How to Mark Outlook Appointments as Complete

By standss · Comments ( 6 ) Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Outlook lets you mark your tasks as complete so there should be same easy steps to mark appointments as complete too right?

Well NOT!!!

It turns out that there is no built-in way to mark appointments as complete BUT…

Here is a simple workaround that will change the color of the appointments so you know it has been completed (I have used the color RED to mark my appointments as complete)

outlook as complete

Here’s the steps to change the color of the appointments: (The instructions below are for Outlook 2007 and above only)

The color of the appointments in Outlook 2007 and above is handled using categories so the first step is to create a new category that indicates Complete:

  • Go to your Calendar.
  • Right-Click over any existing appointment.
  • Click Categorize and then click All Categories
  • Click the New button.
  • Enter a name for the category (I used the word Complete), choose a Color and click OK.
  • Click OK again to return to the Calendar screen.

This will now change the color of the appointment to what you had selected.

Now to mark any appointment as complete:

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Categorize and click on the Complete (the category which you created) category again

In case you mark an appointment as complete by mistake, you can do the following to change it:

  • Right-click on the calendar item
  • Click Categorize and click on the Complete category again (or click on Clear All Categories).

Using this method to color your appointments lets you easily see which ones still need your attention and which ones are completed.

You could even use different categories (colors) to indicate different things for example you could have a category for important appointments or another for causal meetings etc.

I hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of better ways to manage your appointments or work, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.

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Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 6 )

Why Scroll when you can jump directly to a Date in Outlook Calendar

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Here is a quick shortcut that lets you jump directly to a particular date in outlook calendar rather than scrolling through the week or month view to get to that date.

This is one of my favorite’s shortcuts as it saves a lot of time when getting to a future date to schedule future appointments/meeting.

This shortcuts works in Outlook 2013 and earlier versions as well.

Here’s the steps:

  • Go to the Outlook Calendar
  • Press CTRL+G on the keyboard. This should display the Go To Date pop-up as shown below:

Go to Date

  • You can select the date you wish to jump to using the drop now. What makes it even better is that it recognizes normal English words as well for example “Tomorrow”, “Two days later”, “second Monday of August” etc…
  • You can choose the view in which the date should show from the Show in: drop down
  • Click OK or Press Enter

The calendar will now display the date that you entered.

Do you know of other shortcuts in Outlook to get things done faster?

Let us know by leaving a comment on this blog.

How to backup your Outlook Data file (To avoid data loss)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Microsoft Outlook is the most common email client used by thousands of users around the world.

For most users, it is the central place for storing all your emails, appointments/tasks, contact details etc so… how often do you remember to maintain and backup your datafile?

Very few Outlook users know until it is too late that… Outlook does NOT by default save your email, task and calendar data in a folder that you would ever think of backing up.

Unless you are in a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folder file called PST (Personal Storage Table).

  • This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
  • This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
  • (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.

If this file becomes damaged or corrupted, this could hamper the normally operation of Outlook and even cause data loss, therefore it is important that you make regular backups.

So where is this file on your computer?

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:

  • Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
  • Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
  • Click the Advanced button. The full path to the data file will be displayed in the box labelled FileName.
  • Just make sure that file is part of your computer backup plan.

If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.

I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.

Smart Schedules version 1.0.773 (Improvements based on user suggestions)

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

We have just posted an update to Smart Schedules for Outlook. The updates in Version 1.0.773 have been based on user requests.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 1.0 or later.

Fixes and Features in this update include:

  • New Feature: Ability to add Project Name before or after the subject of the Appointment/Task.
    SmartSchedules can now display the Project Name in different ways next to the appointment or Task depending on what works for you. For example:

(Project Name) Appointment Subject
Appointment Subject (Project Name)

  • Bug fix: Error messages when browsing for date in Non-English language.
  • Other ribbon changes for Outlook 2010 and above.

Click here to view the full list of updates in Smart Schedules for Outlook

Download latest version of Smart Schedules for Outlook

New to Smart Schedules: Smart Schedules is an Outlook addin that simplifies project management inside Outlook allowing you  to automatically schedule and reschedule Appointments/tasks for the full project.

Watch a short demo video on our website or you can also download a fully functional trial version of the Smart Schedules Outlook addon.

How to choose which Calendar is used to populate the To-Do Bar

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Last week we showed you how to customize your Outlook To-Do bar to display the information you need.

If you have several email accounts (POP, IMAP, Exchange etc) configured in Outlook, you will also have several calendars (one for each email account). So how do you choose which calendar should be used to populate the appointments in the To-Do bar?

