Outlook 2007 and Getting Things Done

Every now and then someone asks about how to use Outlook 2007 with the Getting Things Done (GTD) /Take Back Your Life! methodology, which suggests heavy use of categories and tasks to manage your mail, tasks, and life. Here are some tips for getting started with Getting Things Done in Outlook 2007:


1.       Categories – Categories are now unified across all of Outlook. To set up your categories, such as @home, @work, @phone, @e-mail, etc. by clicking on Actions->Categorize->All Categories. If you used categories in the past, your categories may already be set up for you. (When migrating between Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, all flagged mail becomes categorized with the corresponding color category (e.g. Red Category for Outlook 2003 Red Flags), all Calendar labels become categories, and all categories that had been used on Outlook 2003 Contacts and Tasks are migrated forward. All categories that were never used (e.g. the “Hot Contacts” category) do not get migrated.)


2.       To-Do Bar – The To-Do Bar, the panel on the right side of the main Outlook window, works much like the legacy Task Pad did. To best fit GTD, change the arrangement in the To-Do Bar to be Arranged By: Categories by clicking on the “Arranged By: Due Date” header in the To-Do Bar and selecting “categories.” Your tasks will now be arranged by category.  To collapse all of the headers (category names), right click on one of the category headers and select “Collapse all headers.”


3.       Flagging –  In Outlook 2007, flagging a mail makes it appear as a task in the To-Do list. To make this work for GTD, set your default flag to No Date by right clicking on the flag next to a mail item and selecting “Set Quick Click…” In the dialog, select “No Date” in the drop down menu. This way, you can flag your mail to make it tasks without a start date.


4.       Quick Click Category –  Categories have now been added (made more visible) in mail and they now have color. You can apply a category to a mail item by just clicking (and right clicking) on the square box on the right side of your mail items. To make it even easier, try setting the quick click category to your most frequently used category, such as @ E-mail, by right clicking on the category square next to a mail item and selecting “Set Quick Click…” In the dialog, select your most frequently used category from the drop down menu. Now next time you click on the square next to your mail, you can apply your default category in one click.


5.       Reminders – by default, when you set a due date on a task, the reminder is turned off in Outlook 2007. (We did this because the default flag has a due date so reminders would be firing all the time.) If you only use due dates rarely (i.e. not for the majority of your tasks), then you may want to turn setting reminders with due dates back on by going to Tools->Options->Task Options.


Now when you receive an e-mail that requires you to take some next action, you can flag it in the mail list view, then categorize it and then rename it in the To-Do Bar with your next action. If you want to get it out of your inbox, drag the mail to a project or other folder. Doing so will keep the item on your To-Do Bar/Daily Task List, but it will make your Inbox much cleaner.


When you are done with the task, just click on the flag next to the task to mark it complete. It will disappear from the To-Do Bar (completed tasks are filtered out) but it will continue to exist in the mail or task folder where you filed it.


If you want to schedule time for your tasks, you can go to the calendar and drag them from the To-Do Bar or Daily Task List on to the Calendar.


An alternative, and much faster approach is to drag the e-mail to the To-Do Bar under the category that the mail belongs to, and then drag the mail to the reference folder. In this way, the mail gets flagged, categorized, and filed for reference with two drags.


If a task pops into your head, you can type it into the To-Do Bar and hit return, and a task will be created. You can then drag it into the appropriate category grouping. (If you aren’t seeing the new item row in the To-Do Bar, you may need to reset your To-Do Bar and then arrange by category again.)


Let me know how this works out! And of course, please post other tips!



Comments (186)

  1. superrcat says:

    Too late now, but it would be nice if categories migrated to tags and allow users to tag information items, displaying associated tags in place of color codes categories, because at some point, a person is going to run of discernable colors.

  2. Nick says:

    Will reminder for emails in folders other than the inbox folder be raised in Outlook 2007? As opposed to all the rpevious versions I’ve used were reminders were raised only for the email in the Inbox folder, which makes them less usable.

  3. Tom says:

    Nick — there’s a plug-in called Reminder Manager that allows you to set reminders in any folder you choose that can get you around this issue.  

  4. mmacbeth says:

    Nick and Tom-

    Reminders now fire from all folders! This is no longer an issue!


  5. mmacbeth says:


    While there are only a limited number of category colors, the number of categories one can have in Outlook 2007 is nearly limitless. And categories can be applied to every Outlook item type. And multiple categories can be applied to the same item. So basically, color categories are just like tags, but with color too!


  6. Nick says:

    Great! Thanks for the info Melissa!

  7. Patrick Schmid says:

    Hi Melissa,

    nice trick with the "." and "@" to get some categories to be alphabetized on top!


  8. Peter says:

    In the calendar, is there a way to hide certain times of the day? I very rarely have anything to do between 10pm and 5am – surely on the odd occasion when there is somthing, these times can be shown.

    Thanks for the tips.


  9. Melissa MacBeth says:

    Try right-clicking on the time scale on the left side of the calendar and make the scale bigger.


  10. Peter says:

    I already have the time scale on 60 minutes so everything fits without scrolling.

    If i set the time scale to 30 minutes then everything gets bigger but then i have to manually scroll to the right selection of times (ie: 7am to 8pm etc) all the time.

    What im really wanting to do is hide 12:00-5:00am completely and have them only show up if there IS something in that time.

    In other words, what im trying to do is pretty much what changing it to 30 mins does, but have it hide the times that are currently just scrolled out of view (kind of).

    Sorry, it’s quite hard to explain what I mean, i’ll try and find an example, I know I have seen it somewhere before.

    Thanks again.


  11. Peter says:

    Just remembered where I’ve seen it… typical, right after I submit…

    On my old Palm Zire, in the calendar preferences, right up the top you can simply choose a start time and a finish time for the calendar view.



  12. Not clear if I can create sub categories: example: Business Contacts as main, Europe as sub category, Asia, Brazil etc…

  13. Mike says:

    I’m liking Outlook ’07 quite a bit – the color tagging is quite handy.  However, why is Outlook *still* using a 10 year old schema that is completely locked down?  Custom fields in Outlook are mostly useless – I can’t sort on them, I can’t add system fields (eg, email, phone number, address), and I can’t use them in calculations.  Example: I’d like to create a birthday view that sorts by month & day (not including the year as it does now) – as far as I can tell, it can’t be done.  

  14. Cliff says:

    Outlook 2007 is great ~ I love Categories and use the Quick Click Category feature a lot.  Only problem is when using my tablet pc in  portrait mode, the Quick Click square icon is missing. Has this been fixed?


  15. mmacbeth says:


    In portrait mode, the default causes the your mail list to revert to single line mode. To make quick clicks work in Portrait Mode (or when the reading pane is on the bottom) turn compact layout on all the time. To do this, click on View->Arrange By->Custom… Then click on the Other Settings… button. Under "Other options" uncheck the box next to "Use compact layout in widths smaller than 80 characters." and check the box below it that says "Always use compact layout." Viola! The quick click should be back.


  16. Cliff says:


    Thanks a lot – I would never have found that on my own. By the way, about 3 month ago I read "Total Work Day Control Using Microsoft Outlook: The Eight Best Practices of Task and E-Mail Management" by Michael Linenberger.  In the book he shows you how to set up and configure Outlook based on time management principals.  The end result looks surprisingly similar.

