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Today I'm presenting you with three power tips. Tips so sturdy, so reliable, and so easy to remember that I sort of feel bad that I haven't offered them up until now.
But I must confess: These tips came from a variety of places—I didn't just come up with them like magic—and so a couple of them are new to me, too.
Outlook is smart and I've been spending some time fooling around with this first fun little tip.
If you create an appointment or meeting request, instead of entering dates in start and end times, you can type things like "Next Thursday" or "Two weeks from now" and then press Enter, and Outlook will automatically fill in the date. Go on—try it!
From my research (which was quite fun), I deduced that while Outlook will recognize holidays that have a set date every year (Christmas, Halloween, Saint Patrick's Day), it won't recognize the ones that fluctuate (Easter, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving). However, if you know that your holiday is the "last Thursday in November" (Thanksgiving) or the "second Monday in October" (Columbus Day), type that description in the box and Outlook will retrieve it.
In any case, it's a pretty neat feature and I'm guessing you'll be ready for Memorial Day (last Monday in May) of 2012 soon enough...
I already knew how to turn ON this feature because I've been using it for years, since I work in one region of the country while many members of my team work in another. But a coworker of mine discovered a new use for it, as well.
You know you can choose to display more a second time zone in your calendar right? If you don't, it's simple:
The discovery: Back in the calendar, you'll see that two time zones are listed there and if you need to create a meeting or if you wonder why your contacts in Mumbai haven't been responding to your frantic morning email messages, well, you'll see that it may be 11 a.m. for you, but it's bed time for your coworker living there.
You're in the calendar. Maybe you're Week View or even Day View and you need to quickly jump to April 19, 2013. So do you change your view to Month View and start pushing those arrows to scroll through the months until you can home in on that date? You do not.
You simply press CTRL+G and type in that date. From there you can also choose how you want Outlook to display that date: In the Day, Week, Month, or Work Week Calendar.
I've got a gazillion more. How about you? Care to share below?
You can go to a date by entering a text description, like "Thanksgiving" or "next tuesday" (w/o the quotes). I use that in combination with the Ctrl + G (as in "go to") shortcut. So if I quickly want to go to Jan. 1, 2011, I'll press Ctrl + G, type "new years", then press Enter. If I want to go to Jan. 1, 2012, I'll press Ctrl + G, type "next new years", then press Enter. This works in Outlook 2010, 2007 and 2003.
Thanks "Software School." I actually didn't mean people had to add the quotation marks; those are just there for clarification. But apparently...not so much! I'll ponder this... You obviously have some chops here...how about some new tips for me/us?
P.S. I love the combining of the two tips.
Annik, I used the quotation marks because there's no rich formatting here to make the text bold, and didn't want beginners to get confused. As for chops, I co-authored 12 books of tips and shortcuts for Microsoft Office and Windows (www.nerdybooks.com) that are now hopelessly out-of-date, and I authored video training courses on Excel 2010 Essential Training and New Features, both for Lynda.com.
Two other cool Outlook tips:
1. You can see two folders at once, like Mail and Calendar. Right-click one of them (for example, the Mail button in the lower-left corner), then select Open in New Window. Now you'll have two Outlook windows that you can place side-by-side on your screen.
2. You can turn one type of item into another, like turn an e-mail into a calendar item. Drag an e-mail message onto the Calendar button in the lower-left corner, and a new appointment item will appear, with the content of the e-mail in the main box. I use that frequently when I need to act on an e-mail on a particular day. That way, I have all the info without having to copy and paste.
Like those! I'll bet some of the readers here didn't know about them... Thanks!
Perhaps I am not reading your post thoroughly, but your first tip seems not to work for me, or I am missing something. I use Office 2010 Pro, and when I open the "New Appointment" dialog box and enter the event as suggested, which is much like one would do in "Remember the Milk," and hit enter, the default time, which is automatically today's date and the next time segment set in options, that is the time and date entry on the calendar. If I try to do as suggested in the date/time lines, the program demands a correctly formatted date/time entry. What am I missing?
David: I'm not sure. I can get it to work from me (Outlook 2010 SP1), What have you tried to enter? Was it one of the examples I gave? Was it something else? Like I said, there ARE some th
ings it just doesn't *get*. Will you let me know? If you want, email me at email@example.com and we'll troubleshoot.
@Software School: Interested in providing a blog post for us? We'd link back to you.... Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll tawk.
Like your calendar tips! An even easier way to add another time zone is just to right-click on the times (not in the calendar), and choose 'change time zone' and then add your second time zone while in there.
After you've selected your second time zone, you can choose to 'swap time zones' and have the second time zone as your 'main' time zone. This could be helpful if you want to 'live' in the second time zone for awhile.
David: you should be able to type a time in almost any format into the time field. For example, if you just type "9" into the start time, it should reformat at 9:00 AM. If you're having trouble, press the Tab key to push the cursor out of the time field, so Outlook has a chance of correcting what you type. Also, if All Day Event is selected, you can't enter any time of day.
Loved the Calendar tips! The CTRL+G and the second time zone is much more efficient than the way I was doing it.. Thank you for sharing!
In outlook 07 or 10 - is there a way to create a shortcut to a public folder calendar?
My user wants the shortcut nested under the users mailbox calendar?