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Outlook tasks => id to link a next-action and a project

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  • Outlook tasks => id to link a next-action and a project


    I'am using GTD since more than 2 years now.
    My tool is Outlook since I find it easy to put an e-mail in the body of an Outlook-task.

    I'm facing one problem: since there no such thing as "subtasks" in Outlook (probably because MS wants to push users who want that functionality to MS Project ), I want that each task gets an unique ID, so I can link tasks that are on several task lists.

    I explain why I need this functionality.
    I've got 3 mean lists: to-do list (call next actions if you want to), multi actions and projects.
    The projects list is my projectportfolio. It's a list for very big tasks. For instance building a new production site, replacing the servers, ... It are tasks that take months, a quarter, a year or more to be finished.
    The multi action list is something I've invented myself to avoid that the project list gets too long. It's a list of tasks that take several actions to be finished, but I don't want to call a project.
    My project list is something I would take to the management meetings, the multi action list not.

    For each project on my project list, I create a seperate list, where I put the tasks for that project.
    For each project, I also create a Outlook category. name category = name project.
    This category links the project on my projectportfolio, the taks in the dedicated project list and the tasks that I drag and drop in to my to-do list during the weekly review.

    I don't want to use categories to link tasks on my to-do list with a multiaction.
    Because multi actions don't always have a small name and there are just to many.
    I would like to have an unique id to do that.
    Therefor Outlook should be able to create such id while saving a task.
    I would write down the id that Outlook generated for my multi action in a field of the task that I put on my next-action list.
    (Manually creating an id don't look to me a good idea, since there is a risk that you reuse an id several times.)

    I've read that there exists a taskproperty called EntryId, but I don't know how I can visualize it, so it can be used

    Can someone help me with that
    or give some other advise to link tasks a part from categories?

    Best regards


  • #2
    Try the netcentrics addin for Outlook. I use it for a couple of years. It should give you what you are aiming at designing.


    • #3
      Thanks Yannick_L for your response.

      I was trying to avoid to use an addin.

      Since there are no other responses it's maybe the only solution.

      I find this pretty weird to be honnest.
      There are many GTD-users.
      GTD works with hierarchical lists.
      Outlook is very common.
      So how they are doing it?
      All using an addin?

      Best regards



      • #4
        just thinking about somenthing.
        Each task gets a creation timestamp (a don't know the name of the field in english, since I'm using a dutch version).

        Maybe I can use this field of my multi action as ID - since it's impossible to create several tasks at the same time - to link the tasks on my to do list with those multi action.
        I've just have to create a field in my to do list, that's all.


        • #5
          Originally posted by tom.depoorter View Post
          ....Manually creating an id don't look to me a good idea, since there is a risk that you reuse an id several times...
          I think you should reconsider manual creation. I used to create descriptive project tags using CamelCase.... so a project tag might be "GetTires" or "Q4Report". CamelCase has two other advantages: easy to identify as a tag, and easy to select and search. If you absolutely, positively can't reuse a project tag, do a global search of your proposed tag first. Descriptive tags will be far more informative than "2013-11-23-0949".


          • #6
            Use a different app?

            Have you already considered using another app than Outlook?

            It would seem to me that what you are looking for - be able to send email to it, and be able to tie an action to a project - is something you will find out of the box in virtually any of the regular GTD apps -,, ...