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Linking to a Project Support File in an Outook Task

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  • Linking to a Project Support File in an Outook Task

    I use Outlook tasks for all my projects and NAs. I often have project support material (time lines, various reference documents) for a given project. These are generally word or excel documents that are kept on our network. I usually need to review them during my weekly review.

    I'm trying to find the quickest way possible to get to the document while looking I'm looking at the project in my project list. Currently, I have the file path names written in the notes section.

    Do any of you know of a way that I can create a link in the notes section of the Outlook task for the project to link to the document on the server. It would be great if I could click on it and go write to it.

    Other ideas for finding these files quickly would be great - perhaps I should be keeping shortcuts to them on my desktop.

  • #2
    If you use the "Contacts as Projects" system, you can link files using the "Contact" - this works very well indeed for me.

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    • #3
      I do this all the time, usually with tasks that I am delegating. I just paste in the UNC path to the file on the network into the Notes section - eg

      \\myserver\mydir\file.doc

      and Outlook makes the path clickable. If the path is long or contains spaces, putting it in angle brackets stops it from breaking:

      <\\myserver\mydir\file name with spaces.doc>

      Is that what you're looking for, or am I misunderstanding you?

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      • #4
        Re: Linking to a Project Support File in an Outook Task

        Originally posted by Bellaisa
        I use Outlook tasks for all my projects and NAs. I often have project support material (time lines, various reference documents) for a given project. These are generally word or excel documents that are kept on our network. I usually need to review them during my weekly review.

        I'm trying to find the quickest way possible to get to the document while looking I'm looking at the project in my project list. Currently, I have the file path names written in the notes section.

        Do any of you know of a way that I can create a link in the notes section of the Outlook task for the project to link to the document on the server. It would be great if I could click on it and go write to it.

        Other ideas for finding these files quickly would be great - perhaps I should be keeping shortcuts to them on my desktop.
        Maybe I do not properly understand your question, but here goes...

        In Outlook 2000 I open the task dialog window. In the task dialog window I first click on the little paper clip icon to add an attachment. Then, in the "Insert File" dialog window that comes up in response to my having clicked on the paperclip icon, I first selct the file I want to attach and then I use the pull-down list at the lower right hand corner of the window titled "Insert" (here is a little downward facing arrow on the right hand side of the button) and from the pull-down list I select "Add As Shortcut". This adds a shortcut (not a copy) of the file into the Outlook Task. I can add as many file shortcuts to the same task as I want (a common occurance when I have a task to assemble an MS Word document into which I will link several pictures, graphs, and spreadsheets).

        I can then later open the task in Outlook and double click on the shortcut icon to open the file in its appropriate application (MS Word, MS Excel, whatever).

        I am a little rusty, but I am pretty sure this shortcut attachment techniques works with networked drives as well as with physical local hard drives.

        Is this what you were trying to ask?

        Or are you asking about actually physically attaching copies of the files to the Outlook task so you can send the necessary files along to a colleage when you use the Outlook functionality to assign a task to someone else (probably in an MS Exchange environment at work)?

        Or should we be talking about Microsoft Office Binders? Are they still in current versions of MS Office? I use Office 2000 and I utterly rely on MS Office 2000 Binders to allow me to collect all the various files and documents associated with a particular project without having to physically move them all to one disc directory.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michelle Hine
          If you use the "Contacts as Projects" system, you can link files using the "Contact" - this works very well indeed for me.
          This sounds interesting. I understand the part about creating a Contact that is actually a GTD project, and associating all the tasks with that GTD project by linking them all to the contact.

          How do you then show all the tasks associated with the Contact?

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          • #6
            Well, we learn something new every day. Thanks everyone! I fiddled around with this a little and now have three solutions to my problem

            Kay - I didn't know you could do that. It didn't work for the document I was testing. Maybe the file path is too long?? I'll try that on other things though.

            Marcclarke - I started off trying this as a shortcut, but the problem is when I edit the document off of the shortcut, for some reason it isn't saving the changes in the orginal document - only in the shortcut. A mystery. However, when I tried your method of clicking the down arrow on the right side of the dialogue box, I saw that I had the option to "insert as hyperlink" which accomplished what Kay was talking about. The link takes me right to the document on the network.

            Quite by accident (I literally just hit the wrong speed key), I discovered that you can create a journal entry for the document and insert that journal entry into your task - when you click on it you to to the actual document.

            I think the "insert as hyperlink" is the most effecient step.

            Thanks! A lot of the doucments I work with are in folders within folders within folders, so this will save me a lot of digging.

            Michelle - using contacts for tasks sounds interesting, but would involve quite an overhaul which is more than what I'm gave for. Thanks though!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bellaisa
              Kay - I didn't know you could do that. It didn't work for the document I was testing. Maybe the file path is too long?? I'll try that on other things though.
              I'm using Outlook 2003 - if you're using a different version maybe that's why it's not working for you. I use that method in task notes, notes and emails (both plain text and rich text/html emails) and it always has worked for me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by kay
                Originally posted by Bellaisa
                Kay - I didn't know you could do that. It didn't work for the document I was testing. Maybe the file path is too long?? I'll try that on other things though.
                I'm using Outlook 2003 - if you're using a different version maybe that's why it's not working for you. I use that method in task notes, notes and emails (both plain text and rich text/html emails) and it always has worked for me.
                Thanks - I think the problem is the way our network recognizes file paths that are in hyperlinks....I noticed when I used the "insert file as hyperlink" option, it used a different file path name than what I was using - I used the one I pull off the my computer browser. This is a really good tip though - I'm sure I'll use it for other things.


                Alicia

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michelle Hine
                  If you use the "Contacts as Projects" system, you can link files using the "Contact" - this works very well indeed for me.
                  I tried this once and found that the process to see what each contact links to is dreadfully slow. Moreover, it did not display the tasks in any kind of order. Finally, if I had 5 tasks for a project, all 5 tasks would show up in the Tasks window -- not good!

                  Is there any website refining the original concept into something a little more usable?

                  Thanks!
                  -John

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