Multiple Ways to Convert E-Mails to Tasks (Windows Outlook)

June 3, 2017

Key to both my MYN and 1MTD systems is converting e-mails to tasks. It’s the main way to get control of your Inbox. In Windows desktop Outlook, the primary way to convert e-mails to true Outlook tasks is to drag the e-mail from the Inbox list view to the Tasks icon or label in the lower left portion of the Outlook Window. It’s how I almost always do it.

But there are other ways to convert e-mails to tasks that that have some advantages:

  • Right-click the e-mail and while holding right mouse button drag to Tasks icon or label, and then choose second item in the 4-part pop-up list. That converts the e-mail as an attachment, with many advantages (can see attachments, can reply).
  • Create an Outlook Quick Step that converts e-mails to tasks in one click. See this link for how to do that and list of advantages.
  • Right-click the e-mail, choose Move, and choose Tasks. This deletes email from Inbox after converting.
  • If you have multiple task folders or multiple e-mail accounts with tasks folders and you want to put converted tasks directly in one of those, do this: drag e-mail to a specific tasks folder on the left. You need to put the Outlook Folder Pane on left into Folders mode first: (Outlook 2013/2016 click ellipsis button in lower left and choose Folders to do that). Then you can see all tasks folders on left.

Other Points:

  • Don’t drag e-mails to the To-Do Bar on the right. That can appear to create a task, but it doesn’t, it creates a flagged mail task, which we don’t want.
  • Don’t convert to task by simply flagging the e-mail. It creates a flagged mail task, which we generally don’t want to use (other than for deferred replies).
  • There is no way to convert an e-mail to a true task in the standard iPhone and Android mobile mail apps. But third-party mail apps do allow this (iPhone: TouchDown or Preside; Android: Nine).
  • See Lesson (Chapter) 7 in my Outlook book for many more details on converting e-mails to tasks.


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2 Responses to Multiple Ways to Convert E-Mails to Tasks (Windows Outlook)

  1. Larry Penner says:

    Hi Michael.

    I recently moved to an iphone. In the blog post, you named Touchdown. I went to the site and see that Symantec is sunsetting it.

    Do I recall your endorsement of Task Task? Is that still an option for me as an iphone user?



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