OutLinker 2.0

It is actually 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 onto the wiki since then.

The macro now defaults to routing transfers to MindManager through GyroQ, which is much faster. I didn't want to publicize this until I'd tested it out on a few thousand messages. It is working well now that issues with escaping quote characters have been resolved. If you choose, you can avoid use of GyroQ by setting the "usegyroq" setting to 0 and just have items transfer in real-time. You can also avoid use of MindReader by setting "usemindreader" to 0. All you really need is Outlook and MindManager.

The script now uses session variables and a cache to hold information in memory between uses, which has improved speed quite a bit — thanks for the tips Mike! The menu of commands has been expanded as shown below:
Example outlinker dialog box

I use the macro by selecting anywhere from 1 to 250 messages at a time and then dispatching them quickly by either deleting (d), archiving (a), or by typing in an action item to send to MindManager. Non-action reference items can be sent over by adding a "isinfo" keyword.

It can be mentally challenging to transfer "urgent" items over to MindManager, but if you resolve to get all the way to "zero" and add short term target dates to urgent items, you can move over to MindManager and use your ResultsManager "Daily Action" dashboard and the
"Next Action Analysis" macro to guide your day.

All settings and counters for the scripts are kept in a "OutLinker Settings" Notes folder:
OutLinker Settings Notes Folder Example

If you are currently using the script, I'd recommend pasting the latest version of OutLinker.bas into your macro file. If you have tried it in the past but ran into bugs or glitches, give this version a go. If you haven't tried it yet, have a look at the installation instructions on the wiki and post below if you have any questions.

14 Comments »

  1. BillS said,

    March 31, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

    AO,
    This is a wonderful macro! Unfortunately my company uses Lotus Notes. I am considering forwarding all my internal mail to my gmail account so I can process in Outlook w/ OutLinker.

    Everyone else,
    If anyone has the skill a Lotus Notes version of this macro would be very appreciated. And if you have PayPal I'm willing to bargain :) Of course the code would have to be released here for all to enjoy.

  2. Ron said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 7:54 am

    I've been using the new version for a while and love the constant improvements. I routinely check the Wiki at the start of each day for updates and apply them as they appear – you could say I am addicted (and indebted). Thank you again for a great contribution to maintaining my sanity in the face of the never ending deluge of incoming email.

  3. malcolm said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 9:03 am

    I too have generally been keeping uptodate with versions from the Wiki but I have just copied in the code for 2.0. Once I did this the first item I tested had a link and comments that were corrupted by data from the clipboard, an old problem if I recall. I closed everything down and opened outlook again, ran the macro and the items are getting into MM , and the item is being copied to the archive store but the task in MM has no hyperlink or comments attached…..Tried a few times but no joy….any thoughts…..I am just about to regress a version.

    This is a great tool and I am looking forward these additional features.

  4. CFPerry said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 11:04 am

    RE: Lotus Notes

    I'm using outlinker with Lotus Notes. There are four major steps to doing so successfully.
    1. Use Outlook 2003.
    2. Use the lotus notes/outlook bridge (doesn't support outlook 2007).
    3. Use a second PST for archiving off notes.
    4. Modify the Create Settings Folder to use your secondary PST to store the settings, since the bridge won't allow you to use NOTES to store the settings.

    I'm happy as can be doing it this way..and the secondary PST file allows me to archive off all the mail that corporate wouldn't store for me on the notes server.

    Good Luck.

  5. malcolm said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

    Hi AO, Just an update …. I'm now running version 250308 and seems fine, moved to 310308, got error message moved to the very latest version fixing Error Message and at that point l loose the Hyperlink and Comments in MM…..hope this helps.

    Regards Malcolm

  6. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

    Hi Malcolm — Just ran into this myself. How embarassing. I had resolved not to post on this until it was stable — which it was — but it was still getting occasional errors where it couldn't find a message object that it thinks it there. I made one final change (31Mar08 version) to try to eliminate those error messages and introduced this bug.

    I just rolled back the wiki version to the 25Mar08 version (and labeled it 1Apr08).

