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The Office Tech Pro

Outlook on Projects

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Large or small, projects need to be managed. Or, quickly, we will find them managing us. Many of us can’t afford or choose not to use robust project management software.

Can Microsoft Outlook® 2007 be an alternative? You bet! Using Outlook® tasks and a view called Timeline can give us the kind of look into our current projects once thought to only be available in expensive project management systems. So, how is it done?

1. Choose the Tasks view from your navigation pane in Outlook®.




2. Start entering project tasks with start and end dates — categorizing them by project. If you’ve already completed some tasks, enter those as well and include any attachments or hyperlinks to any deliverables you created as part of those tasks.




3. Switch your view to Task Timeline to see how tasks lay out across time. It will be easy to spot any potential conflicts in time.

Here are a couple of tips to customizing the timeline view to suit your needs:
  • Click on View, Current View, Customize Current View… and select Filter.
  • Under More Choices, click the Categories button and select those categories which represent your projects.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe September 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I hadn’t known about the Task Timeline – that’s pretty nifty!

My company, Automation Centre, developed a Web based solution, TrackerSuite.Net, that leverages email systems (particularly Outlook) for project management, as well as time and expense reporting, purchasing, resource management, help desk services and more. For example, users can surface TrackerSuite.Net in their Outlook clients. They can also drag-and-drop emails into a TrackerSuite.Net folder to create project tasks, documents and support tickets.

If you’d like more information, including Flash demonstrations, is available here: http://www.TrackerOffice.com

Regards,

Joe

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Kevin Moore June 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Hi,

That is a great article, you’ve touched on some easy ways that people can incorporate project management into Microsoft Outlook.

In case you or any of your readers are interested, I’ve created an add-in that further extends Microsoft Outlook into a more powerful project management tool. You can find more information on our web-site: http://www.missinglinkprojectcenter.com

Thanks,

Kevin

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