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What Is Outlook 2007 Journal and How Do I Use It?

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/6/2011

Some of the features in Outlook 2007 Journal have been replaced in contacts, but some folks still might find Journal invaluable.

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    Advantages of Using Outlook's Journal

    Journal tracks e-mail messages associated with a contact and Microsoft Office documents. The Activities page for a contact also provides this information. If you want to track documents, you would probably benefit most from Journal. For tracking contacts and e-mails, Activities is the better choice since it requires no action on your part.

    Journal tracks the time spent on Microsoft 2007 Office documents including Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Word.

    Outlook automatically records activities with these documents and displays them in a timeline. Open Journal to view Journal Options. Journal, however, doesn't appear in the Navigation Pane. You can add the Journal icon to appear at the bottom of the pane along with Tasks, Notes, Folder List and Shortcuts.

    To add Journal, click the down arrow on the bottom of the Navigation Pane and select "Navigation Pane Options". Click the Journal icon to receive a message to turn on the Journal. Click "Yes" to get to the Journal Options window where you can set up a recording.

    Note that Journal Options lists the Microsoft applications loaded on the computer. The Activities page for a Contact does the same thing "Automatically record these items" does without setting up anything. The following steps help you use Journal to track e-mail, notes, task, documents and other activities:

    1. Click Options from the Tools menu.
    2. Click Journal Options from the Preferences tab.
    3. Select the items you want to automatically record, if any.
    4. Select the contacts that you want Journal to record, if any.
    5. Select files that you want to record, if any.
    6. Click OK twice to exit the Options windows.

    Note: Rather than opening a document that Journal tracks through the document's application, open it through Journal. Open the Journal entry and click the file. If you want to keep a document open when you're not working on it, click Start Timer or Pause Timer to manage time tracking.

    If you accidentally keep the timer running longer than the actual activity, you can change the duration. Open the Journal entry, select the number and type in the new number in the Duration box. Click the arrow next to Duration for duration options ranging from ten minutes to two weeks.

    Journal views work like any Outlook tool. Change the view by selecting the view from the Navigation Pane. You can add new groups and customize views. Select a Journal item to assign categories and click Categorize from the Action menu to choose the category. Repeat the step to add another category.

    You can't associate a Journal item with a contact from within Journal's folder, but you can do it from the Contacts folder using the following steps:

    1. Click Contacts and select a contact without opening it.
    2. Select Create from the Actions menu and click New Journal Entry for Contact.
    3. Select the Entry type.
    4. Switch to the Insert tab and click Attach Item to attach an existing Journal item.
    5. Click the Journal folder from the Insert Item list and select the item from the Items list.
    6. Select the option of how you want the file inserted from the Insert as list, and click OK.
    7. Click Save & Close from the Journal Entry tab.

    You create any kind of Journal entry, and attach files even if they don't exist in Journal. Use the Journal Entry tabs to insert files, tables, illustrations and more as well as start and stop the timer.

    Use the search box from within Journal's folder to search Journal entries.

    Printed Journal entries resemble a printed e-mail message. They include headers indicating the file name, document type and times.

    As typical of printing, select the Journal item and click Print from the File menu.



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