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The Living in Outlook series is about sharing tips and workflows around real-world scenarios. We’ll start the conversation with a topic – you can add to it by posting your tips and workflows in the comments!
Most of the time, I keep my Outlook Calendar in week view so that I can quickly glance at my schedule. Unfortunately, this isn’t very useful around the end of the week when I really want to see the beginning of next week as well:
For example, next week I have an important meeting on Monday – but the default Week View doesn’t help me see it.
I solve this problem by switching into Day View and holding down CTRL while clicking the next few dates in the date picker (I could also hold down CTRL then click and drag over several dates). The Calendar then displays the selected dates. In this case, the Calendar now shows the end of the current week and the first part of the next week!
Selected dates don’t even need to be next to each other. Hold down CTRL and click the next few Thursdays in the date picker. Now I can see events on Thursday for the whole month!
Did you find this tip useful? Do you have another way to solve this problem? Let us know!
Tom O’NeillOutlook Program Manager
Why don't you just add an option that says show today and next X days?
Another tip is to use ALT-9 or 8 when viewing the calendar. This will change the view to a 9 or 8 day view.
David - Thanks for the suggestion! It's something we're considering for the next version of Outlook. Kurt - Great tip! Thank you! Tom
This is kind of related...but it would be great if outlook allowed the selection of random days when creating appointments, like I have meeting ABC on 11/3, 11/5, 11/20, 11/21....
Yes nice, but come on, that's just a little gimmick. I use the journal a lot for keeping track of the tasks I'm working on and maintaining a time record. Unfortunately the journal leaves a lot to be desired. You can use your categories to tag your tasks to various projects, but your options of generating reports are limited. The default type for a new entry is telephone call which for some reason is among the less often used choices (I use task most often). However there doesn't seem to be a way to link the tasks defined under tasks with the ones in the journal and the automatic recording of work is very crude. It could for example automatically record the time I'm spending on writing an E-Mail (not just when I receive an e-mail or send one, which only works part of the time and only with the main Exchange account, not with any extra IMAP/POP accounts that I have). Having tasks and being able to add hours to them and description of what has been done would improve the whole work managing part of Outlook a lot.
I would also like to be able to see how much hours I worked on a task and how much hours in a given category (project) in which week. I want to allocate a certain number of hours to the tasks I'm doing and then when I book my time to these tasks want to have the progress displayed. Does anybody ever use the "percent finished" in the tasks? It's not shown anywhere as completion status. Currently when I want to do my statistic, I have to manually open all the entries from the last day and sum in my head the minutes having to deal with different time formats, e.g. 76 minutes, 1.1 hours to write them down in a book. I could use Excel for that, but I haven't had time to create a spreadsheet yet. I want statistics after every week and upon request automatically, the whole journal can be made a lot more with some better integration.
Matt - Great suggestion! That's also something we're considering for the next version of Outlook.
I agree, a new view button for a week-type view of "next x days" would be very helpful. Google Calendar has this and I use it 95% of the time. They even let you customize how many days in the future--I use 4. MS could top Google and let us customize a view for x days in the future and x days in the past!
Great tip, but I find that when I select a specific range of weeks to view (in month view), I cannot "pin" that view so that it shows up the next time I return to calendar. The view flexibility is great--but seems to only offer a temporary view. Hope that makes sense....
It would be helpful to me to create a view of the whole year in Outlook or to see several months at once as another option for planning (Multi-Month Calendar View).
I'm more of a keyboard person so I do roughly the same thing by pressing Alt+7, which gives a week starting from today. Isn't Alt+[number] the same thing David West is asking for? Sounds like another existing feature that just needs to be better exposed :o)
Don - It sounds like you're looking for something closer to a project management solution. Have you tried Business Contact Manager? It's an add-in for Outlook that does a lot of what you're looking for. Free trial of Business Contact Manager: office.microsoft.com/.../HA101759211033.aspx
Thanks for the link, however this solution is too contact oriented, also I'm not interested in generating money. I'm rather looking for something like a time recording solution, but without any billing features. I'm just an IT professional working on different projects in research/education business and would like to be able to view how much time I spend each day on which projects, which tasks I have to do and how much time I've already invested therein, how much time is left and track progress. You may be right that I am trying to achieve this with the wrong tool, but I think the journal coupled with Outlook tasks has potential to do this. I'm using tasks and the calendar a lot, especially because they sync with my mobile phone, so I can keep track of what I have to do even when the computer is not near me. I'd be interested to hear how the Outlook team uses the Outlook journal.
Personally, I do not use the Journal. When I need to track hours on projects and generate reports, I often use Excel. That might be your best bet. Tom O'Neill
Outlook Program Manager
When I need to record my time against various project headings, I find the Outlook calendar most useful. I categorize activity such as pre-planned meetings against my various projects. Each week I 'back fill' and adjust my calendar using the Work Week view to make sure all project tasks time is recorded. A benefit of this approach is you can easily see unaccounted-for gaps and also make sure you do not double-record time - potentially a problem verging on fraud! I then use a custom view containing the 'right' columns and rows and paste it onto my pre-supplied project accounting speadsheets. (There are a less well-known calendar fields such as 'billing information' and 'mileage' you can also use).
Great tip! I've always struggled with the Friday/Monday view problem. Any tricks for multiple outlook calendar synchronization with a single blackberry?