OutLinker Unlinked

OutLinker is a Microsoft Outlook Macro for rapidly processing as set of Microsoft Outlook Tasks, Appointments, and Messages and transferring the content/links for the items you choose into MindManager for organization and tracking.

Example OutLinker Prompt

The initial version required MindReader and GyroQ, which narrowed the potential user base quite to a small niche of power users. The new version does not require GyroQ (it will be added back in future versions) and asks you if you want to use MindReader. This enables any of the 1 million MindManager users who may also use OutLook to start using the program quickly. You can switch to using MindReader later if you like with the change of a configuration setting.

All you need to do is Install the Macro in your OutLook macro editor and you are ready to go. If you are not using MindReader, it just places all the entries in "OutlinkerCapture.mmap" in your "My Maps" directory and then you can move topics from there to other maps.

Example capture map

This enhancement is hot of the press so post comments or send email if you run into problems.

Having used the program for a month now, I've found that its important to be able to avoid sending items to MindManager so the interface has been enhanced (see above) with several options for dealing with messages in place (e.g. reply, reply-all, reply and delete, reply all and delete, forward, etc). The is reducing the quantity of tasks I need to process in MindManager quite a bit and providing a general improvement in email handling efficiency.

The program now also accumulates statistics as to what you are doing with your messages:
Outlinker Stats example
The numbers in my example don't add up as the individual counters have been added over time.

If you are already using the program, make sure you download the latest version as it has improved rapidly based on feedback over the holidays. Make sure you answer "yes" when prompted on use of MindReader.

P.S. Only 7 days left to get your "Next Action Analysis" Contest entries in.

13 Comments »

  1. malcolm said,

    January 5, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

    Hi, just trying out this latest version….I answered yes to the Use Mindreader prompt then was asked to "Enter Settings for usemindreader"…..I can't see from the macro what I should be entering in this dialogue? usemindreader seems to be a setting that can be either 1 or 0?

    Regards

    Malcolm

  2. ActivityOwner said,

    January 5, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

    Whoops — I was more worried about it working without mindreader and hadn't tested going back to it. I just fixed the small typo causing it to save the configuration as "usermindreader" instead of "usemindreader". Give it another try.

  3. John said,

    January 6, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    I have just tested the new OutLinker Macro. I have had a problem however with the hyperlinks created in the Daily Capture Map. I get “You don’t have permission to access this file”. I know that you suggest "Make sure you have run the .reg file". Can you direct me to where I can get the file?

    Regards
    John

  4. ActivityOwner said,

    January 6, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

    The link to the .reg file is in the installation instructions at the bottom:

    http://wiki.activityowner.com/index.php?title=OutLinker_Installation#OutLook_2007_hyperlinks

  5. John said,

    January 7, 2008 @ 3:42 am

    Thanks. .

  6. OutLinker 2.0 » ActivityOwner.Com said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 8:41 pm

    […] more like version 122, but "2.0" sounds better. It has been about four months since my last post on OutLinker and I wanted to let folks know that several improvements and bug fixes have trickled […]

  7. Chuck Brown said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

    Jeez, I know you've gotta be getting tired of these, but I can't help it! I copied the latest OL code to outlook, highlighted a message clicked the outlinker button, typed "c". I got a blank outlook email. I cancelled it, then highlighted the same message, clicked the outlinker button, and got VB error 91; object variable or with block variable not set. Going into debugger highlighted module1 code line 144, col 28 "If Not jumpahead Or ((obj.EntryID = lastentry.EntryID) And Not gone(i)) Then"

  8. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    Thanks Chuck — The "c" command in outlinker stand for "compose", so the blank message is not a bug but a feature :-).

    The subsequent error you described was the occasional one that I was trying to get rid of in the 31Mar version. The sequence you decribed gave me a method to replicate and isolate it. I think the new 01Apr08 – 2 version on the wiki finally gets rid of it.

  9. Curtis N. Bingham said,

    November 8, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    AO,
    For the first timers, it isn't perfectly clear–Outlinker only works on selected messages in your inbox, meaning that you have to select all the messages you want to process before starting the macro, otherwise Outlinker does nothing. (right?)
    Curtis

  10. Curtis N. Bingham said,

    November 8, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

    It also looks like the macro halts if you use any of the mail handling functions. Should it? I had expected it to continue processing selected items.

    Is there value in having a reply/archive option? Or are you counting on a record of your conversation being kept in the sent items folder for subsequent searching?

  11. Curtis N. Bingham said,

    November 8, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

    What must your Daily Capture Map look like? Do you ever go back in and move these emails out to other maps and projects? Or do you let your daily map balloon? If so, do you never worry about inheriting project attributes?

  12. ActivityOwner said,

    November 8, 2008 @ 10:40 pm

    Yes — Outlinker acts on the one or more items you select. Because of the way it is implemented, the macro has to stop if you want to interact (scroll) or reply to a message. If you re-run the macro, it will pick up where it left off on the selected items.

    I routinely process my inbox and sent items, so if I reply to a message, then I will usually just "rd" (reply/delete) and then process the sent item as either an action I've committed to or a "waiting for", or just "a" archive it.

    I just added commands "rs" and "ras" that do what you are looking for.

  13. ActivityOwner said,

    November 8, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

    re: "what does your daily capture map look like"

    That in-tray can get pretty long, but I try to direct as much incoming tasks to specific destination maps using destination keywords (set using "k" tag).

    Many items coming into the daily capture map will be completed quickly, so as long as they have a context assigned to them, I don't mind if they live there for awhile.

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