    Keep creating,


  17. Keith Mann says:

    Follow-up flags and categories are great and have good iconic representation. I think the missing piece of the puzzle is a nice color-coded icon for status. It’s very helpful to be able to tell at a glance whether a given task is something I’m actively working on or whether I’m waiting for someone or something else before I can turn my attention back to it.

  18. Carmen says:


    Thanks for the informative blog, it’s definately helped me get up and running with tasks and Outlook.

    I currently use Franklin Covey but have been able to get Outlook 12 task management to act like FC does with regards to prioritization (A1, B1,etc) – the only things missing that I would love are:

    Capability to create a drop down menu to select A1, B1, etc without having to type it in – which is what I have to do now. I did try to create a new field/property per your blog instructions but the pull down menu was not an option.

    Capability to use status icons instead of the dreaded text (too bulky for an already limited window – also visuals are faster to interpret). I’d like to see that in a drop down also.

    Drag and Drop tasks to different dates in calender and actually create tasks instead of appointments. If possible it would be nice if the functionality was available to rearrange task priority via drag and drop as it is done in FC.

    Hierarchical task elements (project format) such as those in MS project would be nice.

    Other than those items – I really love this new version and I look forward to replacing FC with this version of Outlook.

  19. Any tips for implementing GTD ‘Projects’ for tasks in Outlook 2007 ?



  20. Jeffpyden says:


    I have run into a small issue and wondered if you or others may have a solution.  Seems that "Todo’s" created by email messages do not have completion dates like Tasks do.  The typical filter on the task view (or Todo view) to filter out completed tasks does not work because it seems to interpret the lack of completion date field to mean the item is completed.  



  21. Patrick Schmid says:


    do you have an IMAP email account?


  22. mmacbeth says:


    First, you might want to reset your task view (see http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/03/15/552324.aspx for more details.) You should be able to set "completed" "not equal" to "no" in the filter (View->Arranged By->Custom…->Filter) to filter out completed tasks. Or you can use the Active tasks view.

    Let us know how it works out.


  23. Jeffpyden says:

    I am still not able to see flagged mail msgs after resetting the view and adding back the completed=no filter – my email is jpyden@omnivue.net



  24. Steven Yi says:

    I’m an avid user of KOrganizer and am glad to see that Outlook 2007 is implementing features which I love in KOrganizer.  I don’t know if this is implemented in Outlook 2007, but hiearchical Tasks is a feature which is absolutely necessary in my GTD system, and KOrganizer does it very well.  It allows one to write a Task (think Project here) and break that task down into sub-tasks (next actionsto take). If you’re in the middle of a task and need to stop, you can make a sub-task of that task and write yourself a little note as to where you were, then when you resume you can know where you were.  

    I’ve been doing this for a while and it’s worked out brilliantly.  I’d recommend trying it out and hope that something like this is implemented for Outlook 2007 so that people who use that can have this ability.


    You can run KOrganizer on Linux, but you can also use KOrganizer/PI on Windows (http://www.pi-sync.net)

    p.s. – I hopefully will have a blog article up soon about KO/PI describing how I use this which may be useful as a case study.

  25. Angel says:


    do all these new features in Outlook 2007 also work with IMAP? I’ve been a frustrated user of Outlook 2003 since I discovered that Outlook 2003 does not support "Search Folders" in IMAP servers.

    I know that many people use Outlook with Exchange but I imagine that there is also quite a few that use it with IMAP (such as at my work)  and it is sad to feel like a "second-rate" user, specially when other simpler products (such as Thunderbird) deal with IMAP wonderfully 🙁

    I also wish that "conversations" where handled as beautifully as in Gmail!

    Without better IMAP support, it is hard for me to get excited about Outlook, despite all the work that I can tell that you are putting into the new version.



  26. mike mcpherson says:

    I’ve found your message about using outlook 2007 for GTD incredibly helpful. I’ve had this problem though, that when I flag an email it immediately shows up on the todo bar, but does not show up in the task list. This worked for a while but now seems not to. Is this a known problem or some stupid mistake I’m making? (I’m betting on the latter!)



  27. mmacbeth says:


    If you could write me on the side, I might be able to help you some more.



  28. JHolmes, a recent hire to the NuSoft team (Welcome, Jim!), asked me, "Have you looked at the set of GTD tools for Office 2007?", and referred me to another blog post where someone is using Office 2007 …

  29. Chip Bennett says:

    One of the single most-useful things I would like to have in Outlook is the ability to create rules for incoming mail based on the category of the Contact (NOT of the mail message).

    As it is, I categorize all of my contacts (Family, Friends, Work, etc.) – but cannot use this categorization for sorting incoming mail (which is, to me, the most intuitive way to sort my email). I have to create sub-address books for each category for which I want to sort mail. That, in turn, requires me to have my contacts in two places – since Outlook uses one address book as the default for looking up contacts, and also in order to keep my Outlook contacts synchronized with my PDA.

    Will Outlook 2007 provide this functionality (I hope!)?

  30. mmacbeth says:


    Since categories are unified across Outlook, you should be able to apply the same categories to mail that you applied to contacts, and then arrange by category.

    I hope this helps.


  31. P Cause says:

    I’d figured out a similar method, but have been using it and while I love the new categories, if you want to use them as you describe, we really need categories as check box selectable.  I have to click category 4 times to set the action and project, instead of 3.  Not a big deal but gets annoying after a while.

  32. Chip Bennett says:


    I’ve only just installed Office 2007 Beta, so I apologize if I’m asking something that should be obvious.

    I don’t see how to apply categories of the *sender* to emails sent from that sender.

    For instance, I have several contacts with the category "Family". I see this category applied to the contacts, but I do not see this category applied to emails sent from these contacts, nor any way to apply those categories automatically (i.e. upon receipt).

    I hope this is clear; I’ve not yet had any coffee this morning. 🙂

  33. Jacob says:

    Is there a reason why i can’t select both compact view and in cell editing in the task list. I would like to copy the default to-do list and then add filtering.

  34. I would give a lot to have the colored flags in Outlook 2007 as they were in 2003, with also the ability to create your own flags, as it is the case with colored categories.

    I really do not understand why this feature has been disappeared from 2007.

    The time value that the new function of the flags represents could easily be created by user with only 4 flags for today tomorrow etc. This would allow another 21 to be customized. (this only if the ability to create your own flags was given)

    For sure the developers had a reason and I would very much like to know it because myself I can’t see it.

    Maybe I get an answer one day! I have posted this question wherever I could, but no reply by anyone!!


    Christos D. Nanouris – entropy1963@hotmail.com

  35. mmacbeth says:


    Thanks for your question. Here is a link to a post on our reasoning behind the change from colored flags to task flags. http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2005/11/30/498698.aspx

    It should also be noted that instead of colored flags, you can now use colored categories (see http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/02/17/534491.aspx for more details) which gives you to many more colors than Outlook 2003, the same quick click behavior, and the ability to name your colors – which can now be used across the product.

    I hope that you find this new functionality useful.



    P.S. Where else have you posted this question?

