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Rediscover the robust task management features in Microsoft Outlook 2010. Author Gini Courter explains the difference between Outlook tasks and To-Do Lists, and shows how to use Outlook 2010 to handle both business and personal schedules, from making appointments, to creating and completing tasks, to color-coding calendars and tasks for at-a-glance review.
In Outlook 2010 there's no need to create each and every appointment from scratch, you can quickly create new appointments, from existing appointments and meetings, from e-mail messages that you've received, from contacts, and from tasks or items on your to-do list. Now you probably already know that you can drag-and-drop an appointment or an event from one day to another on your calendar. So if for example, I have this CD mailing and I decide, oh! I'm going to do that I'll come in on Saturday and do that, so I am just going to move that, works just fine. This is actually an appointment, I'm the only person involved if it were a meeting I would get an offer to let other folks know because when I move a meeting I need to let other people who have been invited know that the meetings have been moved, but for my own task it's easy I simply take it, move it, easy enough, take it drag it back.
So within one calendar if I'm dragging- and-dropping items I'm moving them and you might also know that if you hold control while you do that you're actually creating yet another item. So, if for example I decide I'm going to need to mail CDs for a couple of days, the deadline is out of ways but I'm going to work on it Friday and I am going to spend some time also on Saturday, so I am going to hold Ctrl now and drag. Notice that my pointer has a little Plus sign attached to it, that means that I am going to be making a copy, when I release the mouse button or release my touchpad button before I release the Ctrl key on my keyboard, I get a second one.
This functionality to drag, to move, or to hold Ctrl+Drag in order to copy is a Windows feature. So this works in places other than Outlook, but because it's a Windows feature it absolutely works here in Outlook 2010. So if I have multiple calendars I can also drag something from one calendar to another. I can hold this item, drag it over here to for example the training calendar and move it there if I want to. The easy way to do that though is to do it visually let's open up the Training Calendar so I can see it.
In Windows if I drag a file between two folders it always makes a copy, if I go from one folder to another one drive to another, same thing is happening here. I'm not holding the Ctrl key at all but because I'm moving from my calendar here as soon as I cross over into the Training Calendar notice that my pointer changes to a Plus sign. So if I were going to take some piece of training here that we were doing and moving it to the Training Calendar, I could go ahead and grab that and move it, and notice that it's automatically going to create a copy of it. We will spend a little more time looking at these different calendar views later on.
Now we know we can drag to move or copy appointments within the calendar, but you can also do this with all of the other folders in Outlook. So check this out for example, I have an e-mail that I got from Greg, there is some work that he would just love for me to do today, but it's the end of the workday, so I am going to wait until tomorrow. So what I'm going to do is, I am going to take this appointment from Greg, this request, it's an e-mail, we're going to open it up so we can see, yup it's an e-mail. And I'm going to take this and drag it and I am going to drop it on the calendar. And when I do it's going to create a new calendar appointment.
Now I have my items grouped here on the Taskbar but you can see right there if I open it up potential vendors need approval from Greg, this is the content out of the e-mail, it doesn't have a snappy picture in it, but it has everything else. So now I can do whatever I need to do on this, it actually grabbed the closest time, this time here it's 6:24 p.m. it shows the next half-hour increment which is 6:30. But I actually want to work on this tomorrow and I want to work on it at about 11 a.m. So I am going to just go ahead and type 11 a.m. in there, it'll take me about a half-an-hour so that works just fine.
Again, if it was going to take me less than a half-hour, if it was going to take me 10 or 15 minutes I would be putting this on my Task List, but I actually want to book some time to get this done for Greg. I can also then send an e-mail back to him and say, I'm all over it tomorrow morning. Let's save and close this item, and if I go to my Calendar now, I'll see that I have placed this item, Potential vendor meeting need approval right there on my Calendar. So easy enough to do, I'm in my Mailbox, I drag something, I drop it on my Calendar. If I wanted to put this item on the Training calendar instead or some other calendar, for example we have some training items here on how to create some online forms and maybe we'd like to hold the training about that, so I am going to grab this, point to my calendar and wait.
And in that moment when I wait, notice that Outlook automatically switched out into the calendar. Let's go take a look I am going to close this and let's look again at how that work. I'm going to point to the Calendar button down here and as I do notice that at the top here in my Navigation Pane Microsoft Outlook opened my calendars. So if I want this on the Training calendar, I can go ahead and choose Training, it will create a new form just as it did last time and I can go ahead and say that I would like to do this next Wednesday at 2:00 p.m, maybe I have some other things I want to do with this and save and close.
Now when I go look at my calendar next Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., it's not there, but if I look at the Training calendar, the calendar I dropped it on, there it is, right here. So if I'd like to create an appointment on someone else's calendar I just need to do that little tiny paws, that little tiny wait for a second while I'm dragging an item from this Mailbox to the calendar, pause till I get my calendar list, and then I'm all set to go. Next I can take an item that's a contact, and say, I would like to create a calendar item with a contact, this gets kind of interesting because I'm going to have a meeting with Glenda here, she is another administrative assistant and I'm going to grab her contact and I'm going to drop it on the calendar.
And predictably enough this is a really fascinating thing if I drag-and-drop an e-mail on the calendar it creates an appointment something just for me. But if I drag someone else's contact to the calendar, it creates a meeting, it assumes that when I drag Glenda to the calendar and drop her, that means I want to meet with Glenda. So there is a great shortcut, just grab somebody's contact and instead of thinking about it, oh, I am looking at their contact and I'm thinking I need to get a hold of this person, and instead of then turning around, go into my calendar and creating a meeting I can in just that one stroke, grab it, drag it and drop it on my calendar or another calendar and set up a meeting with Glenda, that easily.
If I have a task and I need to meet with other people about it, I can also create an appointment or a meeting just as easily. So here's one possibility. I have something that at the time I created as a task because I don't think it was going to take me long at all. So I have this little mini task for next Monday that says Talk to Karla about printer. But I found out that this is not a small conversation, this is a big conversation. Karla has been interviewing lots of printers, she has lots of choices that are available to me and she doesn't want this to be a five-minute thing, she actually wants a meeting. So I can go ahead and grab this task out of my Task List, go to my Calendar, drop it, and once again it's going to create that other appointment here that I can then set up, and if I want to turn this into a meeting, that's easy enough as well, but I can book time for a task by dragging that task onto my calendar and releasing it.
So whether the information that I have is part of a task, is part of a e-mail message that I've received whether it's a contact that I need to hold a meeting with, don't forget that rather than switching back to your calendar to create an appointment you can just use the drag -and-drop method from your Inbox, from your Contacts folder, from your Task List to quickly create appointments, events, and meetings. This is more than just a timesaver because when you drag to your calendar you can actually see exactly how you're putting the appointment together, and you can see your surrounding time commitments if you pause for a moment and wait.
So if I want to actually see my calendar I can go to my Calendar and look at that appointment and see those surrounding other items that would let me say, do I want to do it then or do I want to do it another time? So don't forget to use the drag-and- drop method to quickly create appointments, events, and meetings on your calendar. This is more than just a timesaver. Because we are actually copying items you don't worry about having type some information incorrectly, you're actually grabbing a copy and letting Outlook create an appointment, a meeting or an event with all of the information you already had in the original e-mail or contact or task item.
What a sweet, sweet way to do this.
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