Tip o’ the Week #119 – Using Outlook in multiple windows

clip_image002This week’s tip comes courtesy of Jon Morris, who is agog at the way lots of people switch between their Inbox and their Calendar, in Outlook. Hands up if you routinely use the Navigation Pane on the lower left of the main window, to switch between these two most commonly used folders?

OK, put your hand down now. People will stare. As an aside, the Navigation Pane was introduced in Outlook 2003, and was codenamed the “WunderBar”. Honestly.

Long-term ToW readers may recall Tow #10 (over 2 years ago), which covered some Outlook shortcut keys – eg press CTRL-1 to switch the current window to “mail” (whichever folder of email you last had open), CTRL-2 to “Calendar”, CTRL-3 for Contacts etc. That’s one way of switching the focus around, and certainly quicker than clicking on the WunderBar.

clip_image003Anyway, back to Jon’s tip. If you right click on any folder or any of the shortcuts in the Navigation Pane, you’ll have the option of opening that folder in a new window, so you can switch between (for example) your Inbox and Calendar windows, by any of the various means you might favour (ALT-TAB, WindowsKey+number, hovering over the application on the Task bar etc). This works well if you have multiple monitors, so you could (say) have your Inbox on the main screen and the Calendar/Task list on the second one.

Now the smart bit here is that Outlook will remember what windows you had open, what folders they were looking at, and on which monitor they were displayed, if you close the application down by going to the File menu and choosing Exit. Closing the app using the Window Close “X” or by right-clicking on the application in the task bar will not remember the window positions, so if you get used to leaving the Outlook application from its own file menu, you’ll get the same window setup every time you restart.

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