Friday, July 19, 2013

Miss the future events on the To-Do pane in Outlook 2013? Here's an add-in that will give them back to you...

CodePlex - Outlook 2013 Add-In

Adds extended appointment calendar to see events for several upcoming days, and enhanced new email notification system to delete/flag incoming emails.

This project was born because after moving to the new Outlook 2013, a lot of nice and useful features were strangely "lost" in the upgrade from versions like 2010 or even 2007.

It started as a personal project to include these options in my own daily work, but some colleagues were interested in it, so I decided to include it in Codeplex for everybody to download and mess around with it if you like it too. You're absolutely free to download it, and do whatever you want to do with the code if you wish, which BTW is provided as-is. ;-)

If you find it useful and have spare time you can drop me a line saying how you like the tool and such. ;-)


Upcoming appointments
One of the things that I missed a LOT from 2010 was the ability to see upcoming appointments for the following days in the to-do task pane.

It's very weird but in version 2013 this option has disappeared, so you can only see the appointments for the current day, which most people may not think of it as a big issue, but say you have a meeting tomorrow at 6:30 am, you won't be able to see it today and could probably miss it... ;-)

For this I have implemented a new pane that docks to the right of the Outlook window and shows the calendar and a list of future appointments within a certain range of upcoming days:



Multiple calendars
It was a very popular request to add support for multiple calendars and now the appointments shown in the pane will be selected from the configured list of calendars to choose from (see configuration below). As of now only those calendars under the "My Calendars" section will show up, and there are some timeout issues with accounts such as "public folders".

Also they will show in the same font/color, so drop me a line on a suggestion to better show them, as I think the look and feel may be confusing with color categories.

Configuration can be accessed now through the little gear icon in the calendar, to claim more space for items (after removing the buttons). You can select the following options:
- Number of days to show from the selected date onwards.
- Allow users to show/hide previous appointments in the day.
- Enable/disable new email alert notifications.
- Show/hide friendly group header names for specific dates (yesterday, today and tomorrow).
- List of accounts to show calendars from.


The change of the To Do Bar/Pane in Outlook 2013 is one of the things that really bugs me. Sure you can Pin a View, but still you only get the events/meetings/appointments for Today. So I've got a love-hate thing going with Outlook 2013 and have been holding off putting it on my primary personal box.

Then along came this add-in. It works pretty darn good (for me at least) and does just want I want.

Plus the source is available too so I can tweak it if I want! Muahahah... :)


Related Past Post XRef:
Outlook 2013 Changed/Removed Feature Table (Lots of entries, one simple table...)
What's New in [Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access] 2013 Work Smart Guides
Outlook 2013, you're add-in dev skillz still apply...

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