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In Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Alicia Katz Pollock provides a comprehensive overview of the full-featured email, calendar, and scheduling application from Microsoft. The course covers the key fundamentals of the program, including sending and receiving email, creating and managing contacts, and scheduling tasks and appointments. It also covers Outlook 2011 organizational features such as the Media Browser, Conversation view, My Day, the Scrapbook, and more.
My Day is a time management utility that's a separate program integrated fully into Outlook. It provides a minimal calendar and task list that you can leave open even if Outlook is completely closed. My Day is available either in Outlook's main toolbar or if you go to the Tools Ribbon, it's the first button. I will go ahead and click on it. You can also use the keyboard combination Command+9 and from the Finder it's in your Applications folder in Microsoft Office 2011 in the Office folder under My Day.
The top half of My Day shows you today's calendar. You can scroll up and down, use these arrows in the upper left-hand corner to move forward and back in time, and use the diamond in the middle to go back to Today. My Day does not have a week or month view. It really is designed to manage your day. Click on an appointment to see all the details. If you want more information about that appointment or meeting click Open Event and Outlook will open that appointment or meeting in its own window, so you can see all the details.
I'll go ahead and close it and I'll go back My Day. In the bottom half of the window you'll see the list of all the tasks specifically due today, so that you can work your way down the list. When you've completed a task, click the box in front of it to add a checkmark and make it disappear. If you click on the Completed button, you can look back on those checked items to see everything that you've achieved today. I'll go back to today's tasks. You can vary the proportion of the calendar and the tasks by dragging these three bars on the right up and down.
You can add tasks to My Day by clicking on this plus sign in the lower left corner. Enter in the task title. If you want to set a due date, click on the date to change it and choose it from the calendar. If you don't want a due date at all, simply click the little round X to blank out the field. If you would like to add any notes, put them here, and if you would like to assign the task to a category, you can either start typing it here and it will auto fill, or you can use the gear on the far right to choose off of the Categories list.
When you're done click Save. Note that while you can add tasks to My Day right from My Day, you can only add calendar items to it through Outlook's regular interface. If you want to hide the Tasks list and see just the calendar click on this checkmark down in the bottom middle. The next button gives you the ability to search for contact without opening Outlook. Start typing the information in the search oval. You can drop down this first button to search the entire contact or just the names and you can also search your entire contacts list or if you have several, you can choose to search just one.
Once the contact appears you can view everything you have about the person. If you want to start an email or create a new meeting and invite them to attend, that's as easy as clicking these buttons. Outlook will open up a new message or create a new meeting automatically. Once you're done with the contact, go back down to the search oval and click the X in the right corner. The gear in the bottom right corner of My Day takes you to its preferences, which you can also access from the My Day menu and Preferences.
The first option, Show My Day in menu bar, will allow you to see a little icon for My Day right up here. You can also have it show My Day in your dock or not. There's a keyboard command for showing and hiding the My Day window, Ctrl+M. You can have My Day open automatically when you start up your computer and if you click Always display My Day on top, then even when you're in Outlook or another program the pane will stay on top of all your other windows. When I click on Calendars I have the choice of calendars to show.
I can show all of them or just certain ones. Where it says Show events with "Free" status, if you have events on your calendar where you're showing that you have something going on but it's not marked as busy, those will appear as well. Now I will go to the Tasks. Let me close my Contacts and open up my Tasks so you can see how this gets affected. I can include my flagged messages and flagged contacts, I can include my overdue items or not. I can also include items that have no due dates set.
This is nice because then all of the tasks on my list will appear. When you create a new task, you can have the default start date be today or none at all and you can also set a default calendar. You can have it attached to any one of your email addresses. You can also set the keyboard shortcut to create a new task, Ctrl+Shift+T. I will close these preferences and I'll close it and reopen it. If you are the type of person who keeps your email closed to prevent distraction using My Day can help you keep tabs on your time and your priorities in an elegant useful interface.
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