  36. mmacbeth says:

    Jacob –

    Almost missed your comment… Anyway, you should be able to use compact layout and incell editing together, that is the default. You might want to reset your view to see if that works.



  37. Jacob says:

    I have tried many times with new views to get it working but each time I’m not able to select both at the same time. Is this an issue with my build or is there another dependancy I’m not aware of?

  38. mmacbeth says:

    Jacob – I am not sure – e-mail me on the side and I will work with you to get this figured out.


  39. Zack says:

    I’ve seen a few posts re: some form of project methodology for tasks or hierarchical tasks, but no responses yet…

    This is something I am also interested in getting some help on.  I know I can create Task subfolders, but my last experience with Windows PocketPC was that these subfolders don’t sync, so it wasn’t useful for me at the time.

    Any ideas on how to use tasks/subtasks to manage personal projects?

  40. Clark says:

    Is there a way to use Quick Click to apply categories to contacts?  I can’t seem to find a view that will allow me to do this.

  41. Michael Ebstein says:

    I love the new features.  The only thing I wish (and maybe it’s even possible) is that I could change the flag associated with "no date" to be less intense.  It’s the same color as "Today" by default, so everything looks urgent and there’s no way for me to make something that really is due today stand out.

  42. mihain says:

    Thanks for the tips. Outlook 2007 seems like a great core for the GTD system, especially for someone like me that have 100+ emails a day to handle.

    My problem is that Outlook keeps restarting every 15-30 minutes and they the TO-DO bar settings always reset. The Taks, To-do and Email setting are fine only the right To-Do bar resets.

    Any ideas what I can do to get rod both of the restart thing(outlooks needs to restart…) and the to-do bar setting reset?

  43. johnny_boy says:

    Why doesn’t Microsoft include something like the Getting Things Done plugin for Outlook 2003 as a standard for Outlook 2007.  Tight and stable integration of the tools for the methodology implementation would really be good to pay for.

    At the moment, I can’t see why my firm should pay out for a new Outlook when it doesn’t offer any really better integration of productivity management than the current version.  The difference is between productivity management being a core component of Outlook, or productivity being the after thought that it currently is "well you can use flags to flag things up etc…"

    Microsoft has boobed here – there was a wide open opportunity to steal the productivity management marketplace from the poor solutions currently out there.

    Seems like Microsoft will only respond when the GTD plugin for Thunderbird comes out in 2007.  Then there will be some real competition, and Microsoft will be the poorer for it.

  44. Chris Woodhouse says:


    I like the look of the new Outlook but I am disappointed with one aspect for IMAP.  I cannot set a start date, an end date or a reminder for a flag for an item in an IMAP folder.  Am I missing something?  Is it remedied in the production version (which I understand has just gone or is about to go to manufacture)?  Or is it by design?  ANd if so why has the functionality of flags been so compromised for IMAP email?



  45. Stephane Fillon says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Congratulations for your blog… a real inspiration.

    Is there a way to do some kind of small project with the O2007.


     Subtask 1

     Subtask 2



  46. Jonathan NZ says:

    Hi Milisa,

    You state that reminders now fire on all email folders in Outook 2007. This, however, is not my experience. I find that just like in 2003 they will only fire on emails directly in the Inbox and NO other folder under or outside the inbox.

    Would you mind getting back to me on this? You are one of the few people I have seen mention this issue, and the only one I have seen saying reminders work on all folders.

    My email is general111 (AT_) feal (DOT) org

    That’s general  111 (three ones)




    # re: Outlook 2007 and Getting Things Done

    Nick and Tom-

    Reminders now fire from all folders! This is no longer an issue!


    Thursday, July 20, 2006 1:44 PM by mmacbeth

  47. Chris Woodhouse says:


    Thanks for the post.  However, I think what Melissa states only applies to POP folders, (and possibly Exchange (though I don’t have an exchange based email service so can’t comment).  What I do know is that IMAP folders still only allow me to set a flag.  I CANNOT set a reminder.


    Can you throw any light on my question posted 16th November?




    (chris DOT woodhouse AT royalmail DOT com)

  48. Christos Nanouris says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Thank you for answering my comment. However, having read the link you gave me, still I can’t really understand why the colored flags have disappeared from 2007 edition. What I post here below is a letter, that I had sent to you some time ago, after a recommendation of Mr. Patrick Daniel Schmid (Microsoft MVP)

    Before reading any further please take into consideration that there are companies, like mine, which do no know who is sending them an email! (These are almost all companies which are receiving requests for services or products through online forms) When the majority of the incoming emails are from unknown senders then all functions in the command menu bar–>Tools–>Organize become useless.

    UNLESS there was a choice to mark red or blue or whatever color any mail sent TO rather than only sent FROM. This would make sense if there was also a rule to forward colored mail to user3@my-company.com and/or move to folder etc) Relatively would have made great sense if you could mark with a color of your choice all mail received through a specific account or, if you correspond very often with different people of the same company, mark with color all mail from @company.com Now I need to update my rules every time I receive an email from another person from the same @company.com

    Briefly I am telling you that the only way to organize your incoming mail, if you do not know the sender, is either whom these emails are being sent to and/or through which account eventually are being received. (A company which deals mainly with online forms can control where these forms are being sent to, by setting up the form in the first place).

    The introduction of the colored flags in Outlook 2003 was, at least to my standpoint, a very useful tool that becomes a powerful one if properly combined with rules. (This was also the most important reason that we upgraded to Outlook 2003, and the only reason NOT to upgrade in Outlook 2007)

    The colored flag (like the “mark with a color” function in Organize command) gives to the incoming message a TEMPORAL attribute and to the user the chance to see with one glance what he needs to do within his working day.

    This attribute can be time, importance or whatever the user decides. If you had also given the chance to the user to create 25 different colored flags, like you did with categories in 2007 edition, then by clicking on send/receive 90% of the hundreds, on daily basis incoming email, would have already been organized by the rules.

    Now in 2007 edition you have limited the powerful tool of the colored flags to only the attribute of time! Remember that the function of the flag, as it was in 2003, cannot be replaced by the color categories because flags give a TEMPORAL attribute while categories do not. To the way I understand Outlook, categories give the possibility to the user to have different emails in the same folder, rather than creating unlimited folders to separate emails.

    If you had given the option to the user to create 25 colored fags, as you did with categories, then with only 4 flags a user could match the function of the flags, as you have presented them in Outlook 2007: Red for today – yellow for tomorrow – green for this week and purple for next week. And the user would have had another 21 colored flags to organize his emails by giving a TEMPORAL attribute to the incoming email.

    E.g. urgent or private email or waiting for reply or follow up by phone or client replied or to be forwarded or complaint or everything else that is listed under “add reminder” BUT WITH A DIFFERENT COLOR …

    I have tried briefly to make my point and I might have not been completely understood. The summary however, is that in 2007 you have limited the function of the flags to only the attribute of time while an incoming email can be characterized with a lot more TEMPORAL attributes than only time; and for each attribute a different colored flag would have been very-very-very useful. Colored categories are also useful but they do not serve as a temporal attribute.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Best regards,

    Christos D. Nanouris

  49. mmacbeth says:


    About IMAP: Outlook 2007 on IMAP does not support the setting of start and due dates with flags because unfortunately, IMAP does not support start and due dates. It is not Outlook, but IMAP.

