[Originally posted Jan 5, 2013]
[May 18, 2014 Update: This article is superseded by a newer one here].
Jul 29, 2013 Instructions for Version 3:
As you may know, it is hard to find iPhone or iPad software that syncs tasks with your corporate Outlook Exchange Server. There is one that works great. It’s called TaskTask (and TaskTask HD for the iPad).
Once TaskTask is configured, it works perfectly for MYN. That means it groups on Priority, then, within groups, it sorts on Start Date descending. It excludes future tasks and it hides completed tasks. In other words, everything works for MYN. So, if you use Outlook tasks and are on Exchange (you most likely are using Exchange if you are in a company of any size) go get it now; it’s a great little app.
And by the way, if you use a Windows version of Outlook, but do not have access to an Exchange server (let’s say you use an Internet account of some kind) and so cannot use TaskTask, I encourage you to consider switching to a hosted Exchange server so you can. Godadday has them for about $8 a month and Microsoft for about $4, Mine is hosted on Intermedia.net. Besides making syncing your tasks with iPhone/iPad easy (using TaskTask), there are a ton of other advantages to using an Exchange server if you use Outlook.
Configuration Steps [Updated for version 3.7 Jul 29, 2013]
Anyway, back to TaskTask. Above is what the TaskTask vers 3 iPhone screen looks like, once configured for MYN. Notice the correct grouping. You cannot see it here, but the start date sorting and filtering are both correct for MYN.
Setting Up TaskTask for MYN
It does take a few steps to set up the MYN view shown above; the good news is you only need to do that once (it will save settings across upgrades, by the way).
First, if this is a newly installed copy of TaskTask for you, it will ask you if you want to connect to your Exchange Server when you first start TaskTask. Input your exchange username and password. Hopefully it connects with just that (it can take a minute or two, be patient). If it errors out, see more detailed setup instructions at the TaskTask site for steps to connect.
Once connected it will take a few moments to load in your Outlook tasks. They will not be in MYN order, so it’s time to start the MYN configurations,
Step 1: Click the icon in the lower right corner; it looks like a gear icon. In the next popup window click the Options button. Then, you’ll see the next window:
Step 2: Set Visual Theme
(New for version 3.7) Click the Visual Theme button. The default is called Metro Blue, but I like the other choice better, Metro Noir. All screen shots from here on show TaskTask with the Metro Noir. Click Options in upper left to get back to the Options Window
Step 3: Set Change View
Click the Change View button and you’ll see a screen that you will want to adjust so it looks like the one below. In other words, you’ll want Arrange/Group By set to Importance, and Sort Within Group set to Start Date. And Invert Sort set to ON, as below.
And set the middle sections (Options section) as shown above. Show All Completed is normally set to None in MYN, but you might also consider the Today choice. That shows completed tasks for one day (this is new for version 3.7).
Note the Highlight Overdue setting is optional; it causes tasks with a start date of today to look different than older tasks, which is an optional part of MYN (Target Now tasks). Turn it off if you do not like the red color it shows on tasks older than today.
Also note that we turn Detailed View off; that view shows overdue information that we don’t need since in MYN we ignore the Outlook due date field.
Step 4: Advanced Options After you finish that, scroll down to the Advanced Options section and make settings as shown at the bottom of this figure:
Step 5: Set Filters
Then, in the middle of the View Options window, find the Filter View section (shown above) and click on the arrow to the right of “Filter Items.”
In the next window turn Enable Filters on and then click Add View Filter.
In the Edit Filter window, change the “Filter on Field” control to Start Date (use the right arrow to do that).
Then, return to the Edit Filter screen and scroll lower (to the stack of buttons at bottom), set ON for the following choices: Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, This Month, Next Month, Later; leave the rest off. It will look like this:
Click Save in the upper right, then View Options in upper left, then Options in upper left, then TaskTask in upper left, and your are back to your task list.
You’ve now got the MYN settings done!
How to Use MYN Tasks
Here is a review of the basic rules for using MYN tasks: High priority tasks are absolutely due today (there should only be a few there); Normal tasks are optional for the next 10 days or so (place no more than 20 tasks in Normal; put rest in Low); and Low tasks are tasks you can postpone beyond ten days or much much longer. Review High priority tasks every hour; review Normal once a day; review Low once a week. Put mostly small, next-action style tasks in this MYN list; such tasks generally do not have deadlines. Don’t put fake deadlines on tasks to trick yourself; that doesn’t work—you are smarter than that. If a task really has a true deadline, type it in the task subject line and/or put it on your calendar and set a reminder on the appointment. When the day arrives, move the task to High priority and do it before end of day.
If you used my Outlook Book to set up your Outlook tasks for MYN (I recommend that too), then you already know all these rules. There are a bunch more subtleties in that book; I suggest you at minimum re-read Lesson 4 in book for a review of most important task things.
Optional Settings for TaskTask:
Under Advanced Options in TaskTask I recommend you:
1) Set New Task Defaults to Start Date=today due date=no date; Importance=normal; and Reminder=no reminder.
2) Set Sync on Start Up to On
Also, under Options->Account Info, in the Options section of that screen, you can turn on Sync Flagged Items. This brings in your flagged mail tasks from Outlook Exchange. But in MYN I recommend avoiding using flagged mail as tasks—use them only in e-mail for deferred replies. See page 133 in my outlook book, 2nd Ed., or pg 159 in the 3rd Ed.
Questions? Comment below, I’ll try to answer.