Overview of Task Features
Use tasks to track events you need to do but not during a specific time period, such as 2 p.m.
Tasks are also useful for setting reminders for things that aren't
Configuring Task Options
There aren't many options you need to configure to use tasks, and the default settings are acceptable to most users.
If you'd like to look at the Task Options dialog, as shown in Figure 12.1, open it by selecting the T ools, O ptions, Preferences, T ask Options menu option.
Figure 12.1. Use the Task Options dialog to choose an automatic formatting
When you enter a contact in the Contacts field, the task is included on the Activities tab of the contact.
You can create new tasks from email messages by dragging messages to the task button at the bottom of the Navigation Pane or to the Tasks folder. When a task is created from an email message, the Subject field is completed automatically (using the email's subject) and the message body is added to the Notes field.
If you'd rather have the message on the task as an attachment, right-click and drag the message to the Task button and then drop it. A menu opens with options for creating a new task using Copy Here As Task with T ext, C opy Here As Task with Attachment, or M ove Here As Task with Attachment.
In most cases, you'll want to create tasks from email with the message as text, not attachment, because it often results in a smaller file size and you can read the note in the preview pane.
However, if you're creating a task to
You can also right-click on a message, choose M ove to Folder, and selecting the Tasks folder from the folder list. This moves the message and creates a task with the message attached.
You can also create a new task by selecting and dragging text from any application to the Task icon to create a new task with the text entered into the Notes field automatically.
Use the Rec
rrence button to create recurring tasks (refer to Figure 12.2). Choose the recurrence pattern, the range of
When a task is recurring, the
Click the speaker button following the reminder time fields to choose a specific reminder sound for the task. You can have a different reminder sound for each task if you
It's much easier to type the dates in the date and time fields than to use the date and time pickers when you know the shortcuts to use. Among the available shortcuts are 1d (for 1 day), 2w (for 2 weeks), 10a for 10 AM, and 235p for 2:35 PM. The date fields also accept natural language words, which enables you to type such phrases as
Outlook can also complete the due date based on the start date, although it's clumsy because the Due Date field is first in the tab order. For example, to create a task that starts next Friday and is due 2 days later, enter next friday in the Start field, and then press Shift+Tab to return to the Due Date field and enter 2d .
When you work on the task, you can change the % Comp l ete field to reflect how much work you've done toward completing the task. Although it's not necessary when working tasks, if you're working on a shared task or were assigned a task by someone else, updating the % Comp l ete field helps others gauge how much is left to do. The drop-down list includes 25, 50, 75, and 100, or you can type any whole number into the field.
You can also set a status for the task, choosing from
Waiting on Someone Else
When the % Comp l ete field is changed and the Status : field is on the default of Not Started, the Status : updates to In Progress or Completed. Status selections are unchanged when another status is selected and the % Comp l ete field is updated to anything except 100 % Complete, at which time the status changes to Completed.