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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.
A lot of the functionality that we see with Outlook Tasks can be tweaked a little bit by setting some options. For example, when a task has been completed, not only is it struck through but it's also turned to gray format, items that are overdue are set in red. When I create a new item and I say that it has a Due date that at particular time for example let's say this item has a Due date of the fifth of January, if I want a reminder I actually need to set that separately, by default.
But I could have Outlook set it for me, both setting the Due date and what time that reminder is going to be set. If I start work earlier in the day, I might want to have my reminder show up before 8 o'clock in the morning. So all of these items which seem relatively minor are still things that are better off to set globally, if over and over again I'm having a command on each task I create and say yes, I'd like a reminder, I'd like it that day, and I'd like it at 7 o'clock in the morning, I should be setting a more global option that's going to make those choices for me automatically.
So let's go ahead and click File and choose Options here in Microsoft Outlook backstage and choose Tasks. Again not a huge number of options, but it's nice to have them. If I want to have that reminder set automatically for a task with a Due date, I simply turn this checkbox on, it's off by default. The Default reminder time is set for 8:00 AM. If I want a different time earlier or later, again 7:00 AM if I come in earlier or if I normally come in at eight, but I really don't want to look at all of the reminders for daily tasks until 8:30, I can set it for a little bit later, up to me.
You might recall that when you assign a task or delegate a task to someone else that there are two checkboxes that help keep you up-to-date or in the loop on that task. One is, to keep your task list updated with the copy of the task that you assign to other people. So when I assign a task to someone else, there's a copy kept on my list. For example, this item here that was delegated had a copy that stated here and then second Send a status report automatically when I complete an assigned task.
So here's the checkbox that says keep me updated and here's one that says help me automatically update. These are both on by default however. If you assign a number of tasks and it's actually not part of your job to keep them on your list, for example you fulfill more of an intake and referral function, you might want to turn that off. If you don't want to send status reports when you complete assigned tasks, if you don't want to do that automatically, but you have another mechanism for doing that, you would turn this checkbox off.
If you don't want Overdue tasks to show in red, but in some other color, then you can choose that other color here. The reason users will often make this choice is that it's hard for them to distinguish red against some other color, but blue for example might be a color that shows fairly easily for them. So if the red doesn't show, then it's a good thing to change it to another color. There are some folks who don't like the fact that the tasks that are completed are grayed out. They think strikeouts enough and they'd still like to be able to read them more easily.
So they set them to a color other than gray for example, the Black that you see here. You can set the Quick Click flag here as well as setting it by right-clicking on a flag. This will look familiar to you, when you single click on the flag, what do you want to have happen. So another place you can set that. Finally, how many hours that you have a day and a week working on tasks and this isn't something that is going to have a lot of bearing on how you work in Microsoft Outlook, unless you also do some work in Microsoft Project because this is your available time for task work during the week.
So focus on these options that will allow you to establish how you would like to have new tasks that you create, interact with you, assign tasks that were assigned to you or by you and how you would like to have your display look here for tasks in Outlook.
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