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Rediscover the robust task management features in Microsoft Outlook 2010. Author Gini Courter explains the difference between Outlook tasks and To-Do Lists, and shows how to use Outlook 2010 to handle both business and personal schedules, from making appointments, to creating and completing tasks, to color-coding calendars and tasks for at-a-glance review.
In order to use Outlook to organize your time, you'll need to know how to add appointments and meetings to the Outlook Calendar, even if you're already used to using the Outlook Calendar there are some techniques that will help you more quickly create appointments. And when you spend less time organizing your work, you can have more time to actually do your work. There are three basic types of items that you create in the Outlook Calendar. The first is an appointment, and you create it here, New Appointment, and it's used to schedule your time. When we add others to an appointment we have a Meeting, and the third type of item can be just for yourself or for yourself and others, but it's called an Event.
And the difference between a regular appointment or a meeting and an event is that an event is an all-day item. For example, a day spent at a conference or a vacation day. All three appointments, meetings and events are created using the same form, which is called the Outlook Appointment Form, and there are different ways that you can easily create the form. In the calendar right here you can hold Ctrl and hit the letter N and that will open up a new form. So because I'm in the Calendar, here somewhere, Ctrl+N opens a new appointment form.
If I were in the Mailbox, Ctrl+ N would open a new mail form. Any place that I'm in Outlook though, if I'm in mail for example or if I am in Contacts and I want to quickly open up an appointment form, I can hold Ctrl+Shift and then hit the letter A for Appointment. So Ctrl+Shift+A works no matter where I am as long as I'm somewhere in Outlook. And then finally, another choice is that I can double-click somewhere in the calendar. So if I am in the calendar and I know I want to create an appointment, a meeting or an event, I can click or double-click to open that same form.
When I do I'm making a choice. For example, when I double-click on the 15th, I get a form set up for the 15th. When I double-click on the 12th, I get a form set up for the 12th. But it's a quick way to open up the form. So let's go ahead and open a form again, and I'm going to fill-in some information. You can type a Subject and Location, you can use Copy and Paste to enter a Subject and a Location, so my Subject is going to be a Board meeting. If I have rooms that are available, conference rooms for example, this list may be being populated by my exchange server.
So in that case I'll want to choose, because choosing Warehouse Conference Room from a list is different than typing in warehouse room, which may not match the choices that are on the list. So in your organization if locations are being set up more as resources as different rooms you could use, then you will want to choose from the list, but I'm simply going to choose the conference room and the Warehouse works just fine for me. Then I can choose a date and there are different ways to do this. This is an event, and the reason it's an event is I opened up a form here in the calendar, and when I do that in the calendar in a month view, I automatically get an All day event.
So first, if I don't want this to last all day, and believe me I don't, it's a Board meeting, I can change this, and choose the exact time of day. So this is a meeting that's actually scheduled from 3:00 till 5:00, so we will go grab those times. That works well, and then the day of the week. Now I can choose a date or I can type a date, different ways to do that. To choose I simply click the Down Arrow and that opens up a Date Picker. I can then select a month by clicking the arrows, Previous Month, Next Month, or if I want to move forward or backward several months I can click on the month name itself, and for example, scroll down to May or back up to February.
So this gives me the ability to move more quickly than having to click on the next month arrows over-and-over again. So I can choose a particular day. I can type a day, so if I wanted this same day, I can type it in, and that works. Notice I didn't have to type Thursday and I shouldn't. I should simply type the date, and I don't even have to type the 2011, it will pick up the current year. So if I do for example, 12/23, it will figure out what day it is. It will look that up for me. Outlook is really smart about dates though, so I'm not stuck with choosing from the Date Picker or typing a date.
I can also type dates using what's called natural language dates. So if I know for example, that I want to do this next Friday I could just type Next Friday. I don't need to look on the calendar, Outlook will look on the calendar and say, ah! I know what day next Friday is, or I know what day tomorrow is or I know what day two weeks from today is. So by simply typing in a relationship to the current date or a day that Outlook absolutely knows, a holiday for example that doesn't move. So if I put in Christmas Day Outlook will grab the closest Christmas Day to today, Christmas doesn't move so that works pretty well.
And Cinco de mayo also doesn't move, so there is Cinco de mayo in 2012, that will work really well. What about dates that do move, what about thanksgiving? Well, so much for that. We don't know when thanksgiving is without looking it up, neither actually does Outlook. It needs a little bit more help with that. Even if you type-in for example, U.S. thanksgiving, so it's not confused about U.S. or Canadian, it says, I know what to do with this. Good thought, but I will go back to Cinco de mayo, because I knew when that was. So for dates that don't change, holidays that are the same year-after-year or dates that you can enter relative to today, two days from today, two days prior to today, yesterday, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or dates that you can talk about on a day relative basis, a week from this Friday, a week from tomorrow, the first Thursday in December.
Those kinds of dates Outlook knows exactly what to do with. So you don't need to grab a calendar and look up a date in order to fill out an appointment form. The other area that's here in this form for you, is a place where you can enter all kinds of additional information if you would like to. So this is a place to add notes, so you can copy and paste into this area as well. When you're finished entering information about your board meeting, I actually want to move this back because the board meeting is actually not on Cinco de mayo, the board meeting is tomorrow. I've got it all set, it looks good and I'm going to save the appointment form.
If I don't save this I will be prompted to save it. So I am going to say, Yes, I want to save changes and you'll note that the Board meeting appears right here on the 15th on my calendar.
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