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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 prior versions of Outlook, like Outlook 2002 or Outlook 2003, you may have been used to flagging items, to putting an orange flag or green flag or blue flag on an item so that you could sort it quickly, tell it apart from other items, use it as organizational method. In Outlook 2010 when we flag items, it means something very different. When we flag an item we're actually indicating an intent to do something with that item at a fixed point in time.
So for example, if I need to follow up on this site, on this limited time offer, and I can apply a flag that's red or one of the different shades of Pepto-Bismol pink, by choosing a red flag I'm saying I'm going to do something with this Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week. I can also right-click here Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week. So gone are the flags in different colors for organizations instead we have flags that allow us to go in and say, I need to do something with this and I'm going to do something with it tomorrow.
So when I apply this flag, if I open up this item, you'll see that I need to follow up by a particular time, when it's due, that kind of thing, all that information is provided. When I'm done with this item, I can click it to mark it as Complete. If I decide I'm not going to do anything with it, I can clear the flag. So flags are a particular time. I need to call Glenda about something and I could create a task on my Task List to do that called Glenda, but I can also go find Glenda's contact and flag it.
I want to follow up with her and I'd like to do that sometime Next Week or I could do it at a particular time. So if I choose Next Week, it will actually say that this starts on Monday and is due by Friday. But I could also say that I want to choose a particular Custom time and in that case this dialog box will open up and I can say, I want to Call her re: Photo Finishing. It's nice because this is the text that shows up in that Reminders window will pop-up, and I actually want to finish this by the 22nd, but I think I'd like to get a reminder to start that, at least on the Tuesday.
So let me go ahead and set a Reminder for Tuesday the 20th, oh, maybe 10 o'clock in the morning. That works. So now I have this item here call re: Photo Finishing. Start by Tuesday. Due by Thursday. Set a Reminder on the Tuesday. I can Save & Close this. Now, the beauty of this is that when that reminder pops up in the Reminders window and it says, you need to follow up regarding the photo finishing, the reminder that's going to come up is a flagged reminder, and it will take me right back into that contact very easily.
So I can flag E-mails for Follow Up, either here in the Tags group, or by right-clicking and choosing a flag, and I can do the same with Contacts. One more thought here, I can have one default single click, that's called a Quick Click that says if I click just once on an item, how it will flag it. Now, the default is Today. So if when I click once on something, I want to be able to get it done today, this works for me.
Normally when I'm into my work day, things that I'm flagging are for Tomorrow. Today's work I've already laid out and I know what I'm going to be doing, unless something is really critical, I'm not going to let it bounce my work day around. So I can Set the Quick Click here and say, no, when I click once I don't mean Today, I mean Tomorrow, or I mean This Week or Next Week, whatever works best for you. You could try Today or Tomorrow, Today's the default, or This Week, and see which of those works best for you based on your time, but for me Tomorrow works very well.
So what that means is that if I click once on something, it's automatically flagging it for Tomorrow. Whenever we set a flag in Outlook 2010, we're always talking about a commitment of time.
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