Monday, November 1, 2010

Categorizing and maxing out Outlook notes


By Joe Dolittle

Reader Marlo Stone asks:

I would like to know, in Outlook version 2003, how to change the Contact NOTES section Categories?
Also how much information can I put into the NOTE section of a Contact?

To be honest, it's been a while since we've run Outlook 2003. We don't even have it running on any of our test gear, especially since Outlook 2007 for more than four years and even Outlook 2010 has been out for six months.

That said, we do have some ideas and how Outlook 2007 does things is pretty similar to 2003, so this should help.

One of our favorite ways of managing notes is to use the notes view By Category, as shown in Figure A.


By Category makes things easy to manage. Actual data sanitized for your protection. (click for larger image)

This gives you a list of notes very much like any of your other lists. It makes things nicely manageable.

One you have that view open, right click on and select Categorize, as shown in Figure B.


Categorize your notes. Image sanitized for your protection. (click for larger image)

Maximum note size

As for the max a note can hold, we did a lot of poking around online. There's a lot written about the size of notes in contacts, but nothing about the size of a note itself. So we did a simple test -- and boy were we surprised.

We tried pasting a mere 50K of text into a new Outlook 2007 note and found that Outlook truncated the past at 30,189 characters. Disappointing, but true.