Can a macro open a new journal entry, change the type of entry to Task, then automatically start the timer?

This is one of those rare cases in which a custom Outlook form can do the job more easily than a macro can. Although it's possible to write Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code to handle the job, that approach takes quite a bit more work.

The custom form solution is easy to implement. Create a new journal item and change the Type from Phone Call to Task. Choose Tools, Forms, Design This Form. Choose Form, View Code, then type the code that Listing 1 shows into the window. (To download this code, go to http://www.windowsitpro.com/microsoftexchangeoutlook and enter 48275 in the InstantDoc ID text box.) Choose Tools, Forms, Publish Form and publish the form to the Journal folder, giving it the display and form name Task, which will result in a Message Class of IPM.Activity.Task. You can then launch this form from the menu in the Journal folder by choosing Actions, New Task.