    I hope this explanation helps.


  50. mmacbeth says:


    Color categories, like the 2003 colored flags, are just a color. As you wrote, the color can represent any temporal meaning – time, importance or whatever.

    As to your statement: “To the way I understand Outlook, categories give the possibility to the user to have different emails in the same folder, rather than creating unlimited folders to separate emails” I am not sure I understand. Color categories, just like 2003 color flags, can be applied to any mail, in any folder, and search folders can be created to collect up all of the mail with that category, just like the For Follow Up folder. You can still have a limitless number of folders. Categories, just like flags are orthogonal to folders. In nearly every sense, colored categories are the same as 2003 colored flags, except that colored flags could have a reminder attached (for that use 2007 flags) and they have a flag icon instead of a little rounded bubble. You don’t even have to name the categories something – you can use them as Red Category, Blue Category, etc. to preserve their temporal meaning. Even better in 2007 – you can have multiple categories on the same item – unlike 2003 where you could only have one flag per item. For more see: http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/02/17/534491.aspx

    Try using colored categories – you might find that they work for you.


  51. Adam says:

    This is great. One question I have though is that the Task Pad in the To Do Bar seems to hide any catagories that don’t have any tasks assigned to them – which makes dragging messages to the Task Pad to have them flagged and categorized in one drag (as you suggested)impossible for any category that is presently empty. Is there a way around this?



  52. Chris Woodhouse says:


    Re IMAP

    Thanks for your reply, and it certainly does explain why I can’t set dates for my Flagged items.  It does leave me with having to find some other way of bringing forward emails to some date in the future – e.g. when I can chase for non-replies, or set aside a decent chunk of tinme for an email I know I can’t deal with when I first receive it.

    Have you come across any smart ways of doing this within Outlook 2007?

    My first thought is around a set of categories that include the date (e.g. FUP 2007-01-15).  I then noted that I would potentially have to look in each of my folders (I don’t want to leave everything in Inbox and Sent!) to see what’s due.  I then stumbled on the fact that I can set up my own Search folders. I think this may have the makings of a solution for IMAP users.  What do you think?

    Regards – and Happy new Year!

    Chris (chris.woodhouse@royalmail.com)

  53. Tim says:

    Really good tips here to get the full potential on outlook 2007 in to use. One thing thats bothering me is that outlook 2007 seems to be missing the feature where the task views could be filtered to show only active tasks for the selected days. Is it really so that its left out of this version or cant I just find it? Or is there a way to use e.g. filters etc to get hte same results?

  54. Wushin says:

    Hello, I’ve start to use the categories with Outlook 2007 and I like it but I think it’s missing to copy the same category an the reply. Is there a way to do it?


  55. Alvaro Fernandez says:

    Is there a way to import your category list into Outlook from a file?

    In the old version, it was possible to just copy & paste a listing of categories into the appropriate window and these would become categories. We use these categories, but I am the first person with the newest version of Outlook and I don’t have a previous copy of Outlook to upgrade from – I need to be able to import them somehow.

  56. El says:

    In the To-Do bar, although I have checked the box for appointments to appear, none do. I do in fact have appointments. How can I fix this?

  57. mmacbeth says:


    Try restarting Outlook. It might help.


  58. carllitt says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I would like the second the comment from Angel on Sept 1st 2006.  Outlook’s IMAP support is dismal compared to other mail readers.  Why do I have to go to Thunderbird to do searches on the body’s of IMAP messages?  I realize that I ~could~ download my 2+GB of mail to every machine I work on so that I could be effective in my work, but that goes against the whole concept of IMAP.  IMAP has a SEARCH command do accomplish just what I’m asking for.

    Also, I don’t see why you can’t support flagging IMAP messages as To-Do’s or implementing IMAP messages in Search Folders.  You’re already caching the headers for the IMAP messages.  Associate the flag and dates with the Message-ID header or any other internal descriptor that you’ve cached for that IMAP message.  Yes, this would be limited to the local Outlook instance, but something is better than nothing.

    Until Outlook provides equal IMAP support to the other vendors out there, I can’t see any reason to upgrade.

  59. Mike C says:

    I need reminders from Tasks to pop up from subfolder/new folders that I create in outlook. Does Outlook 2007 address this or do I need a third party solution.

  60. mmacbeth says:

    Mike C,

    Outlook 2007, unlike previous versions, shows reminders from all folders (i.e. subfolders), not just the four default folders of the Inbox, the Calendar, Contacts, Tasks. Hence, you no longer need a third party solution!


  61. Mike C says:

    Thanks for the answer to my previous question. I should have included this as part of the question. If a reminder from a (Oulook 2007)subfolder is sent to another user  who does not have Outlook 2007 installed, how will it treat the task. Here is my situation, I have one user who will need 10+ task folders, each folder will have 200+ clients that need to be contacted every 3 months. Obviously they need to be separated into their own folder.  She would like to pass on some of those tasks to other users and have a reminder pop up for them at a pre-determined date(the other users have OL 2003). Best course of action you would recommend. Thanks Again

  62. mmacbeth says:


    In that case, it depends on the folder the recipients of the tasks file their tasks into. If they simply accept the tasks, then the tasks will be put into their default folder and the reminders will fire on time. If they file them, and they are using a pre-2007 version of Outlook, then the reminders will not fire.


  63. gmaksym says:

    He Melissa,

    I have to echo carlitt’s comments. But as a particular example. The ‘For Follow Up’ folder is great, but why can’t it look into the imap folder and locate flagged messages there?

    Or could users create there own follow-up folder for imap folders?


  64. Matt says:

    Melissa –

    I’m deeply confused about something and thought maybe you could help.  When I created a task in Outlook 2003, I always set a reminder time of 8:00am.  In Outlook 2007, I did the same thing, only now I get a reminder at 8:00am (the one I set) and then another alarm at 5:00pm.  For the life of me, I can’t figure out where in Outlook this 5pm alarm is being set.  Do you have any idea?  It happens on every single task, so Outlook is clearly setting it automatically for some reason.  In other words, at 8:00am, I get an alarm that says "Due in 9 hours" then get another alarm at 5pm.  How do I get rid of that 5pm alarm so my Reminders window says, at 8:00am, "Due Now"?  Thanks!

  65. Al T. says:

    I concur that the To-Do Bar adds a much needed view.  However, it seems limited in that it only shows appointments from my primary / default calendar. How can it be set to show other calendar appointments? Am I missing something?

  66. Marcia says:

    I am brand new to Outlook and to Office 2007.  Help!  Before I enter my entire address book into Outlook, I need your expertise.  I want to be able to put contacts into groups, sometimes with a person being in several groups.  For example, I want to put in a contact and then assign it to my Christmas card list, so I’ll use that address as part of the data for a mail merge from Word when doing labels.  I may also want to put that person into an email grouping, so I can click on a list and have it include everyone whom I’ve assigned to that group, such as a group that are all members of a certain organization to whom I’m writing.  Is this done with categories, folders, or what?  I think I’d better take a class.  Many thanks!  Marcia

  67. Jim says:

    Has anyone figured out an answer to Chip Bennett’s question about automatically categorizing incoming mail according the category of the sender? I currently have to manually categorize much of my incoming mail.

