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We’ve heard many of our customers say that they “Live in Outlook” – that they spend most of their work day using Outlook to help get their job done and organize all of their communications. It goes without saying that the folks on the Outlook Product Team here in Redmond live in Outlook too!
We’re happy to begin a series of blog posts that show you how we, the product team, live in Outlook every day. We’ll share our tips, tricks, and workflows for everyday scenarios that help make Outlook even more useful.
This relationship, however, isn’t one-way. We really want to hear how you live in Outlook. After each post in this series, we encourage you to post a comment with your tips and workflows around the same scenario. Sharing your Outlook tricks and reading about others is a great way to get even more out of Outlook.
Keep in mind that there’s often more than one way to do the same thing. If your workflow differs from that of a post on this blog, it’s okay! These posts are just about how some people have learned to use Outlook in clever ways here at Microsoft.
We hope you enjoy the new posts.
One additional issue with the Outlook calendar is that when you first open it on the monthly view it shows the current day at the bottom of the page. This gives the user full view of the calendar events that have already past and only 7 days or less of what is going to happen. Can it be set to open with the current day in the top line, thus showing the coming 30 or so days below it?
I LOVE Outlook! I'm also the king of Outlook plug-ins. My favorite one is ClearContext which really helps me organize my incoming mail. I also use Xobni to help manage communication with Contacts. I used to have the LinkedIn plug-in and I really like their dashboard, but performance suffers so badly with it that I had to uninstall it. Among others I use: - Tablet Enhancements for Outlook (TEO) -- This is one you all at Microsoft should have written (or just bought from the author). It makes Outlook really useable on a Tablet PC. - Plaxo toolbar -- I really like that if one of my contacts changes their information, it'll automatically get changed in my Contacts. Another feature that you all should adopt. - Jello Dashboard -- a quick and easy Getting Things Done (GTD) enabler. I don't use GTD as much as I should, but Jello is pretty slick. - NewsGator -- I use this for some of my RSS feeds that the built-in RSS reader can't handle. Specifically, LiveJournal feeds which require digest authentication, which the built-in RSS tool just won't do. By the way, one neat feature of NewsGator that you all ought to steal for the built-in tool is that tags in the RSS entries are automatically converted to Outlook categories and, when they match one of my pre-defined categories, they are appropriately color-coded. Slick! So yes, I use Outlook not only for email but for RSS as well, which means I spend most of my day in it. I also use a hosted Exchange account, so that my desktop, Tablet PC, and Windows Mobile phone always stay in sync with each other.
Perry – It sounds like you’ve found some effective ways to extend Outlook’s functionality – thanks for sharing! Tom O'Neill, Outlook Program Manager
I love Outlook. I run a new construction business from my home and it is awesome. I have just started using One Note and cant live without it. Any other blogs/sites/tips on One Note I would love. Thanks.
I too live in Outlook. It is an important tool and use it constantly to communitcate ideas with my clients as well as share information with team members. I entire team recently converted to Office 2007. While our team is enjoying learnng about the new features in Outlook we have two issues that may cause us to return to Outlook 2003 or look into another email reader. Our team create and shares graphics. Often these are animated BMP or GIF files. Outlook 2007 does display animated files. Nor does it have a Save As or Save Picture when an embedded graphic is right clicked. We have discovered the work arounds but they cumbersome. We are sure these features were removed for security reasons but these are important for our ease of use. It our hopes that these options are soon resstored.
David - Since your team does a lot of work with graphics, your best bet is probably to set up a shared document repository – I suggest SharePoint. This will not only make sharing easy, but it will also provide useful features like version tracking! And the best part is, SharePoint integrates with Outlook! If you have a moment, you might want to look into SharePoint. Tom O'Neill, Outlook Program Manager
Hi, there. I just wanted to rescue a feature that seems to be deemphasized in later versions and it's the Journal folder. Few people use it, I know. However, I've found it very useful for taking notes and also for time tracking events. Whenever I enter a meeting, answer a phone call or even start a conversation with a customer or a colleage, I create a new journal entry, which automatically stamps the current time and date. I use it to take notes from the meeting or conversation, and later I can use the notes as a base for a formal report. I even sort of data mine my journal folder. I can search words and easily come up with notes from conversations that took place some time ago. I also save my Communicator and MSN Messenger chat sessions in a separate journal folder, which also allows me to search them. I do agree the feature of saving copies of Office documents in journal entries consumed too much space, but for taking notes it's great. I hope it's still there in future versions, and also in OWA 2007 SP2. Thanks
I like Outlook, I also use Outlook all days to manage my email on SharePoint. So I can't leave Outlook. About the tool integrated Outlook for SharePoint,You can visit www.nsynergy.com/.../About_myDocs.aspx or mail to Mark.Davis@nsynergy.com for more imformation.
Just looked at Email Prioritizer from OfficeLabs. Good to know that another user sees this working ok with Outlook Connector. This really could be excellent even in non-Exchange accounts. All I'm looking for is a setting or macro in Outlook that makes it harder to check my mail except at specified times. (It could be structured as an event in your calendar, to allow for shifts in your schedule.) Something that just spits out a dialogue box saying, "Sorry, bub. You said you weren't going to check email again until 3pm." And at 3pm, the emails are updated. For that matter, Outlook (or Windows) really needs a simple project timer. I'm actually surprised that by Vista, this was never included. (The only thing resembling it is the Windows Update 'restart' nag screen.) The project timer should both be something with task / screen interrupt dialogue to get you out of your hyperfocus when needed, but also vaguely like WatchMe (see the link), plus tracking time on projects and automatically filing the info with that project/contact in Outlook. Perhaps in the Journal? Here's WatchMe
As a a partner in a new small business Outlook is our communications lifeline. I have noticed that in the information bar on the bottom of the page when I am sending messages the count is always off by 1. For example, if I have 2 messages in the Outbox the information shows Sending "n" of 3 messages.
I am having problems sending mail. All messages go to outbox and I can't send them
I absolutely live in Outlook! But I have one major problem that causes me all kinds of time problems. I use the rules feature extensively, and have no problem with setting them up to run correctly. However, for some reason many messages correctly go to the proper folder in the rule then duplicate and stay in the inbox. Any suggestions?