Neat tricks with Tasks in Outlook!

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in The Office Tech Pro

I had a great question last week on our Outlook® webinar. Could Outlook® be used to replace a CRM function when it came to generating tasks with predefined date dependencies. For example, a real estate closing. Earnest money (or binder) is due a certain number of days from the contract date. Loan docs are due a certain number of days after the appraisal, and so on. I answered, No.

After thinking about it for awhile, I came up with a possible workaround using a combination of Excel® and Outlook®.

1.    Start  by creating an export file with the details for Task items. File, Import and Export…
2.    Choose Export to a File, Next, and the Excel® file type and Next.
3.    Choose the Tasks folder and Next.
4.    Name the file and Next.
5.    Open the exported file in Excel®.

Now, it’s time to create your import file.
1.    Delete the existing task information, leaving the column headers. These are all the field names for the Task item.
2.    Enter your tasks, calculating date dependencies with formulas.
3.    Copy all other default field values. (Try Ctrl D!)

Finally, import your new tasks to Outlook®.
1.    Click File, Import and Export…
2.    Choose Import from another program or file and Next.
3.    Choose the Excel® file type and Next.
4.    Identify the file and Next.

Now, when you have another project with those same steps, just change the orignal date on the first task and repeat the Import steps above. TIP: Create your category first so you can view all projects tasks that realte to a particular project or client.

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