Use Outlook to Log Phone Calls

Do you ever wish that you had good phone log records of the times when you talked to a company? For example, maybe you needed to make phone call notes about a support call to your PC manufacturer or a call to your insurance company. Regardless of whom you’re calling, Outlook’s Journal can help you keep good phone call notes and even dial the number if you have Microsoft Telephony Services installed.

Outlook’s Journal is often overlooked and has been deemphasized, but it still offers value. It creates a timeline of transactions that can be linked to a contact. This feature provides useful records, and I selectively use it for phone notes. It sort of acts like my Outlook call log.

How to Document Phone Calls

  1. Open your Outlook Contacts.
  2. Highlight the contact you plan to call.
Highlighted Outlook contact.
  1. Press Ctrl + 8.

Your contact’s Journal list displays.

  1. Click the Journal Entry button.
Blank journal list and Journal Entry button highlighted.
  1. Fill in your Subject line.
  2. Call your contact and click Start Timer when they answer.
Outlook Journal entry with Start Timer button highlighted.
  1. Add your call notes as necessary.
  2. Click Save and Close when done.
Outlook Journal call notes.

When you return to your contact record, you won’t see references to these entries. You’ll have to type the Outlook keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 8 again.

Documenting Calls Later

This shortcut method also allows you to add entries after the fact. For example, there have been times when someone has called, and the PC is off. I’ll write the pertinent notes on a pad and then transfer them to Outlook soon after. You can also use the same procedure for adding other types of entries, such as notes.

This system doesn’t guarantee me perfect support, but it’s useful for follow-up calls. I’ve encountered too many companies that have gone through mergers and lost customer records. I wish I had started doing this procedure sooner. This is just one way to use Outlook’s Journal feature.

And if the Outlook Journal is a feature you plan to use a lot, you might want to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar.