All Microsoft All the Time: RIP Outlook Tasks

Sep 26, 2023

Longtime 20+ year Outlook user over here (with the exception of Gmail for personal correspondence and Google calendar for The Together Family), and I’ve been in a decade-plus battle with the busted feature called Outlook Tasks. Never heard of it? Or tried it and became frustrated? I hear you. While we have seen it used really well to track to-dos, it is not Outlook’s most useful feature. So, you can imagine my utter delight to see that Outlook Tasks are being slowly phased out and To-Do is coming online. In fact, if you are using the most recent version of Outlook, both are available to you right now. Go check it out…

Already excited about this new To Do feature, we bumped into Naji A, the long-time Director of IT for the Broad Foundation, and he knocked the socks off a recent class with his fully all-Microsoft-all-the-time one-stop shop.

My name is Naji and I’m all about Microsoft Together Tools!

In my humble opinion, Outlook has always biased a bit more toward the When-ers out there, and left us What-ers fumbling with their Task situation. Well, well, well, What-ers rejoice, because look at To Do!

Naji’s Microsoft To-Do

Basically, the headline here is Microsoft purchased Wunderlist awhile back, and then made it Microsoft-y. Let’s take apart what is useful about using To Do, ESPECIALLY if you are already an Outlook calendar user.

  • Navigation bar exists on the left-hand side, and like Naji, you can add other lists like “Thought Catcher” or “Groceries”
  • The main list of tasks is down the center and sub-tasks can be listed on the far right.
  • You can invite colleagues to join lists, IF they live in the MS universe. My guess is this wouldn’t be helpful with vendor management, and other external folks – but for others on your team, this could be a great collaboration tool!
  • Flagging an email will send it over to To Do, similar to Tasks. This is a huge benefit if you have a lot of work that comes in via email.
  • And what is perhaps my FAVORITE thing, the mobile version of To Do is much better than the wonky Tasks situation. This is the sole reason I quit Tasks some years ago.

More nerdy details can be found in this helpful article, which is overall more lukewarm on To Do than I personally am, but have a read and see what you think!

But wait, there is MORE. Naji’s entire team over at the Broad Foundation was thrilled to see an overall dashboard in Outlook that integrated To Do, Planner (you can read more about Planner here and there is a great comparison chart), AND Teams into one clean location.

To Do, Planner AND Teams – all in one place!

And, if we want to keep going with the Microsoft love, OneNote remains one of our favorite Together Tools, and Naji and his team use it to the fullest.

So, our Google friends always had options to make things a one-stop-shop, but now it seems Outlook and Microsoft have allowed us to have a full blown Together Trapper all in one! Let’s recap.

  • Calendar (not shown): Outlook Calendar
  • Later List: Microsoft To-Do
  • Project Plans: Microsoft Planner
  • Meeting Agendas and Notes: Microsoft OneNote

Are you intrigued? Want to see even more? Let us know in the comments and we can show you Naji’s calendar magic soon!

PS Just because I wanted to see how an IT Director who worked both in office and at home set up his desk, Naji sent me this. . .