May 21, 2024
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Microsoft Outlook Task Manager Views & Organization Tips

Microsoft Outlook Task Manager Views & Organization Tips

It’s common to assume that Microsoft Outlook is merely an average email client. But ardent users will tell you that there are many more features available in Outlook and most people barely scratch the surface.

Since email became the default way for workers to organize their lives, email providers, such as Microsoft, have moved quickly to recognize the need and integrate task management features into their various systems.

If you are reading this, chances are you are searching for the most effective way to use Outlook Task management features. This organizational and project management tool helps you get a better handle on your workload while ensuring you never miss out on another work request.

Showing Tasks on Outlook Calendar

Some tasks are time-sensitive compared to others, and as a busy professional, one effective way to remain focused is to block out certain aspects of the day.

Thankfully, the Outlook Task management tool has an easy workflow that allows you to schedule daily tasks using your calendar.

The Outlook website allows you to select the calendar icon on the navigation pane. The navigation pane is at the bottom left corner of your screen. Once you select the calendar icon, you can choose the “My Day” pane, which opens up your tasks in Microsoft To Do.

You can simply drag and drop your task into your calendar to transform it into an appointment. Once you open the event in your calendar, additional options such as inviting others, editing details, and adding reminders are available.

You can also do the same on the Outlook app, by following the steps below:

  • Choose calendar view
  • Head over to the view tab
  • Select the To Do Bar and click on Tasks

The steps above open up the to-do list, where you can drag the new task to the calendar just as you would do on the Outlook website.

Clearing Clutter to Remain Focused

Outlook has a Clutter feature that quickly learns how you can prioritize your emails and then places low priority messages in another folder. It provides you with a daily summary to ensure you do not miss anything. There is also the Focused Inbox feature, so you can see messages on the go.

The Clutter folder and Other tab are both in your email inbox.

How to use Clutter:

Clutter analyzes your emails, using past behavior to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. Then it automatically transfers these messages to the Clutter folder, which you can review later.

You can change how quickly the Clutter folder learns your preferences by moving emails in and out of the folder.

To move your emails from the Inbox to your Clutter folder, simply drag and drop them. Alternatively, you can right-click on the email, select the Move option, and select the Move to Clutter option.

Organizing Numerous Email Chains Using the OneNote Integration

You can use OneNote to organize all your information in a single place. The application’s integration with Outlook makes it easy for you to save emails in OneNote notebooks, take notes on emails, and create flags that appear in Outlook’s To Do Bar from OneNote.

You can use the following steps to save your emails in OneNote:

  • Select the email you want to save
  • Click on the OneNote icon located in the Home ribbon
  • Choose the location you want the email to be saved
  • Once your email has been saved in OneNote, you can add notes, make a checklist, or enter additional information.

You can also add a flag on the OneNote page that wraps the note into Outlook. You can use the following steps to create an Outlook Flag while in OneNote:

  • From the OneNote page, select the title
  • Open the Home ribbon, select Outlook Tasks
  • Pick a flag you want, and you are ready

Use the Built-In To Do Integration

Microsoft Outlook has one of the best integrations with Microsoft To Do. Thanks to the To Do for Outlook add-in, it is quite easy to pull up a list of things to do while going through your email list.

Moving onto Outlook’s website, you can select the My Day icon at the top right of the page. When an email requires additional action, you can drag it onto the My Day pane. Here, you can choose whether it becomes an event on your calendar or a task.

When a task is completed either in the To Do application or the To Do pane, it gets complete on both sides.

You could also flag actionable emails as a way to track them in Outlook. Once the relevant messages have been flagged, you can switch to the To Do view by selecting the To Do icon (a tick) located at the lower left of Outlook’s navigation pane.

Doing this opens the To Do add-in on Outlook, where you can access all your flagged emails alongside other inbuilt smart lists like Assigned to You, Planned, Important, and Completed. Once a task is completed in the To Do List, the flag is removed in Outlook.

Things to note with this tip:

You should note that you can use just one method and cannot combine both methods to create a two-way workflow, like dragging emails to the To Do pane as well as flagging the message in the inbox.

Once an individual task is completed in your To Do list, it is also marked as complete in the To Do for Outlook. However, the email will remain flagged in the inbox.

This means that whatever action you take first determines the connection created. If you flag the message first, then it syncs the Flagged email lists in your Outlook inbox and your To Do list. If you drag the email to your My Day Pane, then the connection is created between the Tasks smart list in To Do and To Do for Outlook.

Written by
Jamie Keet
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