Spike – The Only Outlook Alternative

Spike Team
By Spike Team, Updated on September 07, 2022, 17 min read
Outlook alternative

A Real Alternative to Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook—it’s been around forever. In fact, it was first released way back in 1992. When MS-DOS was still a thing. When the internet was still just a baby. It’s a bit like your least-favorite aunt. Sitting in the corner of the room on Sundays. Quietly knitting ugly sweater after ugly sweater. Sure, everyone needs a sweater, but there are other ways to stay warm in winter. Ways that don’t involve being bothered by scratchy wool and off-color designs.


Outlook is still popular, however, and despite its scratchy user interface, cumbersome toolbar, and tired layout, it’s still the default option of many users when it comes to email management. In part, this is down to the fact that it used to ship with new PCs by default—a pretty clever trick on the part of Microsoft. But just like that sour-faced, serial sweater-knitting grouch, it’s definitely outstayed its welcome. But it’s time for a change. It’s time for Spike’s fresh-faced approach to email. Think of Spike as the cool aunt that always travels to exotic places and has a suspicious amount of money. 



Meet Spike – The Only Outlook Alternative You’ll Ever Need

There’s been plenty of Outlook alternatives over the years, some more successful than others. However, they’ve often stuck to the same old script, simply repackaging the same features and moving the odd thing around. It’s no joke to say that email is stuck in the last century, with clumsy formatting and time-consuming management tools making everyday communications a chore. So, if you’re looking for a Microsoft Outlook alternative that does things a little differently, then check out what Spike has to offer to upgrade your email experience. 


Spike ditches many of the old email conventions that you know from Outlook. Say goodbye to confusing headers, repetitive signatures, and other useless bits of information. Endless threads that tangle up your messages in webs of code have gone the way of the flip phone. And gone is the staid old way of organizing email.


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Spike vs Outlook — 2022 full comparison


Spike’s Outlook alternative puts real-time email awareness at your fingertips, combining the best parts of instant messaging and conventional mail to bring you a truly modern communications solution. Emails are organized by people, and not threads, adding a more human touch to your email management. It’s called Conversational Email. And it’s your new best friend! If you’re worried about maintaining a professional email experience, have no fear – messages sent through Spike appear just like a normal email to your recipient.


But what are some of the benefits of an instant-messaging-style email interface? Does it really help with workflow and productivity? Simply put, yes!


IMs tend to be seen as more informal, which makes communicating between colleagues faster, simpler, and far more direct. This informality also encourages quicker responses since people are put at ease by the chat-like format of messages, which is now part of most people’s day-to-day lives. This allows them to shoot back a response without having to carefully craft a formal email. 


 “that would be great, cheers!” Is much faster than:


“Dear esteemed colleague,

It would be of great help for you to begin on the aforementioned task.

Yours truly,

Mr. Otto Graf”


Ok, so maybe you’ve never sent an email quite that formal, but you get the point. 


That said, you don’t always want things to be too informal. That’s why customization is such a big part of Spike. Any email can be viewed, edited, and sent in a more traditional format (signature and all) as and when it is needed. This is ideal if you spend most of your day shooting quick messages to your team but then need to send a more serious communication to a client, for example. The power of how you communicate is back in your hands.


conversational email

Take a look at how Spike stacks up against Outlook, and explore our powerful feature set that’s ready to change the way you communicate:


  • Spike’s Priority Inbox – More Intuitive and Easier to Manage Than Outlook

    Spike’s Priority Inbox does things a little differently. Instead of traditional folders and archiving, Spike organizes your email by what’s important, putting your most essential messages at the top and filing less important newsletters and mail in the “Other” inbox.


    Spike also gives you the power to organize your conversations in the way that works best for you. It offers a traditional Inbox layout, a more streamlined Subject view, and a People view, which is what will really push your email to the next level. People view organizes your conversations to reflect how you would talk in the real world – to the person you’re talking to! This keeps all relevant information in the same place, so you never lose track of why you were talking again. 


    Outlook offers a Focused View, but it’s limited to Microsoft 365, Exchange, and Outlook.com accounts on the desktop application. With Spike, all of your emails get the “priority” treatment. 

  • Spike Conversational Email – An IM-like Alternative to Outlook Email

    No need to create new mails with a separate “subject” each time you want to speak to your contact list; just jump straight back into the conversation like you would with your favorite instant messenger. Your reply function is displayed on the same screen as your messages, meaning you can focus on what you want to say rather than worrying about how you’re going to say it. 

  • Spike Groups – Bigger, Better, and Bolder than Outlook Groups

    Spike Groups lets you set up a group and invite friends or colleagues just like in Outlook. Only now, you have real-time messaging and instant file sharing to push your collaborations to new heights. Forget about trying to keep track of dozens of different interconnected email threads with your team – Groups pulls your communication into a single space.


