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Up and Running with Office 365
Illustration by Neil Webb

Managing tasks


From:

Up and Running with Office 365

with David Rivers

Video: Managing tasks

In these busy times it can be very difficult to remember every item that you need to follow up on, every item that needs to get done in a day, so it's good to know here in the Outlook Web App, you have a tool for doing just that. It's called Tasks, and we're going to take a look at it now. Beginning here in Outlook, you may recall, when you receive an email message from someone within your Office 365 organization, you'll see this Action Items tab, and clicking it will automatically analyze the email message down below and create action items for you.

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Up and Running with Office 365
2h 11m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Get started using Office 365, the Microsoft hosted collaboration and productivity suite that allows businesses and teams to email, collaborate on documents, and share calendars. Author David Rivers tours the subscription service, showing how to administer user accounts; share and collaborate with a team site; and manage mail, contacts, and calendars with the Outlook web app. The course also explains how to connect with colleagues using the instant messaging and social media features.

Topics include:
  • What is Office 365?
  • Choosing the right plan
  • Defining and adding users
  • Uploading files to the cloud with SkyDrive
  • Viewing and editing your website
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Importing contacts into Outlook Web App (OWA)
  • Managing tasks
  • Creating documents on a team site
  • Adding web parts to a page
  • Sending instant messages
  • Setting up newsfeeds
Subjects:
Business Computer Skills (Mac) Computer Skills (Windows) Email Spreadsheets Word Processing
Software:
Office 365
Author:
David Rivers

Managing tasks

In these busy times it can be very difficult to remember every item that you need to follow up on, every item that needs to get done in a day, so it's good to know here in the Outlook Web App, you have a tool for doing just that. It's called Tasks, and we're going to take a look at it now. Beginning here in Outlook, you may recall, when you receive an email message from someone within your Office 365 organization, you'll see this Action Items tab, and clicking it will automatically analyze the email message down below and create action items for you.

So you'll see that there is a flag for follow-up. You'll also see a little flag appearing in the message snippet, but you'll also find those items on your Task list, and there's where we're going next. Let's click Tasks, down near the bottom of our Outlook navigation pane. That switches us over to our tasks, and there they are, on our Task list. Let's talk about what we're seeing here. First of all, in the navigation pane for Tasks, on the left-hand side, you can have flagged items--these are items that come from those email messages--and tasks displayed.

If you want to focus in on simply Tasks and leave out the flagged items, click this link and you'll see, for me, I don't have any. Both of my items are just simply flagged items, things I need to follow up on. Also, at the top, we can filter out some of our task by going to Active. These are the ones that need attention. Any of these overdue? No, we're good to go so far. Any completed? Not yet. Let's go back to All. Now with All selected, you'll see anything that needs to be completed, anything that's overdue. You'll also see all of the items that have been completed; they'll show up as crossed out. We'll see that momentarily.

With an item selected, you'll also see the details over here in the reading pane. This happens to be the email message that was used to create this follow-up item, and if we are to delete our task or follow -up item, we would actually delete the email. You'll see this momentarily as well. Right now though, let's just simply mark this as complete. We were requested to submit training request. We just did it, so we can go right into the snippet here to do this. Notice there's a little clipboard icon.

Here is where we go to mark it as complete. That's better than deleting it, because as I mentioned, if we hit Delete, we'll see a warning that we're about to delete the item and the email message as well. Do we want to continue? Let's choose No, and simply go to the clipboard icon to mark it as complete. Now we see a check mark, and it's crossed out here on our snippet list. Let's go to the User Conference one. Now this one also came from an email and if we wanted to, we can mark it as complete. There we go; both of these are crossed off.

Now, if we go to Active to see what needs to be done today, nothing. It looks like a slack day. Of course, you can create your own tasks from scratch as well. Let's do that. We'll click new task up at the top left, and over here on the right now, we have some fields to fill in. If it's a simple task, we'll just simply fill in the fields we see here, for example, Submit Vacation Request. Maybe I have to do that by May 1, so I'll click the calendar dropdown, navigate to May, and click the 1st.

Down below, I can add Additional Notes. Maybe I'm planning on 2 weeks in July. If I needed to, I could add more details. When we click Show More Details, you'll notice we can include Start dates. Now this is typical of a project task where you might have a Date completed, Status, the Percent complete. You can add a Priority to it as well. If it repeats, you can add that, including Reminders, and then you can also track things like Work Hours, Mileage, Billing, and so on.

I don't need any of that for this vacation request, so I'm going to click show fewer details to bring it back to a simple form. All I need to do now is save. When I save it, it now appears on my list of active items. Notice I'm still looking at Flagged Items and Tasks. This one happens to be an actual task. Clicking it will display the information over here on the right again. I can also go back and make changes to it. I'm going to edit this and change this to August and resave it. There we go.

And I can mark it as complete once I submit my vacation request. Again, I can go to the clipboard icon, but I can also go up here to Complete. When I click it there, look at that, nothing active. If I go back to All though, I will see All tasks, including the ones that I have completed. We can also sort what we're seeing here. Items can be viewed by their due dates. You can click the dropdown to change that to Status for example. All of these are completed together. How about By Type? There we go.

So we have a task and these are messages. And we can rearrange the order for any of these Sort by options. Notice down below, messages on top, messages on bottom. If we go back to due date and click the dropdown, we can have the oldest on top or the newest on top. I like the newest ones at the top. There we go. So that's a quick look at your Tasks. At any time you can delete tasks as well, when you don't need to see them anymore. This one happens to be a simple task. If I hit Delete, it's gone. Where does it go? It goes to your Deleted items.

You need to go back to Outlook to find those and when we go to Deleted items, you'll see your email messages, but you'll also see tasks in here as well. If we were to arrange how we view this list--how about Type?-- you'll see the Task at top. Beautiful! That's all part of the Outlook Web App. So if you do need to follow up on things, remember those things using follow-up items or action items in email messages and remember you can create your own tasks as well and follow up on those.

It's a great way to make sure that you don't let anything slip through the cracks.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Office 365.


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Q: Where did the Save button go? How do I update the files I’m editing?
A: All files are now automatically updated/saved on the fly while editing, so there’s no need to save manually. Hence the absence of the Save button.
Q: How do I rename my Excel workbook or PowerPoint presentation?
A: Click the name of the file in the title bar and edit it there.
Q: I can’t see my headers and footers.  How do I edit them in Word?
A: Go to the Insert tab, and click Header & Footer.  Any existing data will appear and can be edited.
Q: Where is Track Changes in the web apps?
A:  That functionality is not yet available.  You can open your file in the desktop app to use that feature and then continue to work on it in the web app without losing the Track Changes information.
 
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