Since I’m in the corporate world now, my Mac is one out of possibly as few as ten Macs working in a Windows-only environment. That being said, I’m essentially left on my own to figure out hacks and other workarounds to be productive.

My employer’s email, like many others in corporate America, runs off an Exchange Server. Since our version of Exchange isn’t supported by Office 365 (not to mention I don’t have an Office 365 account) I am left with running Outlook 2011 for Mac rather than the freshly-released Outlook 2016.

The built-in notifications in Outlook 2011 for Mac are well, basically ugly, and you cannot force them to persist on screen, so I’ve designed a way to incorporate Outlook 2011 notifications into OSX’s Notification Center (with a few caveats).

1. Download

First, download the repository from GitHub. You will need to save the repository (or at least the notify.scpt file) to a location that will not change over time, as you will be referencing it within an Outlook rule.

2. Install terminal-notifier

Next, install terminal-notifier on your Mac. The easiest way to install terminal-notifier is to open up the Terminal app on your Mac and carry out the installation through RubyGems:

$ sudo gem install terminal-notifier

Otherwise, follow the installation instructions from the repository’s README.

3. Create the Outlook Rule

Open the Outlook application on your Mac. In Outlook’s menu, navigate to Message > Rules > Edit Rules...

  1. On the left, select the email account type.
    • (Depending on your email account(s), or if using Exchange, your company’s server(s), your selection here will vary depending on your configuration.)
  2. Click the + on the bottom right to add a new rule.
  3. Give the new rule a name (e.g. “Notification Center”).
  4. Under the heading “When a new message arrives:
    • Add All Messages and make sure the selection on the right reads “If all conditions are met”.
  5. Under the heading “Do the following:
    • Choose Run AppleScript and then with the Script... file selector, select the notify.scpt file downloaded and saved in Step 1.
  6. Ensure “Do not apply other rules to messages that meet these conditions” is left unchecked, and “Enabled” is selected.

When finished, your Outlook rule should look like the screenshot shown below. Once everything looks correct, click “Ok” to save your rule.

Outlook 2011 Rule for Notification Center

4. Options

Customize the type of notifications to display (e.g. ‘Banners’ or ‘Alerts’) for the customized Outlook notifications on your Mac: System Preferences > Notifications > Microsoft Outlook
Clicking on either notification type will open/restore Outlook’s main window.

Caveats

  1. Although terminal-notifier allows for customization of the notification’s icon, the provided method does not currently work in OSX 10.10
  2. Clicking on the notification (Banner or Alert) will open/restore Outlook’s main window. There is currently no way to tie a script to the specific notification that triggered the notification, therefore it is not currently possible (if you know differently, please correct me in the comments) to manipulate the specific message outside of adding extra components within the Outlook rule you created in Step 3.