In this post, we will show you how to choose the calendar you wish to use.

It is only possible to display your DEFAULT calendar and tasks in the Outlook T0-Do Bar. You CANNOT combine items from different calendars or task folders.

The instructions below can be used to change what Outlook considers to be your default Calendar folder. Making this change will also automatically change what Outlook considers to be your default Tasks folder… and your default Inbox and Sent Items… so…


Note: the instructions below are only for Outlook 2010 unless specifically mentioned.

  • Open Outlook > Click on the File tab > Account Settings > Account Settings… This will open the following screen:

Account settings screen

  • Click on the Data Files tab. This should list all the data files you currently have connected to Outlook.
  • Choose the datafile which has the Calendar you want to use to populate your appointments in the To-Do bar and click Set as Default.
  • Click Close

You should now find that the appointments (and tasks) in your To-Do bar are populated from the data file you select above. Hope you find this tip useful in organizing your work day better.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

Customize the Outlook To-Do bar to Display Information you need

By standss · Comments ( 3 ) Friday, November 9th, 2012

The Outlook To-Do bar is a great addition to Outlook 2010 (and 2007), it shows you the appointment(s) for the day, your task list and easily lets you navigate to future dates to see your upcoming event.

What makes it better is that you can easily customize it i.e. turn on or off the information to Display on the To-D0 Bar. Here is how…

Note: the instructions below are only for Outlook 2010 unless specifically mentioned.

  • In any Outlook folder, click on the View tab > in the Layout group click To-Do Bar
  • The information that is currently being displayed in the To-Do bar will be TICKED, to hide any item, simply click on it again and it will get untick.

Now only the items which are ticked will be displayed in the To-Do bar.

Apart from customizing what gets displayed or not displayed on the To-Do bar, you can also customize the individual items such as increasing or decreasing the number of appointments or task which can be displayed on the To-Do bar.

But note that when you increase the information to display for one item, it decreases the number of items for the other. Here you need to prioritize what information you need to be aware of more often, your appointments or tasks:

  • Simply move your cursor on the To-Do bar between the Appointments and Tasks list
  • When your cursor changes to an arrow like image, drag the bar up or down to increase/decrease the number of items to display.

I hope you find this tip useful in organizing your workday.

Do you have suggestions for any other customization in Outlook?

Share it with our readers and us by leaving a comment below.

Customize Outlook to Suit your liking and Working Style

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

For those who are using Outlook for years now, you probably already have Outlook customized the way that best suits your working style. 

But if you are new to Outlook or still have not figured out how to customize features in Outlook, here are just some things which you can easily customize to get things done faster (saving you some additional clicks): 

Change the default Outlook Start-up folder 

By default, Outlook is setup to open the Outlook Today screen which gives you a quick overview of your upcoming tasks, appointments and number of emails in the Inbox etc BUT you can easily change this to open a folder of your choice like your Inbox, Calendar or even Tasks folder. Here’s how: 

In Outlook 2010

  • Click the File tab > Options > click Advanced on the left column
  • Under Outlook start and exit, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders

In Outlook 2007 & 2003

  • Click the Tools menu > Options
    Click the Other tab, and then click Advanced Options.
  • Under General Settings, next to the Startup in this folder box, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders.

Now when you start Outlook, it will display the folder that you have selected above. 

Change the default Message format type 

For those who are not aware, Outlook supports 3 message format types: 

  • Plain Text – this creates messages in Text only with no formatting whatsoever.
  • HTML – messages with formatting (bold, italics etc), supports images, clickable links etc
  • Rich text – only allows simple text formatting specific to Outlook

To set the format you want to use by default: 

  • In Outlook 2010, click File tab > Options
  • Click Mail on the left pane
  • Under Compose messages, for “Compose messages in this format:”, select the format of your choice
  • Click OK
  • In Outlook 2007/2003, click Tools > Options
  • Click on the Mail Format tab
  • For “Compose in this message format:” select the format of your choice
  • Click OK

Your default message format will now always be what you select above however you can also change the format when composing your emails (from the toolbar or ribbon) 

Change the default Appointment Reminder time 

Appointment Reminders by default are set to appear 15 minutes before but if you often find yourself changing this to a different time, say 30 minutes, it would save you time to change this by default to 30 minutes so you don’t have to change it each time.

To change the default Reminder time:

  • In Outlook 2010, click the File tab > Options
  • Click Calendar on the Left pane
  • Under Calendar Options, for Default reminders:, select the reminder time of your choice
  • Click OK
  • In Outlook 2007/2003, click Tools > Options
  • Under the Preference tab in the Calendar section, for Default reminder:, select the reminder time of your choice
  • Click OK

This should now set the default reminder time to what you selected above saving you that one additional click.

