Outlook tasks

« Back to Glossary Index

Outlook Tasks is a feature of Microsoft Outlook that allows users to create and manage to-do lists and track their progress. Tasks are essentially electronic versions of traditional to-do lists but with more functionality and integration with other Outlook features.

Outlook tasks with opened windows to create task

With Outlook Tasks, users can create and assign tasks, set due dates and reminders, categorize and prioritize tasks, and mark tasks as complete when they’re finished. Tasks can be viewed in a separate window within Outlook or integrated with the Outlook calendar, making it easy to manage appointments and to-dos in the same place.

Outlook’s project functionality can help you keep projects and teams organized and create a simple project management workflow without leaving conversations with your teammates and clients. 

Benefits of Using Outlook Tasks

Here are some benefits of using Outlook Tasks:

  1. Outlook Tasks helps users stay on top of their to-do list, prioritize tasks, and keep track of progress. Using Tasks, users can be more efficient and productive in completing their work and stay organized by having all their tasks in one place.
  2. Outlook Tasks integrates seamlessly with other Outlook features, such as the calendar and email. Users can easily schedule tasks around appointments and deadlines and create tasks directly from emails.
  3. Tasks created in Outlook can be synced across multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. This means users can access and manage their tasks from anywhere, whether at their desks or on the go.
  4. Outlook Tasks is highly customizable, allowing users to create task categories, set reminders, and prioritize tasks. This flexibility makes it easy to tailor the tool to meet individual needs and preferences.
  5. Outlook Tasks also supports task delegation, which allows users to assign tasks to others and track progress. This makes it easy to collaborate on projects and stay on top of team tasks.

Using Outlook Tasks can help users be more productive, stay organized, and collaborate effectively with others.

How to create tasks in Outlook

If you’re looking for a way to manage your to-do list and stay organized, Outlook Tasks is a powerful tool that can help. 

Whether you’re using Outlook for work or personal use, Tasks can help you be more productive and efficient. Let’s walk through the steps to start using Outlook Tasks, so you can begin managing your to-do list immediately:

  1. Start by opening Outlook. Outlook is typically included in Microsoft Office, so if you have Office installed on your computer, you can open it from the Start menu or the Office folder.
  2. Navigate to the Tasks window. In Outlook, click on the “Tasks” icon in the navigation pane on the left-hand side of the screen. This will open the Tasks window.
  3. Create a new task. To create a new task, click the “New Task” button in the ribbon at the top of the screen. This will open the “Task” window.
  4. Enter task details. In the Task window, enter the details for your new task, including the subject, due date, and any additional notes or details. You can also assign a category to your task to help organize it.
  5. Set reminders. To receive a reminder about your task, click the “Reminder” button in the ribbon and set the reminder date and time.
  6. Save the task. When you’ve entered all the details for your task, click the “Save & Close” button in the ribbon to save the task and close the window.
  7. Manage your tasks. Once you’ve created some tasks, you can manage them by marking them as complete, deleting them, or sorting and filtering them to find the tasks you need to work on.

That’s it! With these steps, you should be able to start using Outlook Tasks to manage your to-do list and stay organized.

Tips for using Outlook tasks effectively

Here are five tips for using Outlook Tasks effectively:

  • Use categories to group similar tasks together and make sorting and filtering your task list easier. You can create custom categories to suit your needs and color-code them for easy recognition.
  • Use due dates and reminders to help you stay on track with your tasks. Set realistic deadlines and use reminders to keep you focused and accountable.
  • Use the priority field to rank tasks by importance so you know which tasks to tackle first. This will help you stay focused on the most important tasks and make progress toward your goals.
  • Use delegation to assign tasks to others and track their progress. This is especially useful for team projects or tasks requiring multiple people’s input.
  • Regularly review your task list to ensure you’re on track and update it as needed. This will help you stay organized and prevent tasks from falling through the cracks.

Following these tips allows you to use Outlook Tasks more effectively and stay on top of your to-do list.

Outlook tasks vs. Microsoft To-Do

Outlook Tasks and Microsoft To-Do are both task management tools developed by Microsoft. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences.

Outlook Tasks is a built-in feature of Outlook, which means it’s designed primarily for managing tasks within the context of email and calendar. 

On the other hand, Microsoft To-Do is a standalone task management app designed to be used on multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. With To-Do, you can create and manage tasks, set due dates and reminders, and collaborate with others.

Microsoft To-Do interface within MS Outlook

Here are some key differences between the two tools:

  • While Outlook Tasks is primarily designed for use on desktops and laptops, Microsoft To-Do is designed to work on multiple devices and platforms, including smartphones and tablets.
  • Microsoft To-Do has a simpler and more intuitive user interface than Outlook Tasks, which makes it easier to use and navigate.
  • While both tools support task delegation, Microsoft To-Do has better collaboration features, such as sharing lists with others and assigning tasks to specific users.
  • While Outlook Tasks integrates seamlessly with other Outlook features, Microsoft To-Do can also integrate with apps like OneNote and Planner.

Microsoft has also integrated Microsoft To-Do directly into Outlook so you can access your To-Do lists and tasks from within the Outlook interface. This integration lets you view, add, and manage your To-Do tasks without switching between apps.

To access To-Do in Outlook, you must have both apps installed and signed in with the same Microsoft account. Once you’re signed in to both apps, you’ll see your To-Do lists and tasks in Outlook’s “Tasks” section.

Why is it necessary to use Microsoft To-Do instead of Outlook tasks? 

Microsoft To-Do may be a better choice if you’re looking for a more streamlined and intuitive task management tool for multiple devices and platforms. It’s also a good option if you’re looking for better collaboration features or need to integrate with other apps. However, if you primarily use Outlook for email and calendar management, then Outlook Tasks may be sufficient for your needs.

Outlook tasks
Scroll to top