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Outlook Plugins and Master Category List

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  • Outlook Plugins and Master Category List

    I'm using Jello.Dashboard and the one problem I'm finding with the lack of integration with Outlook's master category list.

    For example, if I create a new context in Jello.Dashboard called "@Post Office", it will not appear in Outlook's master category list. Therefore, if I want to create a task via outlook, say to buy stamps, I then have to create an entry in the master category list called "@Post Office".

    Is there a workaround this? I like Jello for my weekly review, but I don't use it exclusively.

    Alternatively, does the NetCentric add-on automatically integrate with the Master Category list?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    My GTD Outlook Add-In

    I've been writing my own GTD add-in for Outlook. So far the hardest part of the add-in has been the integration with the Master Category List. I was unable to find very much useful information regarding integration with the Master Category List.

    One of the items on my Someday list is now to write an article for Code Project describing how to integrate an application with the Outlook Master Category List.

    For now my add-in contains very little functionality. I'll be adding in things as I have time and as I find them useful. The reason that I wrote the functionality I have so far is that one of my uses for the Master Category List is to include project names. Then each task gets tagged with a context category and a project name if applicable from the Project List. I wanted to just be able to type the project name once and to have it added to both the Project List and the Master Category List at once. It also allows me to delete projects from both places.

    I can't tell you about the Net Centric add-in because I haven't taken a look at it yet. I've had fun learning some new things while programming my own add-in. I've been toying with releasing my add-in as donation-ware if there were others that would be interested in it. Though I'm not sure how many people would find it useful because it has some requirements particular to my implementation regarding how some of the contexts lists are setup and named.

    All of that just to say that I was surprised by how difficult integration with the Master Category List was.

    Jake Smith


    • #3
      Possibly irrelevant info about Outlook master categories

      This information may not apply, and it may be changed in newer versions of Outlook. Back in Office 2000 or 2003, there was a challenge for applications that were trying to hook into Outlook's categories through the registry. There was a key that contained the categories, but it was not created until the user opened the master categories list, made some type of edit, then saved. So for any user who never touched the master categories, that registry key that allowed another app to get its hooks into Outlook was nonexistent. My recollection is that the API even mentioned the registry key, as if developers could reach it. The catch is that the key wasn't there in many cases. Just now I messed around with master categories in Outlook 2003, and this key changed each time.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\O utlook\Categories


      • #4
        outlook plugins-options

        Foresight is another option- you can certainly create a master category list with this product quite easily. It is applicable though only for Outlook 03 and 07.

        Jake- I am impressed that you are writing your own GTD add on. That must be time consuming!!