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Automatically Updating Your Journal in Outlook 2000

Stardate 2001: On Star Trek, the captain of the starship Enterprise faithfully makes daily entries in the captain's log. The captain records information about the planets the crew has explored, the aliens they've battled, and the bizarre phenomena they've observed out in deep space, where no one has gone before!

Now it's your turn. Just like the captain of the Enterprise, you can record your daily interactions with strange beings in bizarre environments under stressful circumstances, even if the strange beings are all in your own office. The Outlook Journal is your captain's log.

Undoubtedly, the high muckity-mucks of the galaxy use the captain's log for terribly important things, but your Journal serves you more directly. Sometimes, when you need to find a document or a record of a conversation, you don't remember what you called the document or where you stored it, but you do remember when you created or received the item. In this case, you can go to the Journal and check the date when you remember dealing with the item and find what you need to know.

To get good use from the Journal, you need to use it, though. You can set Outlook to make journal entries for nearly everything you do, or you can shut the Journal off entirely and make no entries to it. If you put nothing in the Journal, you get nothing out.

What's the easiest way to make entries in the Journal? Do nothing. The Journal automatically records any document you create, edit, or print in any Office 2000 application. The Journal also automatically tracks e-mail messages, meeting requests and responses, and task requests and responses. In the future, programs other than the Microsoft Office suite may have the capability to make entries in the Journal, but right now, that feature is limited to Office 2000 programs.

There's a catch: You have to tell Outlook that you want automatic Journal recording turned on. Fortunately, if you haven't activated the Journal's automatic recording feature, Outlook 2000 asks you whether you want to turn the feature on every time you click the Journal icon.

To turn on the Journal's automatic recording feature, follow these steps:

1. Choose Tools-->Options.

The Options dialog box appears.

2. Click the Journal Options button.

The Journal Options dialog box appears (see Figure 1) with check boxes for all the types of activities that you can record automatically and the names of all the people for whom you can automatically record transactions, such as e-mail.

figure

Figure 1: The Journal Options dialog box.

3. Click to place a check in the check box for those items and files you want to automatically record and for the contacts about whom you want the information recorded.

The list of people in the For These Contacts box is the same as the list of people in your Contact list. You can manually create Journal entries for people who are not in your Contact list.

When you add names to your Contact list in the Contacts module, those names aren't set for automatic recording in the Journal. You either need to check the name in the Journal Options dialog box or open the Contact record, click the Journal tab, and check Automatically Record Journal Entries for These Contacts.

4. Click OK.

The Journal automatically records those items and files you selected for the contacts you named.

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