December 02, 2008

How to Open Two Instances of Microsoft Outlook

Productivity Tip: Sometimes, it's really helpful to have two separate Outlook Windows open. For example, I like to have my e-mail view open in one window while I'm checking my calendar in another. It's even better in a dual monitor setup. That way, I don't have to keep swapping back and forth within Outlook.

However, you can't launch two instances of Outlook from its standard icon -- it just takes you to the previously opened Outlook window. Instead of installing some third-party tools to do this, Outlook 2007 has this feature included. In true Microsoft fashion, it's just not plainly visible from the pull-down menus, not even in the "View" menu where one would expect to find it.

However, once you know where to go, it's very easy to open a second Outlook window:

  1. Let's say you're in the e-mail view. In the left-hand pane, right-click on one of the other shortcut buttons, such as Calendar.

  2. Next, left or right-click on "Open in New Window", and up pops the new window with the desired view. Voila -- two Outlook views!
You can continue to do this with other views, such as Contacts, to have several different views open concurrently.

[Update 12.3.08: Erik Mazzone just reported on his blog, Law Practice Matters, that this tip works equally well in Outlook 2003 . Erik is a Practice Management Advisor and the Director of the Center for Practice Management of the North Carolina Bar Association.]

Topic(s):   Trick or Treat
Posted by Jeff Beard