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The evolution of meeting notes in Outlook

The evolution of meeting notes in Outlook

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An Outlook meeting has a notes area that can be used to store information related to the meeting. Although it may seem very convenient to add notes directly into the meeting, there are few things that you should consider before you do this.

The meeting organizer

After you invite other people to a meeting, you can update the notes on your copy of the meeting. Because the notes are not a critical component of the meeting, you are not required to send an updated meeting invitation to the attendees. Therefore, you could add notes that are not initially visible to the attendees. However, if you later change the meeting time, date, location, or attendee list, Outlook sends a full meeting update to all attendees. Any existing notes will then be sent to the attendees. This is not desired behavior if you intended them to be personal notes.

The meeting attendee

If you accept a meeting invitation, you can also add notes to your copy of the meeting. However, if the meeting organizer changes the meeting time, date, location, or attendee list, their Outlook client sends a full meeting update. If you accept the meeting update, your notes are overwritten.

Recurring meetings

You can change one or more occurrences of a recurring meeting series. When you do this, Outlook saves each unique occurrence as a meeting exception. If the organizer or the attendee adds notes to an occurrence, Outlook creates a meeting exception. Later, if the meeting series is updated and a full update is sent, any notes in the meeting exceptions are lost.

Enter Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013 introduces a new feature known as Meeting Notes. This feature uses Microsoft OneNote to store notes related to the meeting. These notes can be personal or you can decide to share them with the meeting attendees. If you choose to share the notes, a link to the OneNote workbook is inserted into the meeting notes.

In Outlook 2013, start taking meeting notes by clicking Meeting Notes and then clicking either Share notes with the meeting series or Take notes on your own. The following screen capture shows the options:

 

 

Additional resources

For more information about the Meeting Notes feature, see this post from the OneNote team:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/descapa/archive/2012/08/28/taking-meeting-notes-in-onenote-2013.aspx

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