Creating a Journal Entry

You can create a record of various actions so that you can track your work, communications, reports , and so on. In the Journal, you can manually record any activities, items, or tasks you want. For example, you might want to record the results of a telephone conversation.

You also can automatically record e-mail messages, meeting requests, meeting responses, task requests , and task responses. Additionally, you can automatically record activity related to documents created in the other Office applications: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

The Journal is especially useful for recording information related to phone calls to and from people in your Contacts list. You can record information about the call and you can also time the conversation and enter its duration (which is very useful information if you need to record billable-hours information for a particular client).


Journal A folder within Outlook that you can use to record interactions, phone calls, message responses, and other activities important to your work.

Configuring the Journal

As already mentioned, you can automatically or manually record items in your Journal. Before you can take advantage of the Journal, however, you must configure it as to the type of events that you want the journal to record automatically. These settings are selected in the Journal Options dialog box (see Figure 15.1).

Figure 15.1. Click the check boxes in the Journal Options dialog box to have actions and events recorded automatically.


To open the Journal Options dialog box and configure the Journal, follow these steps:

  1. Select Tools and then Options . On the Preferences tab of the Options dialog box, click the Journal Options button (it is in the lower half of the Preferences tab).

  2. In the Automatically Record These Items list, check those items you want Outlook to automatically record in your Journal. (The items recorded correspond with the people selected in the list of contacts in step 3.)

  3. In the For These Contacts list, check any contacts you want automatically recorded in the Journal. Outlook records any items selected in step 1 that apply to the selected contacts.

  4. In the Also Record Files From list, check the applications for which you want to record Journal entries. Outlook records the date and time you create or modify files in the selected programs.

  5. When you have completed your selections, click the OK button. You will be returned to the Options dialog box, click OK to close it.

Now you can start the Journal. Click the Folder list button at the bottom of the Navigation pane. In the Folder list, click the Journal icon. The Journal opens and it is now ready to automatically record the items that you chose in the Journal Options dialog box.

Suppose that you wanted Excel sessions to be automatically recorded in the Task list. You would make sure that Excel was selected in step 3. Then, whenever you work in Excel, that event is recorded. Figure 15.2 shows a Journal entry for an Excel event.

Figure 15.2. Journal entries for applications, such as Excel, are recorded automatically when you work in that application.


Recording an Entry Manually

You can also record items in the Journal manually using existing items such as e-mail messages. For example, you might add an e-mail message to the Journal that is not normally recorded (because you didn't select messages from that particular contact as something you want automatically recorded in the Journal).

To create a Journal entry manually, follow these steps:

  1. In the Inbox folder (or any other folder in Outlook), select the item you want to record in the Journal and drag it onto the Journal folder icon in the Folder List. The Journal Entry dialog box appears (see Figure 15.3).

    Figure 15.3. Drag an item onto the Journal icon, and the Journal Entry dialog box opens.


  2. The information in the Subject, Entry Type, Contacts, and Company boxes and some other information is entered for you from the selected task, contact, or other selected item. However, you can change any of the statistics you want by entering new information into the following text boxes, drop-down lists, and buttons :

    • Subject Displays the title or name of the Journal item.

    • Entry Type Describes the item based on its point of origin, such as a Word document, a meeting or appointment, and so on.

    • Company Lists the company or companies associated with the contacts.

    • Start Time Displays the date and time of the meeting, appointment, or other item.

    • Start Timer Like a stopwatch, the timer records the time that passes until you click the Pause Timer button.

    • Pause Timer Stops the timer.

    • Duration Enter the amount of time for completing the item.

    • Shortcut icon This is a shortcut icon to the item you originally dragged onto the Journal icon to create a new entry (such as a Calendar appointment, a contact, or a message). You can actually open the item by double-clicking the shortcut icon. The icon appears in the large box below the Duration text box.

    • Contacts Lists the name(s) of any attendees, contacts, or other people involved with the selected item.

    • Categories Enter or select a category that you want to assign to the Journal entry.

  3. Click Save and Close to complete the Journal entry.

If you want to create a new Journal entry, but you don't have a contact, a task, an e-mail, or other item that you want to use to create the entry, you can create a Journal entry from scratch (meaning it is not associated with any existing Outlook item such as an e-mail message). For example, you might want to create a Journal entry that holds information related to a phone call that you have made. Follow these steps:

  1. Change to the Journal folder.

  2. Choose Actions , and then select New Journal Entry or double-click any empty portion of the Journal pane. The Journal Entry dialog box appears.

  3. Enter the subject for your new journal entry.

  4. Select the type of entry you want to make; in this case, the default is already set to Phone Call. Leave the Journal Entry dialog box open on your desktop.

  5. graphics/newcontact.gif Make your phone call; you can actually have Outlook dial the phone call for you using the AutoDialer icon, which can be accessed on the toolbar in the Contacts folder (click the Dial icon's drop-down arrow, and then select New Call ; use the Contacts drop-down list in the New Call dialog box to specify the contact that you want to call, and then click Start Call ).

  6. When your call is answered , click the Start Timer button in the Journal Entry dialog box. Type any notes that you want to record during the phone conversation in the entry's text box.

  7. When you finish the call, click the Pause Timer button. Notice that the duration of the call is entered in the Duration box. To save the Journal entry, click the Save and Close button.

Changing Journal Settings

You might find that when you started the Journal for the first time, you didn't configure that many events to be automatically recorded by the Journal. No problem; you can return to the Journal settings and change the options related to the automatic recording items in the Journal.

In the Journal folder, choose Tools, Options . The Options dialog box appears. Click the Preferences tab if necessary, and then click the Journal Options button. The Journal Options dialog box appears.

You can also choose to have your Journal entries AutoArchived. Click the AutoArchive Journal Entries button, and then choose a folder on your computer where you want to have the Journal Archive file stored (selecting the default folder is your best bet). Then, click OK to complete the process (for more information about the AutoArchive feature, see Lesson 19, "Archiving Items").

When you have finished making changes to the Journal options, click OK to close the Journal Options dialog box. Then, click OK to close the Options dialog box.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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