the synchronization process for Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook:

Install and Set Up GSSMO

The first thing you need to do to set up Google Workspace for Outlook is to install GSSMO and create a Google Workspace profile in Outlook. 

Once this is done, you can import data from your existing Outlook profile or from a PST file to your Google Account. 

Here’s a guide for completing this initial step of installing Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Next, Set Your Default Outlook Profile

You’ll love the fact that Outlook can open your Google Workspace profile automatically, which makes it much easier to use GSSMO.

Here’s a quick guide on how to set up Google Workspace as your default profile within Outlook so that your calendar data, appointments, meetings, and emails all sync without issue.

Understand How This Synchronization Does (and doesn’t) Work

There are a few types of data which aren’t synchronized perfectly when using Outlook for your Google Workspace profile. Some are synchronized, but are formatted differently.

The good news is that most of your email, calendar events, and contacts are regularly and flawlessly synched between your Google Workspace account and your Outlook app, but it’s important to be aware of some potential shortcomings of going this route. 

Here’s a breakdown of how synchronization does and does not work.

What’s Different About Using Outlook with GSSMO?

Obviously when you’re syncing data between platforms made by two rival companies, some things won’t work perfectly and may be different than they would be if you were using 100% Google or 100% Microsoft products.

Here’s a list of resources you may be interested in to understand about what will be different when using Google Workspace for Outlook via GSSMO vs. just using Outlook:

Final Step: Check the Google Workspace Web Interface

When you access your Google account in Outlook instead of using the Google Workspace web interface there will be some key differences. These include:

Gmail vs Outlook

Here we list the key features that are differences between Gmail and Outlook so you can easily transition between the two platforms when using Google Workspace for Outlook:

  • Outlook folders will appear as labels in Gmail
  • Nested folders in Outlook will appear as nested labels in Gmail
  • Folders under Inbox in Outlook are labeled “Inbox/folder_name” in Gmail
  • Outlook flags will be mapped to Gmail stars
  • Outlook junk email is labeled “Spam” in Gmail
  • Messages placed in Outlook’s “All mail” folder are found in “All Mail” in Gmail, and messages that you archive in Gmail will appear in Outlook’s Archived folder (unless the message also has a label, in which case you can find it in the corresponding folder in Outlook.

Outlook Calendar vs Google Calendar

Learn the differences between Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar terminology and what each calendar app calls different functions and features:

  • “Schedule a meeting or appointment” in Outlook Calendar is “Create an event” in Google Calendar.
  • “Create recurring events” in Outlook Calendar is “Create repeating events” in Google Calendar.
  • “Transfer ownership of an event by deleting and then recreating the event” in Outlook Calendar is named much more efficiently as “Change the event’s owner” in Google Calendar.
  • “Schedule one-on-one meetings as individual meetings” in Outlook Calendar is “Create one-on-one meetings or bookable appointment slots” in Google Calendar.
  • “Add attendees to an email invitation” in Outlook is “Add groups or guests to event details” in Google Calendar.
  • “See if people are free or busy” in Outlook’s Calendar is “See if people are available and choose from suggested meeting times” in Google’s Calendar app. (One note on this: Your Google Workspace administrator will have to enable Google Calendar Connectors to see if individuals using Microsoft Exchange are available).
  • Outlook Calendar’s “See new meeting times from Gmail users in Outlook” is “Accept new meeting times from Outlook users in Gmail” in Google Calendar.
  • “Schedule a conference call” in Outlook Calendar is “Automatically add video calls in event details” in Google.
  • “View calendars side by side” in Outlook is “Overlay calendars” in Google Calendar.
  • “Give Delegate Access to calendars” in Outlook is “Delegate calendar access” in Google.
  • “Use importance markers to identify events” in Outlook Calendar is “Use color-coding to distinguish events and calendars” in Google Calendar.
  • Outlook’s “Publish a calendar” is “Make a calendar public” in Google.
  • “Select time zones for an event” in Outlook is “Narrow time zone selection by country” in Google Calendar.
  • “Transfer ownership of an event by deleting it and recreating it with a different owner” in Outlook Calendar is “Change the event’s owner in an existing event” in Google.
  • And in Outlook Calendar “Remove yourself by deleting an event and recreating it with a different owner” is simply “Remove yourself from an existing event” in Google Calendar.

Google Drive and Outlook Notes

If you’re using Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook, you can access any of the notes you see in Outlook within Google Drive (Drive Enterprise really works well with Microsoft’s apps and is a great way to leverage Google’s powerful search and AI at your business).

When accessing notes from Google Drive there are a few things to note. These include:

  • In Drive you can easily view the titles of all of your Outlook notes in your documents list, download those to read it, upload an edited note, and store a note in more than one folder.
  • In Drive you should not share a note’s doc (this causes it to stop syncing and can even result in the note’s removal in Outlook), convert a note to Google Drive format from plain text (again, this will cause the note to stop syncing). Removing a note from your Notes folder in Outlook will also interfere with syncing between Drive and Outlook.

Google Tasks vs Outlook

With Google Workspace for Outlook you can access many of your Google Tasks from the Google Workspace side in Outlook (and vice versa). Your primary task list in Gmail syncs with your primary Tasks folder in Outlook with GSSMO, but there are a few things you should know about this:

  • From Gmails Task gadget you can add tasks and mark them as completed (these will appear in Outlook tasks), update notes and change due dates (these notes and due dates sync to Outlook), and create new task lists (they will show up as separate Task folders in Outlook).
  • However, you cannot modify start dates/progress status/reminders (these will not sync with Outlook, but you can add this info directly in Outlook without issue), add or view categories (Google Workspace doesn’t have categories or sync them with Outlook … but you can still use these within Outlook), or create task subfolders (Gmail’s Task widget does not nest Task lists or sync nested lists with Outlook … these need to be created directly in Outlook).

Our Final Outlook (get it?)


While there are many reasons why Gmail has emerged as the most popular email client in the world, we understand why some users may prefer to use Outlook as their email client. 

With Google Workspace for Outlook GSSMO you have this option to use Outlook with your Google Workspace license and the ability to synch data between Google and Microsoft’s platforms couldn’t be easier.

We hope this guide has been helpful as you set up your Outlook email client with your Google Workspace license, and if you need help, remember that Suitebriar (a Google Cloud Premier Partner) will be happy to answer questions or set up Google Workspace to integrate with your existing or preferred business systems.

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