Outlook 2013: Working with Tasks (How To and Tips)


Source: Plan and Simple Microsoft Outlook 2013, Jim Boyce (2013)

At one time or another, most of us have written a to-do list—a list of tasks that we need to perform. Maybe you put together a list of the improvements or repairs you want to make to your house. Maybe it’s something simpler such as a list of errands to run. Whatever the case, having a list of the tasks can be valuable for keeping you on track.

Microsoft Outlook 2013 includes a feature to help you keep your pending tasks in mind. The Tasks folder stores your to-do list. You can create tasks for yourself, assign them a due date, and easily mark them as completed. You can create one-time tasks or recurring tasks. Outlook also lets you assign tasks to others and receive status updates on the tasks from the people to whom you assign them. This section explains how to use the Tasks folder to create and manage one-time and recurring tasks as well as how to assign tasks to others

  1. Working in Tasks folder

Outlook 2013 includes a Tasks folder that you can use to store your tasks as well as those that you assign to others. The Tasks folder offers a variety of ways to view and work with your tasks, including the daily task list that appears at the bottom of the calendar and the Tasks List in the To-Do Bar.

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2. Viewing Task

With Outlook 2013, you can view your task list in various loca-tions in Outlook so that you can not only access your task items to work on them, but also see a summary list of all your pending tasks, tasks due that day, and so on. You can view your tasks in the Tasks folder, or you can use the task list in the Calendar and To-Do Bar to view and work with tasks.

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3. Adding Task

Tasks can be added to your Outlook 2013 Tasks folder in one of two ways. You can create the task yourself, or you can accept a task that someone else assigns to you. If you create the task yourself, you can set it up by using the New Items button on the Home tab for any folder, or you can create it through the Tasks folder.

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4. Working with Recurring Task

Some tasks that you create in Outlook 2013 are of a recurring nature—they repeat on a regular basis. For example, maybe you have to prepare a set of reports every Friday that summarizes the week’s sales or other information. Or perhaps you need to back up your files every week. Although a recurring task shows up only once in the task list, it appears in the tasks lists in the calendar and on the To-Do Bar when the assigned due date falls in the list’s range. If you set a reminder for the task, you receive the reminder for each recurrence of the task.

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5. Modifying and Updating Task

You can modify a task in Outlook 2013 at any time to change any property, including subject, due date, recurrence, and so on. Another change you might want to make to tasks is to mark them as complete so that you can see at a glance the tasks that are finished and those that are not. You can also change the view of the Tasks folder to show only tasks that are complete, only tasks that are overdue, only those that are incomplete, and so on. In addition to marking tasks complete, you probably want to delete completed tasks and send status updates for tasks that are assigned to you.

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6. Inserting an Outlook Item Into A Task

When you create a task in Outlook 2013—whether you create the task for yourself or assign it to someone else—you might want to add items to the task. For example, assume that you’re going to assign a task to someone else, and that person needs a copy of a Microsoft Word document to perform the task. You can attach the document to the task. Or, perhaps you need to include some contacts with a task. Whatever the case, it’s easy to insert Outlook items, objects, and files into a task.

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7. Inserting a file into a task

In addition to inserting Outlook items, you can insert documents and other types of files. For example, you might want to insert a project plan, report, or other document into a task so that when you’re working on that task, you have the documents handy.

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8. Assigning a task to someone else

If you manage others and use Outlook in your organization for email and collaboration, you probably want to assign tasks to others. Outlook 2013 sends the task assignment as an email message, and the assignee has the option of accepting or rejecting the task. When you assign a task, you define a status update distribution list. The people on that list receive status reports when the assignee makes changes to the task.

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9. Accepting or rejecting assigned tasks

If someone assigns a task to you, the task assignment comes to you in the form of an email. You then must either accept or reject the task. Or, you can accept the task and then assign it to someone else.

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