I suppose, to be fair, the title of this book is self-explanatory, and therefore I shouldn't really criticize it for not being in-depth enough... I am new to Outlook 2003, but not to Outlook in general. To explain better - I was an Outlook Express user for several years who had started using Outlook 2000 about 6 months ago. Obviously I could see that Outlook went way beyond the email-only functioning of Outlook Express. So I decided to buy Outlook 2003 and also buy a book to find out what it was all about. Having always used Outlook primarily for email management, I already knew about basic things such as creating folders, setting up accounts, configuring message rules etc - what I wanted from this book was more information to advance me in this area - but unfortunately did not find it. For example, I wanted to know about the order of message rules, or explore the potentiality of using the more advanced rules options in Outlook 2003 (such as "custom actions") - but this book did not go there. So as far as email management goes, this book did not get me any further than what I already knew from using Outlook by myself. If you mainly use Outlook for email management then this book is a waste of money if you want to really explore all the options. The built-in help that comes with Outlook is better. In other areas of Outlook though, where I genuinely was clueless, it was understandably helpful. This book is like a basic introduction to all what Outlook *can* do - but it doesn't go as far as telling you how to actually do less-than-basic things. Like all the "Dummies" series it is written in a cheerful user-friendly style, and I would recommend it to anyone who has never used Outlook before. But to existing users it will only confirm what you probably already know.
I don't know whether it is Outlook that I am not particularly impressed with, or this book. It seems like there are lots of features that should exist in Outlook and yet I can't work out how to do them with or without the book. But some things that I saw other people do, for example voting tabs, I couldn't find mentioned in the book, but were easy enough to discover how to do myself. I came from a background of having used email for the last 12 years, but only recently started to used Outlook, so maybe for a complete email novice it would be more useful. I felt the book spent a long time explaining things that for me were intuative, but didn't go much beyond that on the email side of things. Maybe it isjust that compared to some of the other email programs that I have used, Outlook doesn't go much beyond this?