How to Keep a Journal in Outlook

By Bill Dyszel

To get good use from the Journal in Outlook, you have to use it (details, details . . .). 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 in it. If you put nothing in the Journal, you get nothing out.

In previous versions of Outlook, you could record everything automatically, but that feature is no longer supported in Outlook 2016. You must enter selected items manually:

  • Create a Journal entry.

  • Drag an item to the Journal folder.

For example, you may not want to record every transaction with a prospective client until you’re certain you’re doing business with that client. You can drag relevant email messages to the Journal for a record of serious inquiries. When you actually start doing business with a new client, you can set up automatic recording.

To manually record items in the Journal, follow these steps:

  1. Click Folders in the Navigation pane (or press Ctrl+6).

    The Folder list, which has a small icon for the Journal, appears in the Navigation pane.

  2. Drag the item you want to record (such as an email message or a task) to the Journal icon in the Folder list.

    The Journal Entry form shows an icon that represents the item you’re recording, along with the item’s name.

  3. Fill in the information you want to record.

    You don’t have to record anything. The text box at the bottom of the screen gives you space for making a note to yourself if you want to use it.

  4. Click the Save & Close button.

    The item you recorded is entered in the Journal. You can see your new entry when you view your Journal.

Sometimes, when you want 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.