Microsoft Outlook contains features that can come in handy for law firms, attorneys, lawyers, and anyone who practices law. In this post, we will cover task tracking.
Task Tracking vs. Forwarding Email
Many times you may have the temptation to forward an email that needs follow-up to an assistant or colleague with some simple instructions to complete. While this is commonly done, you run the risk of forgetting to follow-up with the individual to whom you sent the email. A better idea is to quickly convert the email into a task and then use task assignment to manage the task. This way you will be able to see the email in your task list and also be less likely to forget to follow-up with the person to whom you assigned the task. If you need to review converting an email into a task, please see lesson “1.7- Turning Emails into Tasks” within this manual for instructions. Also, if you assign the task to an individual within your organization and your organization is using Exchange Server, you will be able to receive status reports on the task, as well as be informed when the task has been marked as “completed” by the recipient. If you would like to review the process of task assignment in an Exchange Server environment, please review “Chapter 7- Tasks” within the “Introductory Outlook” manual included with this product.
Viewing and Managing Task Times:
As you create tasks within Outlook, you will often see the “Due Date” of the task displayed by default. In this lesson, we will look at adding a few columns of information to this view to more easily manage your tasks as well as their associated reminders. If you find that you constantly have a barrage of reminders appearing within your Outlook application, showing the “Reminder Time” column within the “Tasks” view will allow you to easily view and change the time at which you will be reminded to complete the associated tasks, so that you won’t need to open and edit each item individually.
To add a “Reminder Time” column to your task view, simply right-click anywhere in the column headings and then choose the “Field Chooser” command from the pop-up menu that appears. Outlook will then display the “Field Chooser” dialog box which displays a listing of all of the available columns that you can add to your current view. Simply click and drag the “Reminder Time” column out of the “Field Chooser” dialog box and then drop it into your current view to add that column. Of course, you can also add any other fields that you feel would help you to better organize your tasks while the “Field Chooser” is displayed. When you have finished adding columns to the view, you can close the “Field Chooser” dialog box. Now, if you want to edit the reminder time of a task shown within the list you can simply make the editing changes within the column displayed in the view without having to edit the item individually or wait until the “Reminders” window appears within Outlook.