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Microsoft Outlook Tasks

I don't use the Tasks in MS Outlook much myself since I prefer paper, pencil and a page-a-day diary. But I'm always amazed how little people who do use Outlook to manage their tasks know about the many things one can do with it. So I'm going to write an occasional series of postings on the subject.

So here's my first tip.

Go to New/Task in Outlook, which will open a task box. Notice the large space for notes which makes up the major part of the note box. Now select any email you like in your Inbox, and drag it into the note space on the task box. You will see that the email is represented by an icon. Double click on it and the email will open.

This is very useful because you can use the alarm function on the Outlook Task to bring the email forward at a set time or a set day.

You don't have to restrict yourself to one email either. You can drag as many as you like into the task box. So you could use it for bringing forward a batch of emails for action. Or for grouping all the emails to do with a particular subject.

In fact you can drag an entire email folder into the task box. So you could use it to remind yourself to review a whole subject.

An alternative to dragging is to highlight the email and use CTRL-C and CTRL-V to paste into the task box. It produces exactly the same result.

There are many other things you can do with the task box, and I'll be dealing with some of them over the next few weeks.

Reader Comments (2)

I work in a large corporation that uses Outlook and my observation aligns with yours. Excellent task management capabilities of Outlook go unused by most employees. Personally, I'm in the midst of adopting many of Micheal Linenberger's suggestions from his book titled, Total Workday Control. As a previous non-user of Outlook for task management, I'm finding the shift to be very empowering. I like the idea of using Outlook as my single "dashboard" for monitoring my tasks and time.
Thanks for your blog and your insights.
Regards, Don
December 12, 2006 at 17:51 | Unregistered CommenterDon
I have been using Outlook to manage my workload for some time and find that the ability to gather a number of emails together in a Task is one of its greatest advantages over pen and paper. I love a physical paper list but Tasks double up as a filing system for my current workload.
December 13, 2006 at 8:27 | Unregistered CommenterLucy

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