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How to Write a Quick Note in Outlook 2013

A note is the only type of item you can create in Outlook 2013 that doesn’t use a normal dialog box with menus, Ribbons, or toolbars. Notes are easier to use — but somewhat trickier to explain — than other Outlook items. No name appears on the Note icon, and no name exists for the part of the note you drag when you want to resize it.

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The funny thing about stick-on notes is that they came from an inventor’s failure. A scientist was trying to invent a new formula for glue, and he came up with a kind of glue that didn’t stick very well. Like the computer scientists who came later, he said, “That’s not a bug; that’s a feature!”

Then he figured out how to make a fortune selling little notes that didn’t stick too well. It’s only natural that an invention like this would be adapted for computers.

Here’s the basic scoop on how to take virtual notes while doing your work:

  1. Click the Notes button in the Navigation pane (or press Ctrl+5).

    The Notes list appears.

    You don’t actually have to go to the Notes module to create a new note; you can press Ctrl+Shift+N and then skip to Step 3. Go to the Notes module first only so that you can see your note appear in the list of notes when you finish. Otherwise, your note seems to disappear into thin air (even though it doesn’t).

    Outlook automatically files your note in the Notes module unless you make a special effort to send it somewhere else.

  2. Click the New Note button.

    The blank note box appears.

  3. Type what you want to say in your note, and click the Note icon in the upper-left corner of the note.

    The first line of each note is the title or subject. You can use the first line creatively to help find a note or to review quickly the topics you have in your note pile.

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  4. Press Esc.

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