How to View Notes in Outlook

By Bill Dyszel

Notes in Outlooke are handy enough to stash tidbits of information any way you want, but what makes notes really useful is what happens when you need to get the stuff back. You can open your notes one by one and see what’s in them, but Outlook’s Notes module offers even handier arranging, sorting, and viewing options. Decide what makes sense for you.

Icon view

Some folks like the Icon view — just a bunch of notes scattered all over, as they are on your desk. Some people prefer organized lists for viewing their notes on their computers, but you may like the more free-form Icon view. To use the Icon view, click the Icon button in the Current View section on the Ribbon, as shown in the following image. When you do, the screen fills with a bunch of icons and incredibly long titles for each icon.

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Outlook uses the first line of your message as the title of the icon, so the screen gets cluttered fast. If you prefer creative clutter, this view is for you. If not, keep reading.

Notes List view

The Notes List view is as basic as basic gets. Just the facts, ma’am. The Notes List view shows the subject and creation date of each note. To see the Notes List view, click the words Notes List in the Current View section of the Navigation pane to list your notes, as shown in the following image.

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The Notes List view is recommended for opening, forwarding, reading, and otherwise dealing with notes because it’s the most straightforward. Anything you can do to a note in the Notes List view can be done in the other Notes views. The difference is that the other views don’t always let you see the note to which you want to do things.

Last 7 Days view

The notes you’ve dealt with in the last few days are most likely to be the notes you’ll need today. Outlook has a special view of the notes you changed in the last seven days. To see your notes for the last seven days, click the words Last 7 Days in the Current View section on the Ribbon.

If you haven’t changed any notes in the past seven days, Last 7 Days view will be empty. If having an empty view bothers you, create a note. That’ll tide you over for a week.

The Reading pane

Outlook notes aren’t all that tough to read — just click the Notes button in the Navigation pane and read away. If you tend to write lengthy notes and need to see the full text of your notes regularly, you can open the Reading pane by clicking the View tab and choosing Reading Pane. When you do that, any note you select will enlarge to fill half the screen.