Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simplifying Navigation: Add to Favorites

This post is another in the series on Simplifying Navigation - it is somewhat of an "oldie" but definitely a "goodie". And I have also verified that the same issue and workaround exists using Outlook 2013.

In short, the issue is that the CRM area within the Outlook Client is somewhat buried. For example, if you wish to navigate to the Accounts, it will involve at least 3 clicks (if this area was not previously opened):

In addition to that, if you are more than likely to access a particular entity from your CRM data it would be helpful if you could separate it from the rest of the group.

And fortunately you can by simply dragging and dropping the CRM folder to your Outlook "Favorites" folder which will you give single click access to your CRM data. Much better.

As an aside, it appears that in Outlook 2013 the UI has been simplified and the icons for all the folders have been removed... including the CRM icons. Not sure if this is a long term feature or something that will be tweaked in future Office patches (I personally haven't yet decided whether I prefer it this way or not).

The issue that you may encounter is that the aforementioned drag and drop capability might not be working. And if that is the case, you need to enable this feature by running through the steps in this KB article. Or you can just download this file, unzip and double click to deploy it in your environment (this will add a single registry setting called DisabledSolutionsModule under your MSCRMClient key).

Another option that allows for a little more organization of your CRM links is to use the Outlook "shortcuts" option. In order to make this effective the first thing you should do is go to the Navigation Options and move the shortcuts up in the list so it appears in plain sight as shown.

You can then add new shortcuts to the CRM folders of your preference:

And now you can click on the shortcut to navigate to your CRM data:

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