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Tip of the Day
Language: Microsoft Exchange
Expertise: Beginner
Oct 11, 1999

Journal Entries Appearing to Users

Question:
Why do Journal entries within a (slightly) customized contacts database in Public folders only appear to the user who logged the Journal entry? All other fields in the contact entry appear fine to everyone else.

Answer:
That issue is by design, actually. Journal entries are only placed in your local Journal folder; that keeps them private.

In order to share them, you have to get a little tricky.

With Outlook versions older than 2000 you can create a public Journal folder and copy (either manually or automatically) Journal entries into it. The problem here is that the Journal tab for a contact will still only show Journal entries that are in your local Journal folder (i.e., entries that you made). To view group Journal entries, you need to actually go into the public Journal folder you created.

Also, if you go back and edit one of the entries in your local folder you need to recopy it to the public Journal or else nobody else will see the update.

The task is a little easier in Outlook 2000. Because it replaces the Journal tab in a contact with an "Activities" tab, it can be set to list activities from a variety of different folders—public and private. That means that you can set it to view the public Journal folder by default, so that tab will show all of the group entries automatically.

However, this is a read-only process. In other words, it can be set to automatically read from the public Journal, but it can't be set to write new entries to the public Journal. You'll still need to copy the Journal entries from your private Journal folder to the public one.

If you're an enterprising Visual Basic programmer you could write a little VB agent—which you'd put in each user's private Journal folder—that would automatically copy any new entries to the public Journal at regular time intervals, or whenever a new item was posted.

If you can still find a copy of the "PubJournal" utility, it essentially did just that. Check the local Journal folders periodically and copy any new items to the PubJournal folder on the Exchange Server. The developer of PubJournal has withdrawn it and I'm not aware of any sites where it's still available, but you might stumble across it somewhere; otherwise, as noted above, you could write your own script to duplicate the functionality.

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