How to Turn Emails into Tasks in Outlook [Effectively]

Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Amit Bansal

How to Create a Task in Outlook

Emails are an essential part of modern communication, and Outlook is one of the most popular email clients in the world.

While email is a great way to communicate, it can also be overwhelming, especially when you receive a lot of them.

To make things easier, Outlook provides a way to turn emails into tasks. This feature is useful when you want to create a to-do list based on the contents of an email message.

By turning an email into a task, you can easily track your progress and ensure that you don’t forget anything important. It’s a great way to stay organized and productive.

In this article, we’ll explore how to turn emails into tasks in Outlook. We’ll look at various methods, including dragging and dropping emails, using keyboard shortcuts, and more.

Whether you’re a busy professional or just looking to stay on top of your inbox, these tips will help you get the most out of Outlook.

Understanding Outlook Tasks

What are Outlook Tasks?

Outlook Tasks are a feature in Microsoft Outlook that allows users to create and manage to-do lists, set reminders, and track progress on tasks.

Tasks can be created for personal or work-related activities and can include details such as start and due dates, categories, and priorities.

Also Read: – How to Convert Email to Appointments in Outlook?

Why Turn Emails into Tasks?

Turning emails into tasks can help users stay organized and productive. When an email contains information that requires action, creating a task allows the user to keep track of what needs to be done and when.

This can help prevent important tasks from being forgotten or overlooked and can ensure that follow-up actions are taken in a timely manner.

Benefits of Using Outlook Tasks

There are several benefits to using Outlook Tasks for productivity and organization. Some of these benefits include:

  • Centralized task management: All tasks can be managed in one place, making it easier to keep track of what needs to be done.
  • Integration with email: Tasks can be created directly from emails, making it easy to turn important information into actionable tasks.
  • Customization: Tasks can be customized with details such as categories, priorities, and deadlines, making it easy to organize and prioritize tasks.
  • Progress tracking: Users can track progress on tasks and mark them as complete when finished, helping to ensure that important tasks are not overlooked.

Overall, using Outlook Tasks can help users stay organized, manage their time more effectively, and increase productivity.

Steps to Create Task in Outlook?

Most Outlook users are familiar with Microsoft Outlook as an Email platform, not only that, but Outlook’s functionality is also beyond something else.

You can create your task in Outlook, there are multiple purposes to create a task:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook Application from your Desktop/Laptop.

Step 2: Select Task from the left-hand navigation section or use Keyboard Shortcut (Ctrl + 4) to jump directly to the task section.

Note: I am using Ctrl + 4 because my task icon is available at the 4th position, you can change the number according to your Outlook task position.

Step 3: Click New Task or use Keyboard Shortcut (Alt + H + N1) or use (Ctrl + Shift + K).

Step 4: The New Task editing window will pop up, there are multiple options available in the window which work according to your requirements.

  • Type the Subject
  • Enter the Start Date & Due Date
  • You can set your status (Not Started, In Progress, Completed, waiting on Someone else, Deferred).
  • Next is to adjust your priority (Low, Normal, High)
  • Also, adjust your percentage.
  • Check the Reminder box in order to get a notice from the system.

A task is an item that you create and want to track until it’s completed. It is also designed to remind you of upcoming events/responsibilities.

Finally, Click Save and your task will be listed in your To-Do list.

You can also create a recurring task in Outlook in case you want a reminder for every fixed interval.

How to update a Task in the Outlook Application?

Once you’ve created a task, you will get it back from your to-do list, you can edit or update it to show your progress.

Open the Todo list from the left navigation section and use Keyboard Shortcut (Alt + 4).

That will open the task window, you will get the list of all tasks created. Double-click the task that you want to update.

That will walk you to the Task editing window, you can easily modify the task and make suitable changes.

How to Turn Emails into Tasks in Outlook?

Outlook allows users to create a task from an email to help organize their work.

This feature is particularly useful when an email contains important information that needs to be acted upon.

There are a few methods that can be used to create a task from an email in Outlook, including Quick Steps, Drag-and-Drop, and the traditional method.

Suppose you receive an email message regarding payment of your car insurance, Usually, they send reminder emails a few weeks before the due date, and you don’t want to miss the date.

Microsoft Outlook easily fits your Emails into Tasks which turns out to be more productive. After converting the email into a task, you can then set a reminder with the message details.

There are a few strategies for converting an email to a task. I will walk you through three different methods to convert an email to an Outlook task.

