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  • Using Outlook Tasks for Lists without using Categories - any suggestions?

    I need to set up GTD using Outlook Tasks without using Categories (not available on the web-based version of Outlook I am using in Office 365). I was thinking I could maybe use numbered codes so that, for example, all Actions would begin with 1, Waiting For with 2, Projects 3, Someday/Maybe 4. Then after the first number could come additional numbers for sub categories. For example, for Actions, after the 1 would come the number for the subcategory: 1 for Calls, 2 for Computer, 3 for Office, etc. After the 3 for Projects would come the number for the subcategory: 1 for Clients, 2 for Prospects, etc.

    So for example:
    11 would mean Actions-Calls
    12 would mean Actions-Computer
    31 would mean Projects-Clients
    32 would mean Projects-Prospects

    Any better suggestions?

  • #2
    I went a different route on this ... primarily driven by need to sync with iPhone / iPad which doesnt support categories.

    So after years of only using categories and 1 task list I now have the main outlook task list as my 'capture / in' and then have a whole list of sub-lists under this main task list which represent a category.

    This way it syncs with reminders app on iphone / ipad as separate lists.

    ... as a really neat addition I then have a script that runs in outlook that categorizes the task to match the name of the list so I have best of both worlds.

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    • #3
      Thank you so much for that info sgazard@outlook.com! I thought I had considered everything but that is really smart.
      However, although that will work for me with Outlook on the laptop and the Outlook web app, I have an issue with using that set up on my Galaxy S4. On my phone I can see sub Task lists, but I can't move a Task item from one Task folder to another. So if I had task items in the "capture / in", I could not move them to the appropriate Action or Project list. Same thing for moving Task items from Calls to Computer or Waiting For, etc. Any other suggestion about that issue?
      Thanks!

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      • #4
        Hi I have also tried different ways on "using outlook tasks without using categories". My current way is similar to numbering. I am using easily remembered codes, for example:

        BD <project one> task ...
        BD <project two> task ...
        HM <...> ...
        PS <...> ...

        Where BD means Business Development, HM means Home, PS means Personal Stuff. It makes sense to me (even when I am driving a car). And it is self sorting. Putting in "completion day" for certain tasks I could extract the "to-do list for today". These are the bare basic function supported by Outlook and other mobile tool so I am not bound by the software functionality.

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        • #5
          Thanks, Stephen / hoic. The letter codes makes it a little simpler - good idea.
          A couple questions about the "completion day".
          Do you actually mean Date Completed or Due Date? When I label things as Completed they do not show up in the regular Tasks.
          Also, do you find this better than using Reminder dates? I have been using those in the past.
          And last, what do you mean by "extract"? How do you do that? Where does the "to-do list for today" show up?
          Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to hearing back!
          Kim

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          • #6
            > Thanks, Stephen / hoic. The letter codes makes it a little simpler - good idea.

            I need to make sure I don't spend additional CPU power to understand what I have written.

            > A couple questions about the "completion day".
            > Do you actually mean Date Completed or Due Date? When I label things as Completed they do not show up in the regular Tasks.

            Sorry - you are right, it is Due Date.

            > Also, do you find this better than using Reminder dates? I have been using those in the past.

            I don't use reminder - it doesn't work for me. GTD suggests a weekly intensive review and we need to do that to clear up. And it is also a good practice to wrap up every day and re-align myself with my internal commitments before I sleep (whatever it means). I also use calendar for events for those that if you don't show up you will got executed. So I don't see much value setting reminder - not to an extent worth my additional attention power to maintain it.

            > And last, what do you mean by "extract"? How do you do that? Where does the "to-do list for today" show up?

            I hope my two captures could explain it.

            Attachment Attachment

            > Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to hearing back!

            I am happy to share.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Stephen,
              Thank you for answering all my questions and for your insights. I will try it out.
              Thanks!
              Kim

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