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Sort dated tasks on top of undated task in Outlook?

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  • Sort dated tasks on top of undated task in Outlook?

    Hi all,

    I wonder if there is anyone who have come up with the solution yet?

    I use dated task (with a definite start date) for tasks with a specific due day and/or can only be done after a certain day in the future.

    It makes sense to me to put these together with my NA list in Outlook task, while individual dated tasks will also show up in my calendar on the due date.

    So, on task list, is there any way to sort the dated task on top of undated ones, with the nearest due date on top? It makes more sense to me since the ones almost due should have a higher priority. The sorting will help me visualize this.

    However, I can't find a way to do it in Outlook. It has been discussed for a while on the web, but I can't find an answer. Would anyone succeeded in doing so share the trick with us?

  • #2
    I'm not sure if I've misinterpreted your question but I think this is very easy.

    You just click on the column header and the tasks are then sorted in order of that column (due date or start date or whatever). If you do this for the date and then group the tasks using "define current view" you have them grouped but in chronological order within each group.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tominperu View Post
      I'm not sure if I've misinterpreted your question but I think this is very easy.

      You just click on the column header and the tasks are then sorted in order of that column (due date or start date or whatever). If you do this for the date and then group the tasks using "define current view" you have them grouped but in chronological order within each group.
      Hi. Thanks for your response. This is the setup I am using now. However, this results in the undated tasks being sorted on top of the dated ones. These are the ASAP tasks that don't have a speicifc due days - or, namely, NAs)

      It makes less sense to have them sorted on top as the first thing I wanna see is the dated tasks, sorted still chronologically (with due days in the future)

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      • #4
        Campion, I am glad you have asked this question - I have been trying to achieve the same result also. Hope someone out there has done this.

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        • #5
          Yes, this one has frustatrated me too. In the end I decided that it was more important to me to see the dated tasks in chronological order than to see ALL tasks including undated. So I customise the Current View using Filter>Advanced and set the Due date field to "exists".

          That gives a list of only the ones with a due date, and then I can sort in chronological order without the undated ones hogging the top of the list.

          Ruth

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          • #6
            How strange, I have exactly what you want but don't know why it's different.

            Have you tried changing the "ascending -descending" option in Sort?

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            • #7
              Group by Due Date...

              Hello GTD fans,

              You could use the Views "Group By" option and have it Grouped by Due date.

              You can then sort by due date too and you'll get a task group header for any dates that contain dated tasks.

              all the non-dated tasks will be at the top but you can collapse their header/group and simply see the dated ones below.

              sounds far more complicated when reading this than actually doing it!

              another way is to select the "group by box" from the toolbar and drag into the grouping area any columns you want to group by.

              in this way you can group by due date and then by category/context.

              this will then group all the contexts you must "visit" on a given day.

              hope this helps,

              best regards,

              andy.
              Last edited by AndyD; 08-20-2007, 07:37 AM. Reason: correcting a typo error!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tominperu View Post
                How strange, I have exactly what you want but don't know why it's different.

                Have you tried changing the "ascending -descending" option in Sort?
                That one doesn't actually help me, because if you change the sort order so that the ones without due dates are at the bottom, all the dated ones are in reverse chronological order, and I like them with the earliest at the top

                You could use the Views "Group By" option and have it Grouped by Due date.
                I hadn't thought of that. I've tried it now, and it certainly works, but I'm not keen on the date bars cluttering up the screen as I've got reather a lot! Thanks for the idea though

                Ruth

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                • #9
                  Hi,

                  Thank you for all the suggestions and comments.

                  Same as many of you, the plain sort-by-date + descending combination does not work for me. Plainly because I want the tasks with nearer due dates be sorted on top of the list, and undated task below.

                  The "Group by" option is something that I haven't thought of. I tried it once, but it clutter up my space visually - especially when I have a number of contexts and various due dates in each. So I dropped this.

                  May be I should share the work-around I use up until now.
                  Basically, in day-to-day work, I use first 3 views in outlook: simple, detail, active tasks.

                  The Simple List displays the list of current projects, and the tasks that are "active". "Active", to me, means the start date is on/before today, and the due date is on/after today (all tasks with dues also have starts)

                  The Active Tasks view is identical to above, just that the current projects are not displayed. This is a list of "active" & genuine Next Actions.

                  Lastly, the Detailed List displays all tasks apart from the completed ones. 'Inactive" tasks (dated tasks with starts in the future) are also included. I usually use it in weekly reviews, as an inventory of EVERYTHING.


                  Now, in order for me to view the "hard-landscape" constituted by dated tasks, I have them all filtered out in the "to-do" view. So all tasks with dates will be seen in there, without being cluttered up by the undateds.

                  Another resort I use is the "Next seven days" view. I start to use it this week, and it's very handy. I can see the dated commitments I have in the coming week. Since I don't usually need to worry about the next actions in the week after next, this is enough to give me the confidence on the upcoming commitments. Some people may need worry about tasks in a longer period in the future (say, 2 weeks). They can always customize the view to show tasks in the next 14 days, or anything else you name it. By all means, you can free yourself from the date-specific commitments due a month or even a year later.

                  What do you guys think about this?
                  Last edited by Campion; 08-22-2007, 09:16 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Seems I misinterpreted the issue, so please ignore my previous posts.

                    I see what you mean and how what you want would be an excellent configuration.

                    Perhaps the way would be to modify the default task form. If the default task form could have a start date as "today" and a due date as 10 years from now instead of none then the tasks would be in the order you want wouldn't they?

                    Does anyone know how to do this? We need that Bill Kratz guy who provided the Contact as Project forms. Anyone else want a bash at it?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tominperu View Post
                      Seems I misinterpreted the issue, so please ignore my previous posts.

                      I see what you mean and how what you want would be an excellent configuration.

                      Perhaps the way would be to modify the default task form. If the default task form could have a start date as "today" and a due date as 10 years from now instead of none then the tasks would be in the order you want wouldn't they?

                      Does anyone know how to do this? We need that Bill Kratz guy who provided the Contact as Project forms. Anyone else want a bash at it?
                      Hey,

                      Thanks for the excellent idea. You can customize your form yourself by going to tools>forms>Design forms, and then choose the form you want to modify. Then, either save the form to replace the old one, or save as a new form. If you opt the later, you must go to the task folder and change its property to use the form for posting in "when posting to this folder, use: [drop down list]". It should not be a hard one to customize, for what you want is only to change the default field.

                      However, I have a little paranoid to keep things as what they are meant to be. Undated would rather stay as undated, instead of 10 years later. I hesitate to tune & sync the whole system (my PDA, Outlook, and most importantly my intuition) to a drastic change of convention just for the sake of sorting. It's only personal taste, and this is an excellent idea of yours.

                      Apart from my wish for MS to make outlook more sensible, I hope there's still other options

                      Thanks!
                      Last edited by Campion; 08-22-2007, 11:05 AM.

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