Flag to Follow-Up Email from the Inbox Folder

Outlook Todo list not only consists of tasks but also an email, which is marked as a follow-up, flagging your email message is a smart approach to convert an email to a task. You can flag an email message without opening the message.

There are two methods to flag email messages from the inbox folder, select the message, go to the home tab, and under the tag section click the Follow-up icon, which consists of multiple criteria, you can also add reminders to it.

The second method is to click the mouse right button, click on follow up, and again you have the freedom to select any of the flags that indicate a different time frame you are about to follow up.

This handy trick lets you turn an email into a task in Outlook, so you can be reminded to follow up on it later – no need to open the email message!

Using Quick Steps to Create a Task from an Email

Quick Steps is a feature in Outlook that allows users to automate repetitive tasks. To create a task from an email using Quick Steps:

  • Select the email that needs to be turned into a task.
  • Click on the Quick Steps button in the Home tab.
  • Select the “Create New” option.
  • Enter a name for the Quick Step, such as “Email to Task”.
  • Select “Create a task with attachment” as the action to be performed.
  • Click on “Finish”.

This will create a new task with the email attached to it. The subject of the email will become the task name, and the body of the email will be added as a note to the task.

Flag to Follow Up from the Message Tab 

You can also flag emails to turn them into tasks. Just select the email you want to convert to a task, click on it, and then open the message in its own window.

Once you’re reading it, go to the ‘Home’ tab of the Ribbon, click on the ‘Tags’ button group, and select ‘Follow Up.’

If you flag an email to follow up, the task will disappear from the to-do list on the Tasks peek if you delete the email.

That’s because flagging an email in Outlook doesn’t create a separate task; it just adds a notification to the to-do list based on the email.

Steps to Turn Emails into Tasks in Outlook using Drag and Drop

Apart from both above methods, Outlook allows users to convert emails directly to tasks using the drag and drop method, you can keep the email as a task to-do list even if you delete the original message. So, let’s dive deeper.

Click the Mouse Left button and drag

To create a task from an email, use your mouse, click the left button, and drag the email to the location of the Outlook navigation bar, some users using Outlook 2019 will get the task icon on the bottom left corner of the screen, and users using Outlook 365 are on the top left corner of the screen.

That way you can automatically create a task containing all the information in the email. Creating a task from a template is just like creating a task from scratch using any other method, except you don’t have to re-enter all the information.

All the original email content is automatically added to the new task. You only need to set a start date, due date, and reminder, or even assign the task to someone else.

Click the Mouse Right button and drag

Similarly, you can drag and drop the email message to the task option, instead of automatically creating a task when you release the mouse button, you can create a task manually.

The outcome is slightly different, you will get three options:

  • Copy Here as Tank with Text
  • Copy Here as Task with Attachment
  • Move Here as Task with Attachment

The first option is similar to the steps, when you drag and drop the email message with the left mouse button, all you have to do is insert the start, due date, and reminder.

Options two and three allow you to add the entire email message as an attachment to the task.

This approach is useful when you’re dealing with an email with a lot of detail. You can open the attachment to review the details when the due date arrives.

Organizing Tasks

After creating tasks from emails in Outlook, it’s essential to organize them to ensure that they are completed on time. Below are some ways to organize tasks:

Categorizing Tasks

One way to organize tasks is by assigning categories to them. Categories are labels that can help users sort tasks based on their priorities, projects, or any other criteria.

To assign a category to a task, right-click on the task and select “Categorize.”

Then, select the appropriate category from the list or create a new one. Users can also filter tasks by category to view only those that are relevant to them.

Using Flags to Prioritize Tasks

Flags are another way to prioritize tasks. A flagged task is marked with a red flag, indicating that it requires immediate attention.

To flag a task, right-click on it and select “Flag Complete” or “Flag for Follow Up.”

Users can also customize the flag’s due date, set a reminder, or clear the flag when the task is completed.

Creating a To-Do List in Outlook

Users can also create a to-do list in Outlook to keep track of their tasks. To create a to-do list, click on the “Tasks” icon in the navigation pane and select “New Task List.”

Then, enter a name for the list and add tasks to it. Users can also set reminders for the tasks, assign categories, and prioritize them using flags.

To view the to-do list, click on the “Tasks” icon and select the list from the drop-down menu.

Organizing Tasks with Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft To-Do is a task management app that integrates with Outlook. Users can create tasks in To-Do and synchronize them with Outlook.

