How do I add an option to create a new Outlook note (the yellow "sticky note") to the New list on the context menu that I see when I right-click on the Windows desktop? How do I add a note button to the Outlook toolbar as well?
You can make opening a new, blank sticky note in Outlook easier in several ways. Let's take the toolbar first. If you're using Outlook 2000 or Outlook 98, choose View, Toolbars, Customize to bring up the Customize dialog box. On the Commands tab, look under the list of File commands for Note, and then drag that command to the toolbar.
The New context menu in Windows works differently; it creates only files. You can drag a blank note from Outlook to the desktop. This action saves the note as an .msg file. You can then follow the instructions in the Microsoft article "HOWTO: Add an Object to the New Object List" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q140/3/33.asp) to add that Outlook .msg file to the New list. However, this method just creates the note as a file on your desktop. It neither opens it for you to type into nor puts it into your Outlook folders.
A better method is to add a Windows shortcut to your desktop to launch Outlook with the /c ipm.stickynote command-line switch. To use this method, you need to know the path to outlook.exe. Use Start, Find or Start, Search to locate outlook.exe on your computer, then drag the outlook.exe file from the search window to your desktop to create a shortcut. Right-click the shortcut, then choose Properties to bring up the dialog box you see in Figure 1. To add the switch, edit the target to look like
"C:\program files\microsoft office\office\outlook.exe" /c ipm.stickynote
While you're working with the shortcut's properties, you can also add a shortcut key combination and click the Change Icon to use the note icon. After you close the Properties dialog box by clicking OK, you can rename the shortcut something like New Outlook Note.