Making better use of Tasks in Outlook 2007 when RTM is off the table?
September 16, 2011 11:57 AM   Subscribe

How to optimize the Tasks function in Outlook 2007 when RTM/gtasks are off the table?

I'm in a office full of heavy Outlook users who are my co-workers/supervisors/etc. In that context, it ends up creating a lot of extra steps to use Remember the Milk, even if it's a better system because it's not integrated with my email, and I can't share/transfer with others at work.

I get a ton of tasks via email, but there are also manually entered ones. I haven't really made friends with a system in Outlook, because I'd been using RTM up to this point.

I'm doing a variety of grant funding admin, event planning, supervision, and research tasks, as well as a firehose of email.

Any tips/tricks for moving beyond the simple red flag? Things I liked in RTM the ease of use of the interface via quick add, the iphone app, the flexibility about reminders and repeats.

Things I didn't master in RTM and would love to have are sets of tasks that can be re-created/copied (like for event planning deadlines).

Also welcome would be general ways you conceptualize large task lists with entries that vary widely in terms of importance and time to complete.
posted by mercredi to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Keyboard shortcuts make every bad software situation a lot better:

Sets of tasks are going to be weak no matter what, but try copying sets of tasks to another tasks folder in Outlook. Perhaps you can set up a shared task folder on your network for this.

Custom views are how you'll do everything else. At one job I had to use Outlook. I set it up so my custom view sorted by category (so categories were my projects) and had two custom checkbox fields for prioritizing. I also customized the new task screen so I could set values for my custom fields when I created tasks.
posted by michaelh at 12:31 PM on September 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks - that's the sort of info I'm looking for. A follow-on question: is is possible to re-name a email that has become a to-do? Because a lot of these grow out of email chains, the subject line isn't a great task name.
posted by mercredi at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2011

I use this to help me with task management and emails.

This macro for Microsoft Outlook creates a button which, when clicked, will quickly create a new task for the currently open email that will trigger a reminder in a set number of days. It's useful if you file emails into folders and find that, once they are out of your inbox, you forget about them.
posted by mr_silver at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2011

If you drag a message to "Tasks" in the Navigation Pane to create a task, it will open in edit mode and you can change the name there by editing the Subject line. (This will also leave an unedited copy of the message in the original folder.)
posted by trip and a half at 2:55 PM on September 16, 2011

VBA is going to be your friend here. With it I can make Outlook do almost anything I want short of making me breakfast. I would start with a good book on VBA and go from there.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:26 PM on September 16, 2011

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