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Outlook Contact Search

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  • Outlook Contact Search

    I'm a particular fan of using contacts for projects in Outlook. One of the chronic problems that I've got with it, however, is that the search function associated with the "Activites" tab in the contact form is pretty slow.

    Of course, there are a number of different indexing search programs for Outlook like Lookout. These pull up results incredibly fast. Unfortunately, I haven't found a way with any of them to search by "Contact" field. You can search for a contact. But not for things associated with a contact. Has anyone found a search program that does this? Perhaps there's a method that I missed?

    Tom S.

  • #2
    Use Outlook's Journal

    Tom: Here's how I do this. I use Outlook's feature to track my interactions with key associates, friends, and family. Journal is an often overlooked component of Outlook and one that many people shy away from because, used incorrectly, it can make your PST files pretty large. The secret is to track only those contacts most meaningful to you - not everyone in your contact list. I have well over 1000 contacts in my list - many of whom I have sporadic contact with at best. I don't bother tracking them.

    When you add a contact (in the field at the bottom of the item window) to your calendar and task items, a link is created in that contact's Journal listing.

    The other piece of the puzzle is to use the MSN Toolbar and Desktop Search suite which will index your Journal entries along with e-mail, calendar items, and tasks.

    Hope that helps accomplish what you're trying to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mochant
      Tom: Here's how I do this. I use Outlook's feature to track my interactions with key associates, friends, and family. Journal is an often overlooked component of Outlook and one that many people shy away from because, used incorrectly, it can make your PST files pretty large. The secret is to track only those contacts most meaningful to you - not everyone in your contact list. I have well over 1000 contacts in my list - many of whom I have sporadic contact with at best. I don't bother tracking them.

      When you add a contact (in the field at the bottom of the item window) to your calendar and task items, a link is created in that contact's Journal listing.

      The other piece of the puzzle is to use the MSN Toolbar and Desktop Search suite which will index your Journal entries along with e-mail, calendar items, and tasks.

      Hope that helps accomplish what you're trying to do.
      Ah, ha. That's an interesting idea. I was already using the MSN bar becasue it looked to me like the best of the bunch that I tried. The problem with using the journal entries is that apprently I can only journal those contacts in the default contact folder. Unfortunately this list is very large and I wouldn't want to mix in my projects contacts with them. Is there a way to get Outlook 2003 to journal other other contacts folders than the default?

      Tom S.

      Comment


      • #4
        Solved: Outlook Contact Search

        Originally posted by Tom Shannon
        I'm a particular fan of using contacts for projects in Outlook. One of the chronic problems that I've got with it, however, is that the search function associated with the "Activites" tab in the contact form is pretty slow.

        Of course, there are a number of different indexing search programs for Outlook like Lookout. These pull up results incredibly fast. Unfortunately, I haven't found a way with any of them to search by "Contact" field. You can search for a contact. But not for things associated with a contact. Has anyone found a search program that does this? Perhaps there's a method that I missed?
        For those of you who cared about this, I did find a work around. First, unlike the others I've tried, the new Google Desktop 2 does pick up tasks which are associated with a particular contact. Unfortunately it still doesn't pick up the appointments.

        The solution is to give your project contacts a fake email address and assign/send tasks to the project. In the same way, you can invite/send your "projects" to meetings. When you send these, they become associated with the project contact and they show up on searches for the project name in both Google desktop and MSN. You can also bookmark the searches in both so you don't have to repeatedly type in the names.

        There is one more complication to this: its probably best to send tasks to yourself (as well as to the fake project addresses) and not to keep a copy of them when sending. When you recieve them through your legitimate account, right click and accept them. This creates an editable copy that still is assigned to the projects as well. If you don't do this, Outlook just leaves a copy that you can't edit easily in your task folder.

        In the case of appointments, make the project contacts optional attendees.

        The only real disadvantage is that undeliverble things sent to fake email addresses return to your inbox and you have to delete them.

        Tom S.
        Last edited by Tom Shannon; 08-28-2005, 07:21 PM.

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