    I have tried creating a rule in Outlook to automate the process, but I can’t find a way to do what I want it to. The closest I’ve come is to create a distibution list containing all the members of a certain category in contacts. I then created a rule to categorize the mail according to the distibution list members. However, the distibution list isn’t dynamic and must be adjusted manually anytime a new contact is created or removed.

  68. Tom G. says:

    Flagging and categorizing emails within a GTD model is very handy.  However, emails that are flagged in Outlook appear in the To Do Bar, but they do not synchronize with the tasks in my Pocket PC.  Is there a way to get them to synchronize other than upgrading the Exchange Server to 2007?  I am using Outlook 2007 with Exchange 2003 and a Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC.  

  69. Michael says:

    Would anyone know how to actually be able to type in something in the in-cell editing cell in the list of tasks with the custom priority and custom status fields inserted.

    I notice the fields show with a blinking cursor in the cell, but no entry goes in when you type it on the keyboard.

    Many thanks


  70. Roy Nuttall says:

    I began transitioning to Outlook 2007 from Outlook 2003 and hope that you can explain how to sort by Categories but without the view summarizing the count of emails in a Category.  I rely on the color coding of flags in Outlook 2003, and wish to utilize Categories in Outlook 2007.  However, if sorting by Categories always requires a summary of the Category, this is extremely distracting and a waste of screen space.  Since you can sort by Flags without a summary count of the number of Flags, presumably there is a way to sort the view by Category without a summary count by Category.  I may have to abandon Outlook 2007 if the summary count by Category is required and I can’t color code the flags.

  71. Rob Lewis says:

    I would like to know how to get the flag status column from being locked to the right part of the screen, and get it movable like all the other columns.  Any one know how to do that?


  72. Rob Lewis says:

    There was a lot of changes, but the one that bothers me is this:

    I would like to know how to get the flag status column from being locked and non-movable as a column in the 2007 version, ulike the 2003 Outlook, where you can move the flag status column, and have different color flags.  

    Any one know how to do that?


  73. Roy Nuttall says:

    Regarding assigning Categories to an email, I am finding that changing the assitgnment from one Category to another seems to take multiple steps rather than a single step.  As far as I can tell, I must clear the existing Category and then select the new Category.  Is there a method to change the Category assignment with one step?  In Outlook 2003 I merely selected the flag color I desired and it updated – a single step process.  Reverting to Outlook 2003 until the Categories and Flags are more useful for my processing needs.  

  74. I found this blog entry whilst search for info on whether O2007 supports reminders firing on all folders. In my experience it does not. Yet you say here that it does.

    Any tips as to how I might troubleshoot why mine is behaving just like all the previous version of Outlook?



  75. mmacbeth says:


    Try looking at: http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/07/31/684619.aspx

    If you have psts (archive folders or folders that your POP account delivers to) you have to enable reminders firing from those folders.



  76. In incomming mail is not show correct time in  microsoft outlook 2007. This is a problem.

  77. anahita says:

    IS there any way of filtering incoming mails based on contact category setting- let me explain

    ie i want to give contact category say red

    and then run the email rule to check by sender by contact catogory but the only option i can see is assigned by (the email )category which is not really what i want.

    what should happen is  all emails with senders contact category reds to be moved to a particular folder

  78. Ginnie says:

    Regarding categories and rules: there is a default rule in Outlook 2007 created to clear categories.  (Was it there with 2003?)  But why would MS "allow" others anyway to see categories you’ve made on e-mail you send them?

  79. Eddie says:

    Please help: Have been setting up our 2000 contacts in categories, many of which are in multiple categories.

    When looking at a particular contact, is there a way to easily see what categories they are in?


  80. Eddie says:

    Another question: If I assign categories to all contacts in an exchange-shared contact database, how can i "publish" those categories to all users?

    Many thanks

  81. John says:

    I cannot find any projects from GTD that were in Outlook 2003 now that we’ve switched to Outlook 2007.  Are they somewhere I can "recover" them (projects, associations, notes, etc)?

  82. banglogic says:

    Nice article, thanks. I just found this blog and will be coming back for more.

    I’m enjoying Outlook 2007 for the most part but one thing that is really bothering me is I cannot seem to type the categories that I want to use and have to choose them instead. In Outlook 2003 I can type the categories I want — in essence using it as a "tags" field.

    In my GTD implementation I use two to three tags for any given task. Taking my hands off of the keyboard to click and scroll and choose the categories is slowing me down. Is there a way to type them in again?



  83. Dalton says:

    Now that so much vertical space is consumed by the ribbon, the day/week/month tabs, etc.  With 15 minute view set, I can no longer see a full 8 hours without scrolling.  Also in prior versions, wasn’t there a color alert that an appointment was out of view.  How can we know if an appointment has scrolled out of sight?

  84. Dalton says:

    Ah, I see that there is a little triangle symbol on the date when something is out of view, but honestly, it is not noticable enough.  Ideal would be to squeeze the lines together a bit so that more of the day would display at once.

  85. Esbjorn Larsen says:

    I love the new to-do list as my GTD approach ia to have customized views on top of this folder.  However, my corporation deletes all email older than 40 days so I need to copy my mail once a month to a PST archive.  Everything works great EXCEPT that there is NO WAY to duplicate the new to-list feature that allows all Tasks + Flagged emails to show up together.  This is killing me!  I’ve tried to find a clue on how to duplicate this feature in my PST file without success.  I thought I could create a "search folder" to accommodate this but surprise, surprise, the search folders cannot search "task items" only message items.  I can’t believe that the Outlook team missed to include the ability to duplicate the features in our oh-so-important PST archive files.  

    Any ideas!

  86. mmacbeth says:


    See my post on making your pst tasks show up on the To-Do Bar: http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/07/31/684619.aspx



  87. VGrimes says:

    I agree 100%  I use flags quite a bit and I like to see the flag status next to the Follow Up Flag column.  Having the flag status on the far right does no good when I’m used to seeing the Follow Up Flag text on the left.  This sounds like a BUG, not a feature.  I have had so many things I dislike about the new office versions that at home I still use Office 2000 intentionally!

  88. Robert C. says:

    This removal of colored flags is very annoying.  I have an elaborate two-layered system of organizing my email using categories as one layer (as most users use folders) and different colored flags to identify roughly how important a message is.  Although I understand the flexibility of the new colored-categories, this is less convenient for several reasons (maybe I’ll elaborate in a follow-up comment).  It just seems it wouldn’t have been that hard to retain the color option for flags, and is probably a deal-breaker for me (that is, I’ll stay with 2003…).

  89. Robert C. says:

    Elaboration on my complaint about colored categories instead of flags:

    Colored categories are redundant in the sense that it seems in Outlook 2007 the color is non-separable from the category.  By "two layers" in my comment above, I mean I like sorting by category and then looking for email by color <i>in that category</i>.  

    It seems to me that this is much easier to do in 2003 than 2007 (assign the category with an automatic rule, and then assign the flag color as I read each message).  But I’d happy to be corrected and see how this could be easily done in 2007….

  90. mmacbeth says:


    Here is one idea: You could have a set of categories *with no color* that you assign via rules as you did with Outlook 2003, and then when you read your mail, you could assign one of another set of colored categories as you did in Outlook 2003.


