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).
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:
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:
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:
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.