It must be the best-kept secret of Microsoft Outlook.
Many of my coaching clients are floored when I show them how to create tasks from email in Outlook. They say, “Wow, that was worth the whole $900 [cost of Premium Remote Coaching]” or “Nobody in our organization knew how to do that!” That last one came from a brilliant guy in a huge firm with a lot of IT support staff. It seems easy to some, but others don’t know it’s even possible.
Honestly, tips like this help, but they aren’t the real point of Priacta’s coaching and training. Principles, like those we teach in Total, Relaxed Organization, are invariant and apply anywhere. Tools, on the other hand, are just helps for applying principles effectively, and tips are usually just smart ways to use tools. Tools change, but principles are permanent. (See our 4-faceted training model for an idea of how they interrelate.)
So here’s the free, $900* answer. Hopefully this tip will help you work faster, so you can focus on more important things, like really getting control of your time and tasks.
Click, Drag, Hover, Drop
Creating tasks from emails in Outlook is as simple as:
- Click. Click on the email. (You can also right click and get more options. See below.)
- Drag. Hold the mouse button down and drag the email to the Tasks icon in the navigation bar (usually at the left). You can also drag it to the Tasks window button in the Windows task bar if you have a separate Tasks window open.
- Hover. Without releasing the mouse button, hover a couple of seconds until the Tasks window opens.
- Drop. Let go of the mouse button. A new task is created. (If you want to create the new task in a specific task list, move the cursor over that task list first.)
You just “collected” a task from an email. Easy.
Variation: Right Click
If you right click when dragging instead of the usual left click, you get a context menu with some cool options. Here’s what they let you do:
- Copy Here as Task with Text. Creates a new task. The full contents of the email are saved as text in the task Notes. You can read it easily but cannot open the email and Reply or Forward. Email attachments are not copied into the task.
- Copy Here as Task with Attachment. Creates a new task. The email appears as an attachment in the task Notes. Double-click the email to read, reply, or forward. All email attachments appear in the saved email.
- Move Here as Task with Attachment. Moves the email and converts it to a task. The original email is appears as an attachment in the task Notes. Double-click the email to read, reply, or forward. All email attachments appear inside the email.
Even Easier: Trog Bar
If you’re using Priacta’s Trog Bar software, it’s even easier. You simply drag and drop the task into Trog Bar and a window pops out for immediate processing. Or drag and drop it into your Action email folder and the email appears in Trog Bar as an unprocessed task. No conversion to a task is necessary, since Trog manages emails as tasks automatically.
Your Tips and Suggestions?
What shortcuts and tricks help you in the tools you use?
*Prices are subject to change without notice.