Managing your inbox can be overwhelming, especially when important emails get buried under new ones. Converting an email into a task in Outlook can help you stay organized and prioritize your work.
In this guide, I will cover the benefits of creating tasks from emails in Outlook, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to create a task from an email in Outlook application on PC, Office 365 webmail, and mobile platforms.
I will also discuss customizing and managing tasks, and offer tips on using tasks effectively to improve productivity and organization.
You can find more tips about managing your emails here.
Benefits of Converting an Email into a Task in Outlook
Creating a task from an email in Outlook offers several advantages:
- Context: The task retains the original email content and history, providing context for the task and making it easy to reference previous communications.
- Organization: Tasks can be organized and prioritized, helping you stay on top of your workload and preventing important tasks from getting lost in your inbox.
- Visibility: Tasks can be synced across devices and integrated with your calendar, providing a clear view of your schedule and responsibilities.
- Collaboration: Tasks can be shared with others, enabling effective teamwork and communication.
How to Create a Task from an Email in Outlook: Step-by-Step Guide
On Desktop – Outlook Program
Depending on the Outlook version of your PC and smartphone the screenshots and steps may differ, but fundamentally the basic steps remain the same.
- Open Outlook and navigate to your inbox.
- Select the email you want to create a task.
- Drag it to the Tasks section in your Outlook.
- It will pop up for further details to configure your task such as start date, end date, priority, and follow-up options.
- Save and close to save the task.
Also, you can right-click on an email and configure the ‘Follow Up’ option or add reminders. The particular email will show under Tasks as a reminder/Task. In this way, you can customize that Task further with the additional settings we mentioned earlier.
- Log in to your Office 365 account and open Outlook online.
- Go to your inbox and click on the email you want to create a task from.
- Click the “More Actions” button (three horizontal dots) in the top right corner of the email.
- Choose “Create Task” from the dropdown menu.
- Open the Outlook mobile app on your device.
- Navigate to your inbox and tap the email you want to create a task from.
- Tap the “More” button (three horizontal dots) in the top right corner of the email.
- Select “Create Task” from the options.
Customizing and Managing Tasks
Adding Due Dates, Reminders, and Categorizing
- Open the task you’ve created from an email.
- To add a due date, click on the due date field and select a date from the calendar.
- To set a reminder, click on the reminder field and choose a date and time.
- To categorize the task, click on the “Categorize” button and select a color or create a new category.
Marking Tasks as Complete, Editing, or Deleting
- To mark a task as complete, simply check the box next to the task in the task list, or open the task and click “Mark Complete.”
- To edit a task, open it and make the desired changes. Be sure to save your changes when finished.
- To delete a task, either right-click on the task in the task list and select “Delete,” or open the task and click the “Delete” button.
Tips on Using Tasks Effectively in Outlook
Here are some tips on using tasks effectively in Outlook based on my personal experiences:
- Prioritize tasks: Assign priority levels to tasks (low, medium, or high) to help you focus on what’s most important.
- Break tasks into smaller steps: If a task is complex or time-consuming, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.
- Use categories: Categorize tasks by project or topic to help you stay organized and easily find related tasks.
- Sync tasks with your calendar: Use the “Task” view in your calendar to see tasks alongside your appointments and meetings.
- Set realistic deadlines: Assign due dates that are achievable but still motivate you to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Limitations and Potential Issues
While creating tasks from emails in Outlook can improve productivity and organization, there are some limitations and potential issues:
- Compatibility: Some features may not be available or may function differently depending on the platform or device you are using.
- Integration: Tasks created in Outlook may not be compatible with third-party task management apps or services.
- Privacy: When sharing tasks with others, be aware that the original email content and history are included. Make sure to remove sensitive information before sharing.
Converting emails into tasks in Outlook and Office 365 Exchange Online can help you stay organized and prioritize your work. By following this guide, you can create, customize, and manage tasks across various platforms, improving your productivity and overall workflow. Keep in mind the limitations and potential issues, and use the tips provided to make the most of your tasks in Outlook.
Can I create a task from an email in Outlook on all platforms?
Yes, you can create tasks from emails in the latest Outlook application and Office 365 Exchange Online on desktop, online, and mobile platforms.
How do I share a task with someone else in Outlook?
To share a task, open the task, click on “Assign Task,” and enter the email address of the person you want to share the task with. You can also add a message or set a reminder for the recipient.
Can I import tasks from another task management tool into Outlook?
It depends on the specific task management tool and its compatibility with Outlook. Some tools may offer direct integration, while others may require exporting tasks as a file and importing them into Outlook manually. Check the documentation for your specific tool for more information.