To organize tasks with Microsoft To-Do, users can create separate lists for different projects or categories.

They can also add due dates, reminders, and notes to tasks. Microsoft To-Do also allows users to share tasks with others and collaborate on them.

How to Create a Task in the Outlook for Someone Else?

Not only can you build tasks for yourself, as you have learned in the above methods, but also create tasks for someone else.

Assigning a Task to someone else initially started creating the task, after creating the task, you have to click the Assign Task button in the Manage Task group under the Task tab in the Ribbon.

This step opens a few options on your screen, which include From, To, and Subject, it’s like creating an email message.

You need to enter the email address of your recipient, and keep both options checked to keep yourself updated:

  • Keep an updated copy of this task on my task list.
  • Send me a status report when this task is completed.

once everything is ready click the send button and your recipient gets the task you created as an email and the same is also added to his (your recipient’s) to-do list.

Secondly, you can also directly assign a task to someone else from the to-do list by clicking the mouse right button, which opens multiple options in the dropdown list.

Select an assigned task, you will be forwarded to the same inputs mentioned above.

How to Reassign Tasks that other people assigned to you?

If you receive an email addressed to you and have a task assigned to you, you can similarly assign the same email to another person by clicking on the assigned button from the manage task option above.

Managing Tasks

Outlook Tasks is a powerful tool that allows users to manage their work and stay organized. Here are some ways to view, edit, mark, and delete tasks in Outlook.

Viewing and Editing Tasks

To view your tasks, click on the Tasks icon on the navigation bar. You can sort tasks by due date, priority, or subject.

To edit a task, simply double-click on it to open the task window. From there, you can change the due date, add notes, or attach files.

Marking Tasks as Complete

When you have completed a task, you can mark it as complete by clicking the checkbox next to the task. This will move the task to the Completed Tasks folder.

If you accidentally mark a task as complete, you can undo this action by clicking the Undo button in the toolbar.

Deleting Tasks

To delete a task, select the task and press the Delete key on your keyboard. You can also right-click on the task and select Delete from the context menu.

Deleted tasks are moved to the Deleted Items folder, where they can be recovered if necessary.

Using OneNote with Outlook Tasks

OneNote is a great tool for taking notes and organizing information. You can use OneNote with Outlook Tasks to keep all of your work in one place.

To link a task to a OneNote page, open the task window and click the OneNote button in the toolbar.

This will create a new OneNote page and link it to the task. You can then add notes, images, or other information to the OneNote page.

Overall, Outlook Tasks is a powerful tool that can help you stay organized and manage your work.

By using these tips and tricks, you can make the most of Outlook Tasks and get more done in less time.

Wrap Up

Turning emails into tasks is a great way to stay organized and manage your workload more efficiently.

Outlook provides several methods to create tasks from emails, including drag-and-drop, Quick Steps, and the Add to Tasks button.

By using these methods, you can quickly and easily create a task from an email, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Whether you’re using Outlook for personal or professional purposes, turning emails into tasks can help you stay on top of your to-do list and achieve your goals.

It’s important to note that not all emails should be turned into tasks. It’s essential to evaluate the email’s content and determine if it’s actionable or not.

If the email requires a response, it’s best to reply to it directly instead of creating a task.

Additionally, it’s crucial to prioritize your tasks and assign due dates to ensure that you’re focusing on the most critical items first.

By doing so, you can ensure that you’re making progress toward your goals and achieving success.

Overall, turning emails into tasks is an excellent way to manage your workload and stay organized.

By using the methods outlined in this article, you can streamline your workflow and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about turning email into tasks in Outlook:

Can I turn multiple emails into tasks at once?

Yes, you can select multiple emails and drag them to the Tasks icon in the navigation bar to create tasks for all of them at once.

What happens to attachments when I turn an email into a task?

Attachments are not copied over when you turn an email into a task. You will need to manually attach any relevant files to the task.

Can I set a due date for a task created from an email?

Yes, you can set a due date for a task created from an email by opening the task and selecting a due date from the drop-down menu.

How can I prioritize tasks created from emails?

You can prioritize tasks created from emails by setting their importance level to high, medium, or low. This will help you focus on the most important tasks first.

Can I assign tasks created from emails to other people?

Yes, you can assign tasks created from emails to other people by opening the task and selecting the Assign Task button in the ribbon.

You can then choose the person you want to assign the task to and add any necessary details.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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