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Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks
Illustration by Neil Webb

Creating a recurring task


From:

Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks

with Gini Courter

Video: Creating a recurring task

Earlier I created a task Make bank deposit that's completed on Fridays. There's a reminder that happens at eight o'clock in the morning and some time that day there needs to be bank deposit made typically during the lunch hour. Now even though this task recurs every single Friday, right now what I have is a task for the 30th December. If I want to create more, I could actually create a task for the 6th January and the 13th and so on, but that's a waste my time. I should just recur this task, just as I would a meeting.

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Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks
2h 27m Intermediate Jan 17, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating an appointment, event, or meeting
  • Inviting others
  • Creating recurring meetings
  • Flagging emails
  • Creating tasks from email or from scratch
  • Creating custom QuickSteps
  • Applying categories to tasks and to-do items
  • Completing a task and sending an update
  • Setting calendar and task list options
Subjects:
Business Productivity Time Management
Software:
Office Outlook
Author:
Gini Courter

Creating a recurring task

Earlier I created a task Make bank deposit that's completed on Fridays. There's a reminder that happens at eight o'clock in the morning and some time that day there needs to be bank deposit made typically during the lunch hour. Now even though this task recurs every single Friday, right now what I have is a task for the 30th December. If I want to create more, I could actually create a task for the 6th January and the 13th and so on, but that's a waste my time. I should just recur this task, just as I would a meeting.

So I'm going to say that every week on Friday, with No end date, I'd like to have this task recur. Before I leave this dialog box though, I want to point out that I could say that I want to have something happen on a Daily basis, or Every weekday only, rather than everyday, I'd like to have something happen twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays, or I'd like it to happen every two weeks every other Friday for example, maybe a payroll, that kind of thing, or submitting expenses. I can also set like something to be done Monthly or Yearly.

But there's a difference between tasks and meetings. With tasks I have the ability to do something called Regeneration. And when I regenerate a task what Microsoft Outlook does is it creates a new task, not based on a particular day of the week, but on a particular duration. For example, let's say that I have a piece of maintenance that has to be done. I need to make sure that I have the oil changed on a company vehicle, at least every three months I need to have the oil changed and checked.

Well, it might be that we did a whole lot of driving right now and I realized that we should get the oil checked right away. I shouldn't wait until the three months comes up. So in that case what I could say is I could say that I want to regenerate this task every three months. If after two months I have the oil changed, then Outlook will regenerate the task three months from now. In other words, even if I do the task early or late, the next occurrence of the task is based on when I actually performed the task.

So for things like getting your haircut, human maintenance, vehicle maintenance, anything else that is a duration from the last time that it occurred, you treat as a regeneration, and set up a pattern based on whether you're regenerating it after months or days or years or whatever you'd like to do here. But what we want to do is set up a Friday bank deposit that goes on forever. So here's my Make bank deposit. I am going to Save & Close this new recurring task. You'll see it here on my To-Do List.

If I go to my Day, Week, Month view in the calendar, you will also see that on Friday, I have Make bank deposit. But if I go to next Friday, it's not there and this is another way in which recurring tasks differ from recurring meetings or appointments. When I recur a task the next instance of it isn't created until after I complete the task. So with a recurring task there's no way for me to look at my Calendar. This is the downside. And see that I actually need to make a bank deposit on Friday 6th. If I go take a look I can see it here after I make the deposit.

Let's say I make the deposit today, I am early, but I'm going to go ahead and make the deposit. So, that bank deposit has been made. Now when I go take a look, now the appointment is here for the 6th. If I need to skip an occurrence, I simply go in and say Skip, and that might be because someone else has made the deposit on the 6th, I didn't, somebody else did. So I need to skip this occurrence. When I do and I Save & Close it, notice it's no longer on the 6th, but it appears next on the 13th. So this is how this recurring task works.

They will only ever be one of them sitting on your Task list, whether you're looking at the task here on the Day, Week, Month view of the Calendar or looking on the Task list. Notice that because the next time this is going to be done is now the 13th of January, it's moved to next month. If I wanted to say, okay, this was a great demonstration, but I'd like to crank this back to the 30th, it's easy enough to do. Just go ahead and move your Start date back, you can do that there or you can do that here in the Start date on your Range of recurrence and Save & Close and you will notice that we are back to this week, we have a bank deposit to make on Friday.

So we will make sure we do that particularly since it's the last one for this year.

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