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  • Outlook tasks and multiple computers

    Maybe I'm not outlook savvy enough, but I set up my tasks following the setup guide (nice clear instructions by the way), and then I entered all my 'stuff' from all my current lists (I use basecamp for that right now but wanted something with more flexibility to move among lists).

    Then I got to work this morning, and there was nothing there. I entered everything from home, and it appears outlook has local storage of tasks.

    Is that right? Am I doing something wrong? I access my work from at least three and often five different computers in a given workweek so this is a non starter for me if its really the way outlook works.

  • #2
    Are you connecting to Exchange?

    I think you need a central Microsoft Exchange server/account for tasks to be shared between Outlook on multiple computers.

    Do you have this or are you using internet email (eg. Gmail, IMAP, POP).

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      It's not on exchange. They keep talking about taking us to exchange but not till the summer at the soonest.

      Would love to have my email and tasks more integrated and avoid all my multi-click work arounds but I guess I'll have to sit tight till we migrate to an exchange server.

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      • #4
        Outlook just does not work that way

        Originally posted by EngineeringProf View Post
        Is that right? Am I doing something wrong? I access my work from at least three and often five different computers in a given workweek so this is a non starter for me if its really the way outlook works.
        How would Outlook (at home) know about your Outlook computers at work? (and would you really want it to?)

        Unless all of those computers are on the same logical ActiveDirectory domain, or are using the same Microsoft Exchange server, you won't be able to see your home Outlook data on your work Outlook computers. Outlook does not (nor has ever) worked that way.

        The data is always local, unless you deposit it elsewhere with a configuration option to connect it to Microsoft Exchange or similar.

        If you want, you could try using Zimbra Desktop or Funambol, and configure those Outlook systems to sync their data to an (external) Funambol server via their Outlook plugin, then you would be able to have the data you have in Outlook synchronized across all of the computers.

        But that may not be permitted, depending on the policy of the systems at your workplace. Where I work, we can't even change the wallpaper or open the clock, because the systems are so very locked down (major financial institution).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EngineeringProf View Post
          Thanks for the reply.

          It's not on exchange. They keep talking about taking us to exchange but not till the summer at the soonest.

          Would love to have my email and tasks more integrated and avoid all my multi-click work arounds but I guess I'll have to sit tight till we migrate to an exchange server.
          If you have discretion in the systems you use (at my university we do), my advice is to do what all smart young faculty at my place do: use a mac and internet services, and stay away from Microsoft products. It's not that Outlook is a bad product: In some sense, it's the last of the dinosaurs, the last great behemoth personal information manager. It's never going to catch up to what most people are using today: rapidly evolving, loosely coupled programs that communicate with each other. When a program ceases to be useful, it's dumped. Snake-oil salesmen are always wanting us to invest in their products: cars, software, you name it. But in fact, our real investment is in ourselves, our relationships, our work, our data- and it's our data that's valuable, not the flippin' software. Sorry, end of rant.

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          • #6
            I would just go with a web based gtd solution like toodledo. You could talk to your outlook admin and ask him whether it is possible to sync up the tasks, it could be someone which could be turned on.

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            • #7
              There are a few tools that allow you to sync Outlook with Toodledo if you are allowed.

              https://www.toodledo.com/tools/directory.php

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              • #8
                thanks.

                Thanks for all the replies. The reason Iím surprised that my tasks donít sync is that my mail does. My mail lives separately on a server at work and NOT locally so I have access to all my mail, saved folders, outbox, drafts, etc. from any location with internet. I know this setup is atypical for outlook which seems to prefer local storage of data, but thatís how it has always been here. Outlook is an interface only to the mail system that runs here. I could switch to another product, but support is spotty for anything other than outlook. I grudgingly switched to outlook when my favorite mulberry went belly up (yes, dating myself here).

                All my GTD lists have always been with my projects in the 37 Signals products Ė basecamp, backpack, highrise. All my computers talk to this system through the cloud, and all my systems talk to my centrally held email through VPN. It is critical that I am fully synced with non-local storage as I work from many different locations on a regular basis.

                I thought the outlook add in looked like an interesting way to get more coherence for my systems, but looks like it wonít work for me.

                Again, thanks for the input.

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