    Groups are easy to set up with just a simple click of a button and can then be customized with your choice of name and image. Unlike other productivity apps, Spike Groups don’t need everyone to be a Spike user. While your team is likely all using Spike, clients might not be, but they can still be added to a group like anyone else using only their email and are able to reply directly to the invite without having to sign up. 

  • Spike Notes – Faster Collaborations and More Features than Outlook Notes

    Sure, Outlook has notes, but they’re little more than glorified post-its. Sure, you can send them to other people to look at, but it’s the equivalent of sending a post-it by email. Spike on the other hand, has fully functioning, multimedia-enabled collaborative Notes that work in real-time, meaning you and your team can work together wherever you are. 

  • Spike Tasks – A Dynamic Alternative to Outlook Task Management

    Spike Tasks, just like Notes, are simply more dynamic, more intuitive, and easier to manage—meaning you don’t have to spend hours simply managing your list of to-dos. Additionally, you can share them easily with members of your team so everyone is on the same page when it comes to collaborative projects. 

  • Spike Super Search – Faster More Accurate Searching than Outlook

    Advanced Search from Spike is so easy you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Never scroll through seemingly endless threads again just to find that one attachment that you need to reference. Contacts, mail, and files are displayed on a single screen when you search by keyword. Plus, you can create your own tags and star important emails so you can find them easily later on.  What’s more, just like with Conversational Email, Super Search puts people first, allowing you to search by contact. Type a name or simply click on a contact and all the relevant files and related conversations (sent or received) will be pulled up. 

  • Spike Calendar – Better Scheduling than Outlook

    Spike Calendar uses the same screen as your email so you can quickly and easily cross-reference one with the other. No more switching between screens and no more missing important meetings! You can sync up multiple calendars from multiple places and see it all in a single feed. Want to make sure drinks with friends and that concert next Friday don’t clash with a meeting in a different time zone? It’s simple when everything is in a single app. 


    If you use iCloud for your personal calendar, you’ll be out of luck with Outlook. Spike integrates perfectly with all of your calendars to create a unified view of your work and personal lives. 


  • Spike AES256 Encryption – Stronger Security and Encryption than Outlook

    Digital security is becoming increasingly important, whether for personal data or company trade secrets, which is why Spike employs powerful AES256 encryption to keep your data out of less benevolent hands! For Spike users, encrypted mails are displayed instantly. For non-Spike users, they’re just a click away! Security is best when simple since it encourages greater use, and nothing could be simpler than Spikes encrypted emails. 

  • Outlook Signatures

    Spike does away with signatures, giving users a clean, conversational style interface where they can focus on what’s important rather than wading through a mess of text and poorly added logos. However, sometimes they can still be handy, especially when doing outreach where you want your branding visible, which is why Spike offers the best of both worlds. You can switch to a more traditional email view (with signatures) at any time or keep things clean with conversational email. 

  • Spike Voice Messaging – Easier Integration than Outlook

    Outlook’s recent voice messaging addition has its uses, but you have to remember to turn it on and it only works alongside Microsoft 365—so owners of older versions will be disappointed. Spike, however, has its voice messaging built right into the interface. Just click on the mic button within Spike and get down your thoughts in real time!

  • Spike Voice & Video Conferencing – Stop switching apps!

    Outlook doesn’t have built-in video calls, instead they make users switch to Teams, a whole other piece of software, every time they want to talk. There are a number of video conferencing alternatives out there for those looking for a dedicated platform, but Spike has folded video and voice calls right into your Inbox, meaning your team can seamlessly jump from text to teleconferencing with the click of a button.

Reasons to Choose Spike as Your Alternative to Outlook for Email (and Much More)

For anyone who’s tired of managing email in the conventional way, Spike brings you an entirely new approach that also packs in plenty of other useful features. Check out this handy comparison table and measure up Spike as an alternative to Outlook.







Priority Inbox provides streamlined email management along with customized views 

Traditional email inbox


Conversational Email makes your email chat-live,  giving you more human way to stay in touch with your contacts

Standard email messaging

Team Chat

Groups brings you the best way to collaborate with your team

Need to open another app 


Integrated calendar on the same screen as your email 


Works with iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Microsoft, etc. 

Separate screen for calendar features. Doesn’t work with iCloud calendars 


Encrypted Email Messaging using the AES256 protocol

Encryption through S/MIME


Advanced Search makes finding emails and attachments simple

Basic searching system 


Collaborative online Notes that are easily shared and updated in real-time 

Post-it style note system that is a bit old-fashioned


No collaboration on notes


Real-time task lists and to-dos built right into your inbox with collaborative functionality 

Personal task lists that are awkward to use 

Voice Messaging 

Built directly into the Spike interface. Easy to use. Perfect for getting your thoughts down quickly. 

Only available to MS 365 users. Needs to be switched on. 

Voice & Video Conferencing 

Built into Spike and ready to connect to as many contacts as you need!


