Use Outlook for SharePoint Tasks

One of the more powerful components of SharePoint is it’s built in task list. This comes in especially useful if you have project spaces, or project management sites. The problem I often ran into was the fact that most of the time you have users who use a variety of systems for task management, whether that be excel, outlook, or another non SharePoint system. I love the fact you can export SharePoint to excel, or show tasks in a datasheet providing users with a ‘similar to excel approach’ but the thing I love even more is how smoothly SharePoint task lists integrate with Outlook 2007.

Let me explain, basically you can manage, add, remove, and update any SharePoint tasks from Outlook, this includes workflow tasks, or specific project task lists. A wonderful benefit, and I know I personally use Outlook to manage all my tasks and events because it has so many wonderful reminder, and integration features with things like one note, or live meeting.

This also includes the ability to drag and drop tasks (just like Calendar events when SharePoint is synchronized with outlook) and copy existing task lists to SharePoint. This is something I really enjoy because I find it much easier to manage tasks in outlook as a manager, than I do in SharePoint (purely because of the time it takes to refresh pages etc and due to bandwidth). Using Outlook I can copy tasks from various list and use templated tasks which I just ‘assign’ to different team members.

Want to know how to do it? Here you go:

Hope this helps someone,
Richard Harbridge

Explore posts in the same categories: Feature, Reference, SharePoint 2007

2 Comments on “Use Outlook for SharePoint Tasks”

  1. Why is the integration not fully automated, i.e. when a task is created in SharePoint it automatically pops up in my personal task list? Why do I have to connect to SharePoint tasks lists – seems complicated if you ask me? I don’t think we can get employees to do this?

  2. rharbridge Says:

    The reason it’s complicated is because of SharePoint’s very nature. It’s really a pretty free form collaborative space. You can imagine how many ‘personal’ tasks you would get if this worked this way and people arbitrarily assigned you tasks in potentially thousands of SharePoint sites.

    The design is that the user (not the administrators or developers) builds and decides what they want the product to do. In this case this situation is a prime example of that nature. The user must choose to create alerts, the user must choose to create the connection between outlook and SharePoint (by default). This reduces load and increases options.

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