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GBM How-To Series #24 : Optimize Outlook for mobile UMPC viewing



gbm_howto_1One of the things I had to deal with while using my new OQO Model-02 while on the road is viewing my email through Outlook. Remember the OQO has incredible viewing resolutions and zoom options. However, his was only part on my solutions. In this How-To, I will show you some of the things I have dome to make my Outlook experience on the OQO really great.

GBM How-To Series #24 : Optimize Outlook for mobile UMPC viewing  Outlook2007_web

 Having the mobility that the OQO Model-02 offers does come at a price for these aging eyes. As excellent as the screen is, I was not satisfied with the experience I was getting with Outlook. My problem was this, if I put the OQO in the highest screen resolution possible ( and thus mimic my desktop experience ) even with my glasses on , it was hard to read not to mention the safety issue of doing so on the road. When I zoomed out to a point where it was, there was the issue of having to constantly use the vertical and horizontal scrollers on the display (which are quite simply the balm!) to read the messages. Again, safety bells start ringing in my head! What I found was a couple of simple features in Outlook to minimize the Navigation Pane, and to turn off the Reading Pane. I also customized the Quick Access Tool Ribbon to show the tools I wanted to utilize, as well as display it above the ribbon. This worked like a charm. Let me share with you how…


Bullet_1First,  Create a new View by selecting View->Current View->Define Views. Create a new view such as “OQO Mobile View” or something similar. This way, any customizations will be readably available. Tweak any options that you wish.


Bullet_2 I minimized the Navigation Pane by minimizing (or undock) the Folder List in the Navigation Pane. Do this by clicking the << control on the right side of the Folder List. To navigate back, simply move your cursor back to the Navigation Pane and click. Once you click on any other control than the Folder List, the Navigation Pane automatically minimizes to the left side of the Outlook window. You can also select this from the Outlook menu with View->Navigation Page->Minimized.


Bullet_3Next, I turn off the Reading Pane to allow more room to see the “From”, “Subject”, “Received” information for the email in my inbox. Do this by View->Reading Page->Off. You should be now left with a clean view of only emails in your in box without all the other frills while in the folder view of your inbox.

Bullet_4 Now my final tweak is to make sure any add-on tool bars are not shown, or are arranged in a way that is acceptable for the screen format I am using.  To do this, left click on the Outlook tool bar and turn off any tool bars that are not really necessary. I use only the standard toll bar and that works just fine for me.


What you are left with is a lean, mean Outlook view that helps me do a better job of glancing at my incoming email to determine if I need to stop, read and take further action. Remember, be safe when being mobile. No email is worth you safety and well being. Take just a minute to safely pull over to read and reply to any urgent emails. You will be glad you did.

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