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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.
You are not constrained to the five built-in Quick Steps in Outlook 2010; you can create your own Quick Steps. Now when you do this you are not going to get extra room to display Quick Steps, so if you have 20 of them you're going to spend some time going and finding them, you have to scroll to get to them. However, it's really great to create Quick Steps to help you process information in your mail folders. So I would like to create a new Quick Step and here is the heart of what it's going to do.
The first thing it's going to do is it's going to mark the selected item as read. The second thing is it's going to categorize it and the third thing is it's going to move it. So, all three of these items and this is to categorize items for the Northern California Expansion. So when I have an item that comes in for the Northern California Expansion what I want to do is note that I've read it, I want to categorize it and I want to move it to that folder, all three of those things. So let's go back to the inbox and let's create a new rule.
The default name for this is My Quick Step. Microsoft didn't waste a lot of time trying to think of a great name here. And I'm going to say Northern California Expansion, that's the name of it and it is very similar to the move rule that I already have, but it's going to do a few extra things for me. So the first thing it's going to do is to mark it as read. The second thing it's going to do is it's going to categorize a message. So notice when I choose Categorize Message, I get to choose a category.
If I want to choose more than one by the way, I can go to All Categories, or one of the things I could do is I could say always prompt me to ask me what category it is. So if I have five projects going on, rather than creating five rules, create one rule that says prompt me for the category, Always ask. I'm going to go ahead and use Purple Category or go to the All Categories list, take the Purple Category and rename it and there is my North California category, so I am going to say OK, North California.
So, two of the things are done. Now the last thing that I want to do is I actually want to move this item to a folder. So I'm going to choose Move to folder under Filing. Notice I can change the status, set at Categories, Tasks and so on, I can Respond, but I'm going to actually move this to a folder and the folder that I want to send it to is Northern California Expansion. I can keep adding steps on here as long as I want to. They'll be executed in the order in which I place them. I can Choose a shortcut key, I'm really limited here.
I have only a small number of shortcuts that I can actually assign and these Ctrl+Shift shortcuts I get Ctrl+Shift+1 through Ctrl+Shift+9 and I really need to keep them in my head. But if I have a few of these, I can usually do that. So Northern California Expansion I could say, when I do Ctrl+Shift+1 I want to actually run this Quick Step. And I can then put some text in here for tooltip text. So it says Mark item as read, add North Calif category and move to No Calif Expansion folder.
That's my help text. So I am going to go ahead and finish this and you'll see that here is my new rule, notice when I point to it there is the text, Mark item as read, add North Calif category and move to No Calif Expansion folder. So I am going to go ahead and choose another item that I want to move here and I am going to North California Expansion. Here it is, the category is assigned as I asked it to, my North California category.
So I can set up Quick Steps of my own to do any number of things. I am going to go back to create new again and I just like to review the actions that are possible. When I am filing I can move an item, copy an item, delete it, or permanently delete it, deleting it moves it to my Deleted Items folder, Permanently deletes it without stopping in the Deleted Items folder. I can mark an item as read or unread and set its importance. I can assign a Category or Clear All Categories.
I can flag a message or clear all flags, mark a message as complete, create a new task with this e-mail item as an attachment or create a task using simply the text of the message. And you're going to see how these kind of task creations work in the next chapter, in the next series of movies. But, for right now know that I can take all of the text or the message itself as an attachment and include that with a new task. I can automatically respond with a new message.
I can forward the message that I have, reply or reply to all. Now if you're going to do any of these you'll probably associate them with some other steps, because if all you were going to do is Reply All, why wouldn't you simply choose it up here. If all you were going to do is reply, why wouldn't you simply again choose it on the Home tab at the ribbon in the Response group. But we might want to do a series of things. I might want to take this and set up a new meeting and include the text as an attachment or as part of the message.
And then I can choose and say move all the messages in this conversation or ignore all the messages that are in this conversation and have those as quick steps again. So a wide range of items remembering of course we can do as many of these actions as we wish to an item being careful that we sequence them properly for example, if we are ultimately going to delete a message it doesn't make a lot of sense to categorize it. But we can't categorize it after we've deleted it; some of the steps actually have to be the last thing on the list.
So, feel free to give it a try to create some Quick Steps that would allow you to quickly process things. For example to move something to a Done folder, to be able to move items for those of you who use personal folders and sort things, manually archive or move items out of your Inbox into personal folders. You can create some powerful rules that will allow you to quickly and easily move things to specific folders. I encourage you to experiment this is a new feature, it's a powerful new feature and it will help you very efficiently work with creating tasks, creating Calendar items or simply moving or routing the mail within your system with one quick and easy click on a Quick Step.
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