Monday, February 1, 2010

Outlook Date Tricks

I love it when a piece of software surprises me in a good way - since it so rarely happens. In this case, I’m talking about Microsoft Outlook and some convenient functionality that’s embedded within its date fields. I actually ran into this a rather long time ago but have only now gotten around to writing it up.image of scheduling bars

Say that you’re creating a new meeting request for tomorrow. You could always use the scheduling bars to select the start and end times of the meeting. The greed bar represents the start time and the red for the end. It works well when the meeting is within the next couple of days. But what if meeting is for next Wednesday? You could:

  1. Scroll some number of days on the Scheduling page
  2. Calculate the date and type it in to the Start Time box
  3. Use the drop-down calendar to select the appropriate date
  4. Enter “next Wednesday” into the Start Time box

Yup. If you enter “next Wednesday” and press tab, Outlook will do the calculation for you:

Start time of next wednesday

Outlook calculates the correct value

Try it!

Through experimentation, I’ve discovered that the following also works:

  • name of a day (ex. Monday, Tuesday, etc)
  • “today”, “tomorrow”, “yesterday”
  • “last” {name of day}
  • “[number] week[s] from {today | tomorrow | name-of-a-day}” (ex. 2 weeks from Monday)
  • “last day of {this|next| last} month”
  • “last {name of day}”
  • “Christmas” (I was surprised!)

There’s probably more.

No comments:

Post a Comment