Help make Outlook 2013 less terrible
July 29, 2013 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I spend huge amounts of my work time in Outlook 2013. Please give me some suggestions to make it better. I am not even that picky about what "better" means, but anything that makes the calendering less painful to use (I would give at least one tooth for the ability to easily create appointments based on the text of an email, like the iPhone does), or gives me control over the interface would meet this criteria. Xobni did some of this back in the day, but most of its features are now out-of-date.
posted by blahblahblah to Technology (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Disable the typing animation
posted by djb at 6:41 PM on July 29, 2013

You know that you can drag an email to the calendar to create an appt.? The body of the message is then a part of the appointment including all attached files. The email is decoupled from the appointment so you can dump it after dragging it to calendar.

Shh...for the holy grail of synching outlook to gcal then the super secret old synch installer for PC works a treat. Once you got gcal synched then ical and android calendar works.
posted by jadepearl at 7:06 PM on July 29, 2013

For the OSX folks who want the same capability, the work around is an applescript that lets you create appointments from email. It is not as elegant as drag and drop BUT it does get the job done. Just cut and paste into AppleScript editor and save it in the appropriate folder:
Create Meeting from Message
tell application "Microsoft Outlook"

-- get the currently selected message or messages
set selectedMessages to current messages

-- if there are no messages selected, warn the user and then quit
if selectedMessages is {} then
display dialog "Please select a message first and then run this script." with icon 1
end if

repeat with theMessage in selectedMessages

-- Store data from teh Message in variables
set theName to subject of theMessage
set theCategory to category of theMessage
set theDateRecvd to (current date) + 1 * days
set theHTMLStatus to has html of theMessage
set theAttachment to attachment of theMessage
set theEndDate to (current date) + (1 * days)
set theEndDate to theEndDate + (1 * hours)

set thePriority to priority of theMessage
set theContent to content of theMessage

-- Create a new Calendar Appointment event with the information from the Message
set newAppt to make new calendar event with properties {subject:theName, start time:theDateRecvd, end time:theEndDate, has reminder:true, reminder time:5, content:theContent}

end repeat

-- If there was only one message selected, then create the Appointment.
if (count of selectedMessages) = 1 then open newAppt
end tell
posted by jadepearl at 7:14 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sadly, for no good reason, the drag to the calender trick no longer works in Office 2013- one of the few ways it is a real step back. But the link to gsync is great!
posted by blahblahblah at 7:16 PM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: I have a Quick Step that creates an appointment and puts the body of the email into it - it doesn't set the date/time/subject for you, but it helps.
posted by jacalata at 7:29 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: OK, weird, I have no idea why it still works for me. Better shut up. Anyway, here is a work around:

"Drop on the Calendar in the folder bar (either the icon or the word Calendar) and type a date and use shortcuts" (I got this off a forum)

But here is something better that adds back a lot of functionality: Outlook 2013 Add-in for multiple calendars, upcoming appointments, configuration, email notifications and EMAIL APPOINTMENTS. It is beta but looks promising.
posted by jadepearl at 7:48 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Here is specific detail:

"Drag the email to the calendar button at the bottom. Unfortunately this only creates an appointment for today and you have to change the date. This is 75% of the functionality we had previously but it is better than not at all. This is the same functionality as if you pressed the Reply with Meeting button up near the Reply\Reply All\Forward buttons on the ribbon, key shortcut is CTRL+ALT+R to Reply with Meeting."
posted by jadepearl at 7:55 PM on July 29, 2013

Best answer: The add-in is great. Two things it does that help me enormously are the ability to create a follow up reminder if someone hasn't replied to an email (the task gets deleted if they reply) and super quick filing away of emails. Costs $ but work paid for it.

I have an autohotkey script that gives me the Gmail/Vi keys in Outlook. github link
posted by Spumante at 1:43 AM on July 30, 2013

Response by poster: Okay, these were amazing suggestions. Clear Context plus Outlook2013 AddIn are set to change my life!
posted by blahblahblah at 1:20 PM on July 30, 2013

« Older Good / Cheap sunglasses online   |   Freelance advertising rate for creatives in NYC? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.