Feb 9, 2011
I thought I’d blogged about this before, but I guess not. In Outlook 2010, Microsoft introduced a bizarre “feature change” that occurs when you drag-create a task from e-mail. It causes the new task window to disappear. But it is sort of fixable.
Some background. By now you know I recommend that you convert action e-mails that you cannot act on now into Outlook tasks, and then manage them in the MYN tasks system. And the way you do that is to drag the e-mail onto the tasks icon in the lower left of the Outlook screen.
Well, in Outlook 2010, when you do that, the new task often (usually) seems to disappear after you create it, which prevents you from editing the subject, start date, priority, and so on. Well, the task is actually there, it’s just hidden behind the main Outlook window. So if you move the main OL window aside, you’ll see it there. But many do not realize that and sit there scratching their head thinking the drag and drop failed to create the task.
Drop the task quickly—release the mouse button very quickly after you get the mouse over the Tasks icon. Don’t linger even a second over that icon before dropping it. If you can do that, the new task window stays in the front.
But what’s going on here? I have not spoken with Microsoft about it, but others say they have, and they say that Microsoft’s support team claims it is a feature. I cannot figure out any scenario where I’d want this to happen; but if you can, let me know. I still think it is a bug.
Here is one clue about what Microsoft was trying to do with this feature change. If you watch as you drag the e-mail, you’ll see that about one second after the mouse crosses onto the Tasks icon, the upper part of the Navigation pane transforms—it displays all the Tasks folders you may have. The advantage here is that, before releasing the mouse button, you can now move the mouse up to that list and choose which Tasks folder you want the converted task to go into. That can be a nice feature in my opinion if you manage multiple Tasks folders. But I still cannot believe they intended the new Tasks window to be hidden after using that feature—I think the new feature is just buggy. And that explains why dropping the e-mail fast solves the problem—it prevents the Navigation pane switcheroo, which is where the bug actually resides.
So again, when dragging e-mails in Outlook 2010 to create tasks, do not allow the mouse to linger over the bottom of the navigation pane before you drop the e-mail item; drop it quickly instead. If you do, all works well.