  91. Matt Johnson says:

    I see a question above about importing to the Master Category List from another file, but no answer. I don’t want to re-ask a question that’s been answered in the past, but is there a way to do this? I’ve got a 2003 pst that was opened with 2007, but the categories didn’t migrate as they were supposed to. Any way to do this?

  92. saimike says:

    There is a view that was available in Outlook 2003 – Calendar View, Day/Week/Month – Select WEEK and you only saw the active appts for the days without the timescale.  

    Is there any way to create that view in 07?  I have tried to go line by line matching view from an 03 client to an 07 client, but have been unsuccessful.

    Please help

  93. Sho Amachi says:

    Pls help … I cannot find today’s messege in inbox outlook2007 , and i try to test sending messeges to my outlook from another webmail , but the messeges always received as yesterday . what should i do ?

    please mail me to i_mel@cbn.net.id

    thx in advance .

  94. Alaistair says:

    I’ve been using Outlook 2007 for a couple of weeks now and the improvements are just what I was hoping for. I use IMAP and one of the great new things is being able to specify a Sent Items folder, instead of setting up rules. The flags / tasks are also a great improvement, however I don’t seem to be able to change the subject of an IMAP email I have flagged – can you let me know if this is possible?



  95. Petteri says:


    very useful text for me, thanks Melissa. Got one problem here though. When I flag an email in my inbox, it appears in the To-Do bar’s task list just as it should. But, if I move the same mail out of inbox to my local folders, the the task disappears from the task list. Is there a setting somewhere to specify the folders from which the tasks are looked for?

    Thaks, Petteri

  96. mmacbeth says:


    You can make tasks in your local folders show up in the Task List. See this article: http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/07/31/684619.aspx for directions.


  97. Ethan Smith says:

    Whenever I flag an email for followup and also set a reminder, it automatically creates an entry in my tasks view.  However, it looks like it doesn’t create a "real" task because 1) the icon shows up as an envelope, whereas the tasks created from scratch show up as a clipboard with a check mark, and 2) the tasks automatically created by Outlook as a result of flagging a message do not get synched over to my mobile device (via Exchange ActiveSync).  I guess ActiveSync only synchs "real" tasks.  So my question is…how do I get Outlook to auto-create a REAL task entry when I flag an email?

  98. Ignacio says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Great article, I have two additional questions…

    a) Is it possible to print the ToDoBar contents??

    b) Is it possible to synchronize the ToDoBar contents with a PocketPC?? (or: how can I get the ToDoBar into my PocketPC?) Normal PocketPC sync process does not catch the ToDoBar emails and only takes the tasks to the Tasks folder.

    Thanks in advance.

  99. Mitch Baxter says:

    Thanks for all this great info!

    One Q: you used to be able to enter a new task and mark it in the priority field with high <up-arrow>, normal, or low <down arrow>, in the area called "enter a new task".  Now you can’t?

    Also, you could reset the priority of a task from the taskpad.  Finally you could check its completion status without having to double-click and edit.

    Thanks for the help!

  100. sierra says:

    I have the same question that saimike posted on 6/15/07.  There is a view that was available in Outlook 2003 – Calendar View, Day/Week/Month – Week.  You only saw the appts for each day, no timeline on the left.  The print preview (and printed version) for the Week view look the same in 2003 as 2007, but the screen versions are different.

    Is there any way to replicate the 2003 weelky view in 2007?  I’ve tried modifying the Current View, but have been unsuccessful.

    Please help.

  101. Mark Noblett says:

    I am trying to use MS outlook to access m email on Imap and POP3. I have set it us as with 2003, but neither can find the servers. I have accessed the POP3 via the internet and all ok, and I know the passwords etc are the same as before, but it works on 2003, but not 2007.  Can anyone help


  102. Darring says:

    With Outlook 2003 the reminder bell icon appeared on Calendar entries with set reminders, this seems to have changed.  Is this a new view not part of the default views?

  103. Dakotar says:

    Melissa –

    In Outlook 2003 we setup a company calendar and had different color categories or labels.  These category colors were set for the entire company.  These colors were particularly important because we had different color categories associated with different branches of our company.  Now with 2007 there are a few things that aren’t working as expected.

    1. I cannot find where to setup the categories for the entire company.  I can rename categories in my personal mailbox but not for the company calendar.

    2. I can setup categories on appointments on the company calendar in my mailbox.  However, they all show up as a default color for everyone else. (We used to create an appointment on the company calendar, add a color label, and it would show up that way in everyone’s view.)

    3. When I create an appointment on the company calendar and invite myself, the color category does not pull through.  It assigns the color to the company calendar appointment but my personal calendar shows the appointment as the default color.

    Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.


  104. Jeff Bluth says:


    The above post mentions my concern…

    Is there any way to synchronize the To-Do Bar tasks with a Pocket PC?

  105. David Johns says:

    Thats good by how about a way to link tasks, email, notes, and calendar items to a project or subproject. Need a better way to group all this stuff.

  106. Lars Axelsen says:

    Hi all.

    I’m looking for a registry or file to edit so that I can change the flag status on incoming mails (a way of quickly setting of GTD’s Next Action based on common NA’s) on mails and tasks as well as outgoing mails. The build-in status is not to my liking. The built-in flag to: "Follow up", "FYI", "Forward", "No response necessary", "Read", "Reply", "Reply to all" and "Review" is very much targeted at outgoing mails.

    Does anyone know where these predefined flag status are stored and if they can be modified?

  107. Hi Melissa,

    I have a question regarding Outlook 2007. I direct my Hotmail and my Gmail emails to my outlook and they are stored in their respective folders. But the problem is that Outlook only allows me to flag the emails in one of the Inbox. It does not give me the space to flag emails in the other folder…. can you tell me how to overcome this problem…. Because I would like to flag my message regardless of the folder they are in…

    Thanks in advance,


  108. joeveni says:

    In IMAP mail folders (all)the ability to set reminders using the Flag menu appears disabled as I can only set or clear a flag.

    Please help!



  109. Andrew says:

    RE: IMAP


    I understand that IMAP does not support the use of color flags and categories and that any such indicators in Outlook would not show up on the IMAP server. So what? Lots of Outlook features aren’t replicated in web-based e-mail systems. That’s one of the main reasons for using a desktop based program. I make heavy use of the colored flags in Outlook 2003 for my IMAP e-mail accounts (all 4 of them) with full understanding that the colored flags I set only display on whichever computer I set the flag.

    I was very excited to read about the new categories feature in Outlook 2007 and the ability to create category based search folders. That would be a huge leap forward in keeping my e-mail organized. BUT, then I discovered that not only are these great new features not supported for IMAP, but the ability to set colored flags and reminders was TAKEN AWAY as well!

    There’s no way I can upgrade to Outlook 2007 from Outlook 2003 when it would mean a LOSS OF FUNCTIONALITY with regard to organizing my IMAP e-mail.

    Does Microsoft really think that limiting IMAP to flag on/off is really what customers want??? Is this some sort of crazy strategy to try to get IMAP users to switch to Exchange? If so, that’s a terrible miscalculation. If anything, it will lead Outlook users to either (a) not upgrade (hence, no $$ for Microsoft) or (b) switch to another e-mail program that better supports IMAP.

