I’m seeking for an easy way to create an appointment in Outlook to remind me that I need to call a contact without needing to look up and type in all the contact information.
Which methods does Outlook offer?
Actually, there are quite some methods for this but some of the ones that I find useful are not that clearly exposed. The method which works best for you of course depends on your own situation and preference.
- Create an appointment and link the contact.
- Mark the contact for follow up.
- Automatically generate an appointment with contact details.
Create an appointment and link the contact
This one is quite easy but Contact linking is disabled in Outlook 2007 by default. Once you’ve enabled it, you can create an appointment and then link a contact to it via the Contacts line or button at the bottom of the appointment form. This way, when you get the reminder, you open the appointment and double click on the Contact link to directly open the contact with its information.
You can do this with a Task as well if you don’t want to create an appointment for it.
The benefit of this method is that the appointment or task will show up in your Contact Activities as well.
Mark the contact for follow up
Reminders are not just for emails, tasks and appointments but they work on Contacts as well. Simply right click your contact that you need to call in the Contacts folder and choose Follow Up. In Outlook 2007, this contact will then also show up in the To-Do Bar.
When the reminder pops-up, you can open the item directly from the Reminder window and/or mark it as complete.
Automatically generate an appointment with contact details
If you’d like to see full contact details in the body of the appointment, then you can right click a contact from your Contacts folder and drop it on your Calendar folder. In the pop-up menu that you’ll get choose “Copy Here as Appointment with Text”.
The downside of this method is that the contact details is just static text. So, if for instance you were to update the phone number of the contact, then the appointment won’t reflect this change.
If you just drag and drop the contact on the Calendar folder, then you’ll create a Meeting Request addressed to all the email addresses that are known for this contact and the contact will be automatically linked as well to record it in Contact Activities.
Note: Contact linking is best seen as a shortcut to a contact to easily open the contact by mean of a double click. When you link a contact to an appointment, the contact is not an attachment of that appointment. Since it is a link to the actual contact, you’ll always see the most current information of that contact.
When you open a linked contact from an appointment, edit it and then save the contact, the changes are saved to the actual contact in your Contacts folder.