Creating quick tasks from e-mails in Outlook!
March 5, 2008 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a relatively simple outlook add in that will, at a minimum, let me 'one-click' a button (or Alt-something keyboard shortcut) and create a task from the currently highlighted e-mail on the screen.

Ideally, the task that is generated would further allow me to categorize it from a list of projects that I have ongoing - thinking a drop down list for one of the task fields (somehow need to be able to change what appears in the drop down from time to time...). This would be nice, but is not required.

I have used some add-ins in the past (NetCentrics GTD and ClearContext), and like them (they have this 'create task' capability, BTW), but they place an unacceptable amount of overhead on my system or connectivity, slowing it down far too much.

So... looking for a slimmed-down version that will have the core functionality I described above.

Thanks hive!

posted by dyerfr to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hmm... maybe I'm misunderstanding your question, but isn't this what the "Follow Up" functionality does?

I can right-click on any email in my Inbox, and select Follow Up, and then pick a date for it to be due by... and hey presto, a task appears in my task list and on my calendar (using Outlook 2007, but this has been around since at least Outlook XP). If you don't mind the extra dialog box then there is a "Custom..." option which lets me set a category and pick a date and a reminder sound.

You could easily assign the Follow Up / Custom option to a shortcut key using the Tools / Customize menu.
posted by jon4009 at 9:27 AM on March 5, 2008

Response by poster: That doesnt happen when I right-click e-mail, select followup and hit 'due by...' all i get is the red follow up flag within the mail window (and the reminder will show up in the reminders window when it is actually due). and I specifically don't want anything popping on my calendar - it's crowded enough there...

What I am looking for is something that will create a new task - using the text from the e-mail - again, this doesnt happen using the method you describe above.

Now... I can drag the e-mail itself onto the "Tasks" bar on the left side of the screen (don't know what that's called), which effectively does what I am looking for, but I really would prefer one-click and less dragging...

posted by dyerfr at 10:16 AM on March 5, 2008

Best answer: Here is a link with a vba script to do what you want.

Good Luck
posted by tman99 at 11:39 AM on March 5, 2008

I just started using Gootodo. I can forward my emails to a date (i.e.,,,, and so on), and they show up in my to-do list for that day. It's not a robust tool, but it works really nicely. I just downgraded from a more robust tool and like this much better.
posted by scottso17 at 12:45 PM on March 5, 2008

Response by poster: tman99: this sounds like exactly what I want to do; unfortunately I don't know how to use script in Outlook; I looked at the user comments on the site where you wrote the script, but it wasn't dumbed down enough for me. Could you step me through the cutting and pasting in Outlook 2003 within the script editor? Many thanks!
posted by dyerfr at 6:06 PM on March 5, 2008

No problem, Hope this helps.

Alt-F11 will open the Outlook VBA editor. On the file menu save the project. Close the editor. Right click on the toolbar you wish to add the button to, select customize. On the commands tab select macros. In the right hand pane the macro you saved should show. Drag the macro to the toolbar. The button will show outlined in black. Right click on the button and you can select “Name:” to rename the button.

That is how I did it, hope it works for you.
posted by tman99 at 7:34 AM on March 6, 2008

Response by poster: That got it - and is exactly what I am looking for (personally I don't need the 'delete original e-mail' dialog box, but that's minor!

posted by dyerfr at 8:09 PM on March 7, 2008

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