Helpful Outlook Shortcuts

Microsoft Outlook is much more than just an email program. Outlook has robust contact, calendaring and tasking capabilities and even has a built-in function to create electronic Post-It notes. However, if all you need to do is create a quick note, it’s kind of a pain to have to open Outlook and click New > Note, especially if your office computer is a PII-300. Fortunately, there’s a way that you can create a new Contact, Appointment, Task, Note, Journal Entry or even email without having to open Outlook itself. The following trick works with Outlook 2000 and higher:

First of all, you need to find the path to OUTLOOK.EXE on your system. With Office 2003, this would typically be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE but you or your IT guy might have installed Office to a different location. To find out for sure, click on Start > Search and look for the file named OUTLOOK.EXE. Once you know the path, write it down.

Right-click on the desktop and select New > Shortcut. In the Path: box, type in the path to Outlook, but don’t click “OK” just yet. Add one of the following bits of text at the end of the path, depending on which type of shortcut you want to create:

/c ipm.activity creates a Journal entry.
/c ipm.appointment creates an appointment.
/c creates a contact.
/c ipm.note creates an e-mail message.
/c ipm.stickynote creates a note.
/c ipm.task creates a task.

So for example, if you want to create a shortcut that will create a new Sticky Note, the path should look something like this:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE” /c ipm.stickynote

Now click “OK”. You can keep this shortcut on your Desktop, or move it anywhere you’d like, such as the Quick Launch toolbar. From now on you’ll be able to click on your shortcut to create a new Note or Contact without having to open Outlook itself!

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