How to Insert the Date and Time into an Outlook Item

Last reviewed on July 28, 2012

One often requested feature that is missing in older versions of Outlook is ability to insert a date and time stamp into the body of Outlook items. While Outlook doesn't offer it directly, you can use a custom form or an add-in to insert the date stamp.

While this is not needed in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 as both include the Insert Date and Time command found in Word, you can use it if you prefer.

One complaint about Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013′s Insert Date & Time command is that it is too many steps. It’s not bad if you use the keyboard shortcuts: Alt+N, D, Enter will insert the date and time format you have set as default. To insert other formats, use the arrow keys to select them, then press Enter. (Home or Page Up jumps to the top entry on the list while End or Page Down jumps to the bottom.)

See the Tools section below for add-ins that you can use instead. Note that the custom forms method doesn't work well with Appointment forms since you can't change the first page of the form. It also doesn't work well with contacts in Outlook 2003 and 2007 since editing the first page of the form reverts the form to the older Outlook contact form (as in the screenshot below).

Custom Form Method with Button

In a new Outlook 2003 or older, open a form then:

  1. Select the Tools menu, Forms, Design this form
  2. Then from the View menu, choose View code
  3. In the code window, enter this code:

In Outlook 2007 and up, first show the Developer ribbon (File or Office icon, Options), then from the Developer ribbon, choose Design this form. The View Code button is in the Form section.

Sub StampDate()
   Item.Body = Now() & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & Item.Body
End Sub


Sub CommandButton1_Click() 
  Call StampDate() 
End Sub

Add a date stamp to a custom form After entering the code, close the code window.

Next:

  1. Open the Control toolbox and drag a command button to the form.
  2. Rename it by right clicking on it and selecting Properties.
  3. In the Caption field, type in the desired name.

To use, click the button you created.

Custom Form – Automatic Method

If you want the date stamped in the Notes field every time you open an item, you can create a custom form as described above, but use the code below instead. You also won’t need to add a button to the form, so it will work with contacts. Although today’s date is added to the Notes field every time you open a contact, it’s not saved until you Save the contact.

In Outlook 2007 and up, first show the Developer ribbon (File or Office icon, Options), then from the Developer ribbon, choose Design this form. The View Code button is in the Form section.

In Outlook 2003 and older, or Outlook 2007′s main window, go to Tools menu, Forms, Design this form. Then from the View menu, choose View code.

In the code window, enter this code:

Function Item_Open()
Item.Body = Now() & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & Item.Body
End function

Publish the form and set it as the default form for the folder, if desired. If you want to use it with existing items you’ll need to convert the items to use the new form. Instructions are at How to Set a Custom Form as the Default for a Folder.

Tools

DocMessageClass

Used to change the message class of Outlook items,so that existing items will use newly created forms.Free.

Insert Date-Time

Stamp any Outlook item with your name and the date/time, in various formats and locations. Enter code WD9BHK53 during checkout.

More Information

To stamp a date on a Microsoft Outlook item (Outlookcode)

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.