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6 ways to streamline your tasks in Outlook
Every job requires a variety of tasks during a given day. Maybe yours includes meeting with clients, preparing a presentation, or collaborating with team members on an important project. No matter what you are doing, staying on top of all the tasks you need to perform is crucial. By organizing them effectively, you can plan ahead for tomorrow andimprove your productivity at the same time.
At the most basic level, the Tasks features of Microsoft Outlook help you create lists of task-related items. But dig a little deeper, and you will find they do much more for you than simply holding your to-do list. Following these six tips for using Outlook Tasks features will help you stay better organized and keep you steps ahead of your deadlines.
1.Customize your view
In Outlook Tasks, you can find your tasks and view their status at a glance. Choosing the appropriate view saves time. For example, you can prioritize the items that are most critical on your list without scrolling through all the other tasks that are still marked as incomplete. Or if you prefer to tackle the task that needs to be completed first or sort your tasks by project orclient name, the options in Tasks can help you organize your tasks the way that works best for you and the project at hand.
To find the task view that works best for you, in Outlook 2010, in the Navigation pane, on the left side of the window, click Tasks. On the Ribbon, click the View tab, and then, in the Current View group, click Change View.
For a basic view of your tasks and main details,click Simple List. In this view, you see columns for Task Subject, Due Date, Categories, In Folder, and Sort by: Flag Status.

Simple List view Outlook 2010 gives you a list of basic tasks and details.
For a view of your tasks that shows more details, click the View tab, click Change View, and then click Detailed. Additional columns appear, including Status, Due Date, % Complete, and more.
Inaddition to changing the view, you can easily sort your task list in various ways. Here’s how:
On the View tab, in the Arrangement group, click the sorting method you want to use: Start Date, Due Date, Categories, Type, Importance, Assignment Folder, and Modified Date. When you click the method you want to use, your list of task items is automatically reorganized. Try different options until youfind one that works best for your tasks.
You can further customize any of the views to suit your needs exactly. For example, open your task list in Detailed view, as described earlier in this article. In the Current View group, click View Settings. The Advanced View Settings: Detailed dialog box appears.

The Advanced View Settings dialog box gives you more choices for modifying the Tasks viewThe Advanced View Settings dialog box is available for each view. You can use it to add or remove categories, set filtering parameters, and even adjust type size and font.
To reset a Tasks view that you’ve customized back to its original settings, click the View tab, click Reset View, and then, when the dialog box asks you if you’re sure you want to reset the view, click Yes.
Experiment withdifferent options. If you don’t like the way your tasks appear, you can always reset the view to the default settings or choose a new one. The trick is to decide which view helps you streamline your tasks so that you aren't digging for information. Create unique views that provide the information you need. This is your chance to personalize Outlook to meet your goals.
Outlook 2007 users: Theprocesses for changing or customizing your tasks views vary slightly. To find out more about customizing views in Outlook 2007, go to Create, Change, or Customize a View.
2. Work with the To-Do Bar
Another handy Outlook feature is the To-Do Bar. You can set it up to display your calendar, appointment reminders, and list of tasks—even when you’re not using the Tasks features in Outlook. Here’s how:...
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