Office 2003 Tweaks - Customizing Outlook 2003

The following are several additions to Microsoft Outlook 2003:

  1. Reading Pane
  2. Better Junk Mail Filters
  3. Flagging Follow-Up E-Mail
  4. Using Multiple Calendars
  5. Keyboard Shortcuts
  6. Changing the Contacts View

Reading Pane

This allows you to have three panes displayed.

  1. View -> Reading Pane (see picture 1).
    Picture 1
  2. You have the option for Right, Bottom or Off.
  3. This will allow you to have a left pane that shows the Outlook bar, the middle pane that shows your e-mail from, to etc, and a left hand pane that shows the body of the text.

Better Junk Mail Filters

  1. Go to Tools -> Options.
  2. On the Preferences Tab, click on the Junk Mail button (see picture 2).
    Picture 2
  3. From here you can select the level of security you want.
  4. You can also add a a sender's e-mail address to your Blocked Senders List.
    • Right click on an E-Mail from a sender you want to block.
    • Select Junk Mail -> Add Sender to Blocked Senders List (see picture 3).
      Picture 3
  5. You can also add an entire domain to be blocked (see picture 4).
    Picture 4

Flagging Follow Up E-Mail

How many times have you had and e-mail you needed to follow up on but lost it in all the other e-mails. I've been actually needing to drag shortcuts to folders on my desktop to keep track. Now you can easily flag e-mail you need to follow up on.

  1. Right click on the E-Mail.
  2. Select Follow up.
  3. Select the color of the flag you want to use.
  4. Now the e-mail has that color flag.
  5. To make it easy to find all your follow-up e-mail, they are also listed in the For Follow Up folder (see picture 5).
    Picture 5
  6. To clear the flag, select Follow up -> Clear Flag.

Using Multiple Calendars

You can now maintain separate calendars which you can easily display side by side. So for example, you can have your main Work calendar. In addition you can have a Family calendar. You can keep separate appointments in each and only display the calendar's you want.

  1. Click on Calendar in the Navigation Pane.
  2. Right click on Calendar and select New Folder.
  3. Give it the name of the new calendar. In the following example there is already one called Family (see picture 6).
    Picture 6
  4. You can then check the calendar's you want to view.
  5. They will be displayed side-by-side showing the events on the same date and time.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that may be useful. These would be in addition to the ones that could normally be used in previous versions of Outlook.

  • CTRL+1 for Mail
  • CTRL+2 for Calendar
  • CTRL+3 for Contacts
  • CTRL+4 for Tasks
  • CTRL+5 for Notes
  • CTRL+6 for Folder List
  • CTRL+7 for Shortcuts

Changing the Contacts View

Now it is very easy to change how much information is displayed when viewing Contacts

  1. Click on Contacts in the Navigation Pane (see picture 7).
    Picture 7
  2. Under Current View, select whichever one you want to use.



Lex van der Horst

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