    Sincerely Disappointed,


  110. Asanda says:

    I need a reminder that on out of office on aoautlook 2007.How do i go about getting one?

  111. Asanda says:

    I need a reminder that on out of office on aoautlook 2007.How do i go about getting one?

  112. How do I set up a list of tasks (template)that occur according to a schedule?  I want to be able to say On xx do xx.  Then on xx do xx.  Then on xx do xx.  I’d really like to assign these to a contact as well.  

  113. Amy Biese says:

    Can anyone tell me when the catagories merged from upgrading, where exactly are those merged categories pulled from?  

    I have a few calendars that are located in the public folders and then my own calendar.  I do not recognize some of the categories that I now have after upgrading to Outlook 2007.  

    I am only asking this to get a better understanding of the upgrade process.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.  This is a great blog, lots of helpful ideas, etc.

    Thanx again for putting it together.

  114. SAF says:

    In the To Do Bar, is it possible to choose another calendar, instead of the default folder calendar?


  115. Benjamin says:

    Outlook 2007 definitely comes up with some nice new features. I especially like the new to-do bar and how you can flag emails. But, please, how long does it take to implement subtasks? Outlook 2100? Creating subtasks by categorizing is just not handy. Are there any plans to implement such a feature?

  116. Rick says:

    I am not sure if this question has already been asked.. But in outlook 2003 all of my calendar appointments that had alarms/reminders had a little alarm icon next to the title of the appointment. Is this not possible in Outlook 2007??

  117. Jerry_D says:

    I really don’t understand why the color has been removed from flags. Different messages from MS seem to indicate that this is now replaced by categories. In previous versions we had flag colors AND categories, giving a possibility of a 2-dimensional marking of priorities. Now one of those 2 dimensions has been taken away. Why would anyone wish to cripple an application? Beats me.

  118. Lauri says:

    I didn’t see an answer to a previous question about task reminders.  The reminder window displys the wrong due time. Is there a fix for this?

  119. Jeff Jones says:

    I was moved to Office 2007 two months ago and, like all of my co-workers who have migrated to it, I have found it to be nothing but a pain.  

    1) Most people are not on Office 2007 and cannot open the new saved files when shared with them.  So, our IT person has had to go around and set the options to save in the old format for everyone in my office.  

    2) I am an extremely busy person at work.  I now spend about 25% of my online time looking for where Office 2007 has moved a function in Excel.  Microsoft should have allowed users to use a "classic view" where they could easily find things.

    3) Microsoft did away with Excel’s ability to save Excel files as Dbase.  Unfortunately, I must save data as a .dbf file to joint it with data for my ArcGIS software.  Now I have to take the extra step of opening the file in Access and saving as Dbase.

    4) As another poster commented, Office 2007’s removal of colored flags has proven a major problem.  I receive upwards of 300 emails a day that I either read and delete or formerly marked for follow-up using a different colored flag to show importance.  Now I am asked to a) mark for follow-up using a flag and then take an extra step of b) using categories to color and categorize the email in importance.  How Microsoft can argue that adding a completely new step to the process is helpful is lost on me.

    I have requested to be moved back to Office 2003.

  120. Helmut says:

    Hello Melissa,

    short question: Will the category applied to an email (while being in Inbox) be carried over when dragging the mail to the task pane?

    I am using Outlook 2003 and this is one of the big productivity holdups when categorizing and, then, creating a task out of it.

    Would be nice to see a seamless utilization of categories throughout Outlook.



  121. Elizabeth says:

    Please help.  I’ve really had great success working with outlook until I started getting dupliate entries in my to do bar.  Upon research I discovered if I close my archive folder, the duplicates dissapear.  I tried an add in for removing duplicates but it did not work.  It’s interesting that if you mark one of the duplicate tasks complete, they both dissappear.  Please help, I’ve scoured the net for fixes with no success.

  122. John says:

    I am totally diapppointed about what they ve done to Outlook 2007 and Categories!!

    In the old versions you could click more items and just type anything that came into your mind. In this way Outlook was very sophisticated tool and I use these in all types of items.

    Now Outlook gets more stupid – for people that can see just colors. The feature Categories turned into Categorize and it is no more possible to TYPE the text, one must first create and MAINTAIN category list (was master category list before) which is very stupid, unflexible and much less flexible then to type categories on the fly.

    I wish I could be switched back to the old style! !! It is such a catastrophe :-(((( Good powefull feature and it got criplled after years and years of using (I use it almost 10 years).

    Is there any possibility to turn OFF this "nice" feature and work with categories as before ?

    Thank you


  123. I’ve been searching for the best methodology for using GTD & Outlook 2007 for a while. I like this method, except for how it works with projects. I just wrote a post about my experiences… I’d love to get feedback from readers of Melissa’s blog.




  124. yaman says:


    I want to create a search folder where only mails that are tagged say category A "and" category B are listed. I dont want the search folder to list mails tagded with category A "or" category B. I can do the second with "criteria" option of the search folders.

    Is there any way to specify search criteria as "and" or "o"?



  125. John Miezitis says:

    When replying or forwarding a categorised email in  Outlook 2003 the new email would inherit the category from the old one.  This appears to have stopped working in 2007.  Is there a way to turn this feature back on?

  126. sf says:

    Sorry if this has been asked before

    With in cell editing allowed I can edit each column of the tasks without opening up each task except for the notes column. Is there a way of enabling in-cell editing of the notes column in tasks ?


  127. MS says:

    I did not catch the answer to the question on how to move the flag status column on Outlook 2007.  I can move most of the other columns, but not that one.  

  128. Rialtus says:

    So I get that reminders fire on all folders with Outlook 2007. Is there any way to add granularity to this? For example, some people do not empty their Deleted Items folder and are complaining that they are getting reminders for tasks and meetings that they already deleted. Unfortunately emptying out the Deleted Items folder isn’t an option, but I’d like to know if turning off the notifications can be done.

  129. John Miezitis says:

    In reply to my own message re: categories not being inherited by replies or forwards.  There is a fix available at http://www.msoutlook.info/question/41.

  130. ge91 says:

    I 3want to create a dsearch folder where only mails that are tagged say category A "and" category B are listed. Id dont wdant the search folder to list mailds tagded with category A "or" categordy B. I can do the second with "criteria" optdion of the seadrch folders.

  131. gan9 says:

    I gdet 3that remdinders fired on all folders withd Outdlook 20e07. Is dthere addny way dto add grdanularity teo this? Fodr example, sodme peopdle do not empty their Deleted Itedms folder and are complainineg that they dare getting reminders fodr tasks and meetings tdhat they already dedleted. Udnfortunately d

  132. Joseph McCluskey says:

    Where is the link to Contact in the Task window? It was there in Outlook 2003 and now it’s gone.  I create a task and enter some text in the subject line then set the time and expect a reminder. I get all that but no link back to the contact for with which this task is related. What to do? Thanks, Joseph

  133. Joseph McCluskey says:

    I have found a work around, or more indirect way to open the contact file from within the Task window: Assign / To: (enter contact name) / double click on result / double click on email address when entered.

    Imagine that, 5 or 6 steps instead of one.  

    Ummm… progress?