    The 31Mar08 version can hang up your queue because it is looking for a hyperlink on clipboard that isn't there. You can either empty the queue (if you remember what is in there), or open "my maps\gyroq\gyroactivator-queue.txt" in notepad ,search/replace "olmsg" with "", empy your clipboard, and then hit "send queue". The tasks will not have links or notes, but the underlying messages in your archive should be there for reference or relinking.

    My apologies to everyone.

  7. Arkadiy said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

    Dear ActivityOwner,

    Thank you very much for all the work that you have put in development of this tool.

    I have noticed that outlook messages look strange in MM topic notes now after they have been processed by Outlinker 2.0.
    I am using Outlook 2007.

    Here is an example of the message.

    From: Arkadiy Goykhberg*nl*Date: 4/1/2008 4:30:07 PM*nl*To: Arkadiy Goykhberg*nl*CC: *nl*Subject: Oulinker 2.0*nl**nl*Dear ActivityOwner,*nl**nl* *nl**nl*Thank you very much for all the work that you have put in development of this tool.*nl**nl* *nl**nl*I have noticed that outlook messages look strange in MM topic notes now after they have been processed by Outlinker.*nl**nl*I am using Outlook 2007.*nl**nl* *nl**nl*Here is an example of the message.*nl**nl* *nl**nl*Thanks*nl**nl**nl**nl* *nl*

  8. BillS said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

    CFPerry,

    Sorry, forgot to clarify. I'm using OutLook 2007 as it came w/ MS Office Ultimate 2007. Unfortunately that bridge doesn't exist for OL 2007. Recently there was a post about exporting .eml msgs but too much hassle. I am considering using a LN agent to forward to my gmail. And of course IMAP is turned off though the company is looking at iNotes. Not sure if that would improve my situation. At the moment I think I'm S.O.L. from the business side.
    But, thank you for posting those instructions as I had forgotten about OL 2003 & this might help others.

  9. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

    Hi Arkadiy — I should have mentioned that you should upgrade mindreaderopen.mmbas as well as outlinker. When the message body is routed through GyroQ, OutLinker needs to convert several escape characters (cr/lf, ', ") to codes so that they don't confuse gyroQ, and then have mindreader convert them back on the other side. The updated version of mindreaderopen.mmbas will do this.

  10. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

    BillS — I imagine forwarding your mail outside corporate network to gmail might not be popular with your IT folks. Can you downgrade to OL 2003 and still interact with your exchange server?

  11. BillS said,

    April 2, 2008 @ 5:59 am

    AO,

    I am an IT folk :). Just not the infrastructure IT folk. And you're right, they would not appreciate all the forwarding, especially confidential company info. I'm also not using an exchange server at the moment, just gmail (IMAP). I just really want the OutLinker ability as leaving email in my inbox is still a weakness. And OutLinker is very powerful! Most MS licenses allow using older versions & I believe it will play nicely with the other Office 2007 tools. So, currently my choices are:
    1. downgrade to OutLook 2003
    2. Write a Notes version
    If I do #2 I will definitely fwd the code to you but it is a lower priority as I'm studying for my PMP.

  12. nigel said,

    April 10, 2008 @ 10:05 am

    Perhaps I missed a change in functionality, but since the last update (4-2), I have to hit go into gyroQ and hit send queue in order for my outlinker work to be moved into Mindmanager. Is this WAD?

  13. ActivityOwner said,

    April 10, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

    Yes — this is a "feature" not a bug :-). The direct transfer from outlook to MindManager takes a few extra seconds and requires MindManager to be open. I implemented it this way initially working the kinks out to avoid queue issues.

    If you perfer direct transfer, you can switch to that mode by changing the "usegyroq" setting to 0.

  14. OutLinker 2.01 » ActivityOwner.Com said,

    April 12, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

    […] 31Mar08 version of OutLinker I posted about yesterday had a last minute bug introduced. See comments on previous post for instructions to fixing your queue if needed. The latest version (1Apr08) is a roll-back that […]

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