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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.
So what can go wrong when you delegate tasks? Well, one of the things that can go wrong from your point of view is that someone can say no I'm not particularly interested in doing that task. So what happens if we delegate a task and someone refuses it? Well, it'll actually come right back to our Inbox and it'll say the task was declined. When we show the email has read, when we actually read it, then the task will return as an unassigned task, it will simply look like any of these other tasks. So if I take this task and I say, let's see if we can get somebody else to do this.
So let's assign this task to Olivia and send it and I am actually going to send a second test to Olivia to, I am going to send her this one. And it will ship both of those off. So two potential assignments, she did a great job on the last task we assigned to her, so isn't that fabulous? Let's send more work her way. Olivia is actually going to decline the task of ordering business cards and rather than show you her Inbox and switch over there, I'm simply going to slide over really quickly and decline that task and meet you back here.
So, Olivia declined the task and this is what it looks like. It shows clear red X, it's not hard to see that this is not good news coming into her Inbox, I am going to open this up and Olivia did exactly what she should do when she declines a task, whether it's a task that a supervisor sends you that you can't complete for some reason or something a peer sends you, even someone who reports to you, who asked you if you can do a particular task. If you're going to say no, you probably want to say why. So Olivia's written to say I leave for vacation about an hour. Sorry! If this can wait until after 1/3, she's happy to do it.
Okay, so I'm going to take a look if that works for me. It has some text in it. It's still hanging around here. So after I read it, it has actually been moved to my Deleted Items folder and when I go back to my Task list you'll notice that Order business cards, okay, it says it was declined by Olivia. Well, it was, so notice that nobody's doing it, but me, I tried to assign it. Now at this point, I could try to assign it to somebody else, if I wish or I can simply do it myself. But I'm the owner of this task and it's mine and I need to figure out if I'm going to finish it or somebody else is.
The other thing that can happen is I can have a task that I assigned that I never heard back about. For example I sent two tasks to Olivia and she is on her way out of the office. So this one I actually assigned to her, but I never heard back from her, I'm waiting for a response and I realize I'm not going to get a response from her. What do I do now? I still have this copy of the task, but notice I can't really assign this to anybody else because it doesn't belong to me right now. While I'm trying to get Olivia to say yes to it, she's technically the owner.
So what can happen is I have assigned a task to somebody and I don't hear from them, either in the timeframe that I need or maybe Olivia wins the lottery while she's gone and I never see her again. And here's this task that's mine that needs to be done and yet, I don't have access to it. I don't have to recreate this task though I have the ability to make a copy of it. So if you have a task that you assigned to someone and they either say well, I didn't get that task or I would have replied or they simply are out of the office and never reply, what you do is open the task in Task tab in the Show group, go to Details and say Create an Unassigned Copy of this task.
So it says if you do this, you will no longer be connected to the assigned version. I am going to say okay, that's fine. So here's my original task. I am going to go ahead and Save & Close it. Now you'll notice that this says that it's a copy, but the original is gone. It doesn't exist any longer. So Research social media (copy) is all that exists. So think of this as a recovery utility. This creating a copy allows you to recover a task that someone either has stopped working on or hasn't replied to at all.
So whether you're reassigning a task, recovering a task that was never replied to, there are good tools for troubleshooting task assignments here in Outlook 2010.
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