This are just few of the many customizations you can do in Outlook. What other things do you customize in YOUR Outlook?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Soccer Euro Cup 2012 Schedules inside your Outlook Calendar

By standss · Comments ( 5 ) Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

I’m sure all soccer fans are geared up for the Euro Cup 2012. The first match kicks off at 18.00 CET on the 8th of June 2012 between Poland and Greece.

For all you Soccer Lovers who would not want to miss a single match, or at least not your favourite teams matches, here’s how you can download the times for all the games into your Outlook Calendar.

1. Make sure that your computer is setup to the correct time zone. This step is important to ensure that the game time gets shown at the correct time depending on where in the world you are. Go to the Windows Control Panel and open Date and Time.

Date and Time

(Your screen may be slightly different depending on the version of Outlook… it may have a separate tab for Time Zone).

Make sure that the correct Time Zone is displayed i.e. the time zone of where YOU are. (I am in Fiji so the screen shot above says Fiji). Click on Change time zone if you need to.

2. Click on the link below and save the .ics file to your desktop
Download Euro Cup 2012 Schedule

3. Import the downloaded file into your Outlook by using the following steps. If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2010, click File OpenImport. For all other versions of Outlook, click FileImport & Export.

Import and Export in Outlook

4. Select Import an iCalendar (ics) or vCalendar file (vcs) from the list and click Next.

5. Use the screen that comes up to select the ics file that was downloaded in Step 1.

(You may get the following extra steps depending on the version of Outlook you are using)

Import Prompt

Click either Open as New or Import. (I simply imported it to my main Outlook Calendar as it then synched with my Iphone too)

The times for all the games will now be in your Outlook.

Enjoy the games and may the best team win.

Categories : General, Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 5 )

Linking Contacts to Calendar Appointments in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

[A hidden but very useful feature of Outlook appointments is that you can link contacts to them. Here’s why and how.]

Why you may want to show contacts on Outlook Appointments?

Having your contacts linked to the Outlook Calendar appointment lets you see all the people associated with the appointment. In case you need to reschedule the appointment, you can simply get more information about the contact (like phone number) directly from the appointment screen and make a call to inform them of the reschedule.

Apart from being able to get information about the contact straight from the Appointments screen, the appointment will also appear in the Activities tab of contact record and also in the People pane when you receive an email from the contact.

How to display Outlook Contacts on Appointments?

The first thing you need to do is to make the Contacts field visible on your Appointment form. In the versions prior to Outlook 2007, the Contacts field was always available on the Appointment form, but this feature was disabled by default in the later versions.

To enable Contacts button on the Appointment form in Outlook 2010 and 2007:

  • In Outlook 2010, click on File > Options > click Contacts from the left pane
  • Tick the option “Show contacts linked to the current item
  • Click OK
  • In Outlook 2007, click Tools > Options…
  • Under the Preferences tab, click the Contacts Option… button
  • Tick the option “Show contact linking on all Forms
  • Click OK and then OK again

To start attaching contacts to an appointment:

  • Go to your Calendar folder and create a new Appointment, you will find the Contacts button as shown below:

Contacts on Appointment form

  • Say for example you want to create a meeting with Sanjay Singh of Standss (South Pacific) Limited. Simply click on the Contacts button, select Sanjay Singh from your contacts list and click OK.
  • Click Save and Close to create the appointment.

You can also link contacts to other Outlook items such as Tasks, Journal, Notes etc following similar steps.

Let us know if you find this tip useful by leaving a comment below.

Outlook Calendar Tip: Go Straight to a Future Date rather then Browsing to it

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Do you need to make an appointment entry for a future date e.g. 20 January 2013, how can you get there?

Most of us would say:

  • Go to the Calendar
  • Change to Week View or Month View and BROWSE to the future date

You are right, this is one way of doing this BUT there is a much easier and faster way to JUMP to the future date.

Here is how you can jump straight to a future date:

  • Open Outlook
  • Go to the Calendar
  • Press CTRL+G on your keyword. This brings up a screen as show below:

Go to Date

  • In the Date: field, enter the future date e.g. 20-1-12
  • From the Show in: drop-down list select the view you would prefer
  • Click OK

You will now jump straight to the date entered, all you have to do is enter your appointment in the required time slot, Faster right?

Hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of other ways to make the use of Calendar easier and faster, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 2 )

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