No accounts needed for non Spike users Start or join a meeting from any email thread or team chat 

No voice and video calls. 

Account Color Coding 

Spike color codes all accounts, so it’s easy to manage multiple inboxes together 

Only works for senders, not for accounts 

Priority Inbox 

Important emails are surfaced to the top of your inbox while less important items like newsletters and receipts are in an “Other Inbox” 


Works with all email accounts

Focused Inbox is available only for Microsoft 365, Exchange, and Outlook.com accounts


Doesn’t work with Gmail, iCloud, etc. 



Spike Groups — An Alternative to Outlook’s CC Standard

Outlook’s group messaging functionality is definitely stuck in the past, still using the CC and BCC messaging format that’s been around forever. It’s done a job, but Spike has something altogether better. Groups brings the quickest and easiest way to collaborate with your team or chat with your friends. It works just like your favorite messaging app, with real-time replies and read-receipts, but also packs a punch. You’ll find powerful email features seamlessly integrated into your group chat, so you can fire-off instant replies or compose a more detailed message. But the best part? There’s no need to download a separate app to take advantage of Groups, it’s all built into Spike.


Other Outlook task alternatives, such as Calendar and File Manager also bring an extra level of functionality to Spike. Calendar allows easy organization of your schedule, bringing multiple calendars attached to your email addresses together on a single screen, whereas File Manager and our Advanced Search function keep all of your files together in one place. Need to find an old invoice you sent last year? Just type in a keyword (or even the person you sent it to), and Spike will display all your related files on a single, easy-to-navigate screen. It’s the simplest and most intuitive way to find all your data and documents.


A Clever Outlook Alternative That’s Got Your Back

The Spike app packs a punch—and as an Outlook alternative, it’s got your back. By constantly developing features that are designed to make your life easier, Spike’s committed to bringing email into the 21st century. But how you ask? Keep reading ?


Anyone who always forgets to proofread is going to love the fixing powers of Undo Send. Forgot an attachment? Don’t worry. Made a terrible typo? Relax (although not for too long). Undo Send allows you to stop a message from being sent within ten seconds of hitting that paper plane so you can fix your mistake before anyone realizes—it’s a kind of magic!


Next up, is a powerful Send Later function that’s made for people who want to be more organized than ever before. Send Later lets you get down your best thoughts as they come to you, allowing you to compose and email whenever those bright ideas illuminate your synapses. Don’t worry about disturbing your colleagues at 3AM, however, you can use Send Later to schedule your email to be sent at a more civilized time. Choose a time and date to suit or simply click the send later today, tomorrow, or next week options for lightning-fast email scheduling.



From Text to Video Meeting with the Click of a Button   

Email is still at the core of most business communication and a lot of private communication too, but people are increasingly using video conferencing to get things done. Outlook doesn’t have built-in video calls, instead making users switch to Teams, a whole other piece of software, every time they want to talk. There are a number of video conferencing alternatives out there for those looking for a dedicated platform, but Spike has folded video and voice calls right into your Inbox, meaning your team can seamlessly jump from text to teleconferencing with the click of a button. 


With Spike, it’s easy to start or join a meeting from any email thread or team chat. There’s no app switching, no context switching, no plugins, no accounts, no logins – it just works. Even if someone is using Outlook, Apple Mail, or Spark – they can quickly join a Spike Video Meeting to start chatting over video. It even works on mobile devices. 



Spike as an Outlook Alternative – Ready to Upgrade Your Inbox?  

For Microsoft fans who are ready to make a change, Spike’s Outlook alternative is available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android and accessible through your favorite web browser. Spike has continuously updated more innovative features designed to make your workday more fun, get on the same page as this incredible Outlook alternative today. 


Ready to get started? Download Spike today and sign in with your email account to get started. 


Last Updated On 03/26/2022  

Outlook Alternative FAQ's

The best Outlook alternative for you depends on whether you like old clunky email clients or full productivity apps that bring everything you need onto a single platform. That latter you say? Well, then check out all Spike has to offer today

There are many free alternatives to Outlook available, so this is mainly a question of what features you need from your email client. Spike, for example, offers all of its core features for completely free, including:

  •   Mobile, Desktop and Web apps
  •   Conversational email
  •   Spike Groups
  •   Video conferencing
  •   Advanced Search
  •   So much more! 

Despite misconceptions, you can get Microsoft Outlook on your mac, but it will cost you. Everyone knows that Outlook is really a Windows option, so if you or your team use different operating systems, it’s best to go with a program with native iOS and Mac apps. 

Tired of built-in email apps that lack any extra functionality? There are plenty of Microsoft Outlook alternatives for Android available. If you’re looking for a free, full-package productivity app that delivers emails in a modern way, check out how Spike can help

If you are already a Windows 10 user, don’t use any other devices, and don’t mind switching between different apps to check your calendar, chat, and call people, then it is worth considering Outlook. However, if you’re looking for a more streamlined app, then there are others out there

Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

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