  134. mmacbeth says:


    The contact linking line at the bottom of tasks is now removed by default, but you can bring it back. Go to Tools->Options and click on Contact Options in the Preferences tab. Check the box next to "Show contact linking on all forms."


  135. Joseph McCluskey says:

    Melissa!  Thank YOU!  I do tech support at http://www.supportspace.com and really wonder why… now!



  136. In Outlook 2003 and earlier, you could drag an Email from the Inbox and drop it on your Tasks to create a Task out of the Email. This is not possible in Outlook 2007!

    This is a major drawback, as I often like to create a Task from an Email and edit the text in the Task (Subject and Notes).

    In Outlook 2007 I can only add the Category to make it visible in the Task Pane, but NOT edit the contents of the Task, as it really still is an Email.

    I would like to know how I can tweak my Outlook 2007 to allow me to continue doing this.

    What I don’t understand, is why it is still possible to do so for Emails-to-Calender, Calender-To-Task or Task-To-Calender, but NOT Email-To-Task as in Outlook 2003.

    This seems a crazy downgrade of Outlook and a major stumbling block for us GTD Fans uneccesarily imposed in Outlook 2007.

    Kind regards,

    Göran Askeljung

    GTD Lecturer

  137. sherman says:

    My issue with temproal flags is the slight color shading differences!  Other than Due Today all look the same-light rose color.  Come on now with 256 million colors they all have to be a shade of rose?  

  138. I found a way how to:

    Drags the e-mail message from the Inbox onto the Tasks button in the Navigation Pane, and a Task window opens.

    Just drag the message to the Task button, and it opens a new task with the information form the Email already filled in as Subject Line and Text in the Notes field.

    I now can set Category, due date etc., Save the new Task and go back and delete it from the Inbox.

    Alternatively, you can drop it as above using the RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON, and you now have a choise of copying or moving it.

    What still is NOT possible is as I wrote just before, to drop an Email on the open Task Window (click’n’drag an Email away a bit, do Alt+Tab to change window from Email to your 2nd open Task window and drop it on a specific category). That was possible in Outlook 2003 and saved me to set the Category I wanted.

    Still, it is possible in Outlook 2007 so I am now officially happy.

    Melissa or anyone: Comments, ideas, explanations to as why?

    kind regards

    Göran Askeljung

    GTD Lecturer

  139. Sachin Tewari says:


    I need Outlook 2007 to alert me from my desktop when a new mail arrives. I have set a rule to route certain messages to a particular folder in my pst. Now, I get an alert for only those mails that are not categorized by the rule.


    In a nutshell, I just need every message to have a desktop alert but strangely enough, it doesnt seem to work with mails categorized by rules.

  140. Chris S says:

    There is some talk of it in these posts, but I was wondering if anyone had any success with getting a flagged email to be recognised as an actual task.

    Whilst I have all my categories set up in my todo side bar which is great for whilst I’m at my computer, but when I sync with my PDA it only displays those items which are actual tasks rather than flagged emails.

    Any ideas gratefully received!



  141. Joe Gonyea says:

    looking for some help….

    say i have my main account but also have two aliases for which i would like mail sent to each alias delivered to a special sub folder created under inbox but still have mail sent to primary account to be delivered to the inbox.  Is this possible by creating a couple rules?

  142. Tom says:

    is there any way to print the business card (with the photo) exactly shown on the contact format?

  143. Hoshan says:

    I use start date to plan my task and like to choose the view of "active task by selected days" but it’s gone in 2007 version.  When you plan ahead and got heaps of tasks, categories not quite functional.  Moreover, customerisation tool bar seems also user-NOT-friendlyness.

  144. OTIS HelpDesk says:

    Any reason why the color categories would reset by themselves?  I have an end user who has to re-set up her Color Categories because it just mysteriously resets everything and is becoming annoying, can’t find any real resolution on the web.  Help please

  145. Delmar says:

    when viewing my Inbox in Outlook 2007, why can’t I have both compact view and in-cell editing turned on at the same time?  As soon as I turn on the in-cell editing, it jumps back to single-line mode!  Or vice versa…..as soon as I click the box that says "always use compact mode" suddenly the in-cell editing option is unchecked.  They seem to be incompatible.

    Please advise

  146. Delmar says:

    sorry for the stupid Subject line in the previous post…..

    when viewing my Inbox in Outlook 2007, why can’t I have both compact view and in-cell editing turned on at the same time?  As soon as I turn on the in-cell editing, it jumps back to single-line mode!  Or vice versa…..as soon as I click the box that says "always use compact mode" suddenly the in-cell editing option is unchecked.  They seem to be incompatible.

    Please advise

  147. Delmar says:

    Hello Göran,

    Just a note….you mentioned, in passing, that you cannot edit the contents of an email because it’s still an email, not a task.  The fact is, you CAN easily edit the contents of any email.  Just double-click the message and open it. If you only want to edit the subject, you can do so at this time and then close the email and say "yes" to the prompt to save changes.  If you want to actually change the message body, then choose  "Other Actions" from the Actions menu.  You will find an option called Edit Message.  After clicking that, you can edit anything in the email message body.  Then close the email message and say "yes" to the prompt to save changes.  Naturally, you can easily add this "Edit Message button to the Quick Access toolbar, to make this a single-click option on an open email.

    Maybe you already knew this.

  148. eric r says:

    Anyone find a way to automate AutoCreate functions in Outlook rules?  Specifically, dragging and dropping an e-mail to a task.  I’d like to share some e-mails with a Sharepoint site, but as tasks, not e-mails.


  149. Erdem says:

    I am interested in time management part of getting things done. Is it possible to track time usage in outlook ? Or any compatible tool suggestion ?

    I want to be able to track my time usage so in the end of month i can consider my do’s and dont do’s according to that info …

  150. Mali says:

    Is there any way to block other users from assigning reminders to e-mails they send me?

  151. george says:

    In outlook 2003 there was a "task to contact" command.

    I can’t find it in outlook 2007.

  152. Mali says:

    A solution has been found!  I have successfully been able to block them via the Rules.  (At least it’s worked on e-mails I’ve sent myself, hopefully it will work on others too)

  153. ultrageoff says:

    Elizabeth, I guess you will have found the to-do duplicates solution by now, but if not, I found the following (which works!)..


    John G had the solution on this,

    Here is what he found:

    By default, Outlook 2007 looks to both your outlook.pst file and the outlook backup file at the same time. So, as soon as you do a backup of your Outlook file, the to-do’s from both files begin to appear. If this is in fact the source of your problem, the fix is easy. Simply go to Tools then Account Settings then Data Files and remove the backup file that appears in the list. The Personal Folders should be your default with the only other file appearing in the list being your archive file."

    Hope you’re okay already, or that this does the job.

  154. mcp says:


    Im using "Internetcalendars" (Subscriptions from other websites) to dispay several events in Outlook. These events include "reminders" to display an alarmnotification. But Outlook doesn’t remind me (while other calenderapplications do)!

    Are reminders from Internetcalendars generelly impossible? If possible, where can I enable it?

  155. Jakolien says:

    Quick question, when I create a rule for a specific persons incoming mail I expect that the next time it will diplay the category color assigned to it? What am I doing wrong or is this not possible?



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