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Using Flags for Tasks in Outlook

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  • Using Flags for Tasks in Outlook

    I like lists... and I like to organize my lists... but, what I really *need* to do is get my work done! When I look at all my undated NA's (almost all of mine are undated), I know that some must be on my radar today, some could be, and some won't be.

    As I finish a NA and go back to my list for the next NA, I find myself getting distracted with list "reorganizing" or reviewing or just plain playing around. I don't want to go through at mark those "on my radar" with due dates, because that causes a lot of shuffling around the next day with the ones that don't actually get done. I want to keep my list fresh without alot of adjusting each day.

    My possible solution is to set up a flag (or flag-like field). Then, when I start each day, I go through my available contexts and flag each one that should be on my radar. Then, I can sort the list and feel no qualms about getting to work on whatever is next on the list... it feels much more productive.

    I don't want to fall back into the trap of feeling like my list is outdated and that I might miss something important, so I think it's important to do a quick review each morning to set the flags for the day.

    Question: Is there a way to automatically clear all of the flags assigned to my tasks? Or, is there a way to clear all of a user-defined field at once? I'm using Outlook 2002.

    Thanks for any ideas or alternatives for creating a daily "target" list.


  • #2
    I think I've found a simple fix....

    I switched from flag status to a user-defined field that lets me click on/off.... and that's a lot faster than selecting the flag status from the drop down list for each item.

    ... any other alternatives?


    • #3
      Use the priority symbol?

      I like your idea. I was making a paper TODAY list, which I didn't like. Looking at Outlook 2000, anyway, using the field of Priority, I can set an item for high priority, then it gets an exclamation mark, which I view as a field in my tasks. I only view Priority and Subject (using this system, which I intend to try). Outlook lets me quickly change priority - when I put my cursor over a task's "priority field" (just in the list view), it gives a drop down box to allow the priority to change - don't have to open the task.

      Is this the sort of thing you're thinking of?

      I'm going to try this "!" thing for a few days and see how I like it.



      • #4
        Have you thought to Try a Flags Toolbar?

        I saw this trick elsewhere and have used it sucessfully:

        1. Add a custom toolbar to Outlook
        2. On that toolbar put all the different flags you might use - the default names are "red flag", "blue flag" etc.
        3. Here's the trick!: RENAME the flags to "Today", "Important", etc. (whatever works for your need)

        This way you can quite quickly move things from one category (flag) to another without having to fiddle with menus!



        • #5
          Is that option available on Outlook 2002?

          I couldn't find different colored flags. I found flag status in "all mail fields", but that gives choices of blank, not flagged, and flagged.

          Maybe it's not available on my version?



          • #6
            Use of the !Today category context

            Hi there,

            I've been using the method of adding next actions that I have on my immediate radar to an additional category called "!Today". These next actions have 2 categories on them; the context they apply to, like @ Computer as well as the !Today category. The use of the exclamation mark, makes these items appear at the beginning of Outlook 2003's task list.

            This method has been described in these forums a few times. I'm not sure who started it, so please accept my apologies for not giving due credit.

            I tried to get the named flags operating as well, but I could only get the different coloured flags to operate against e-mail, not tasks. When I searched MS Outlook's help I found an MS Office Online link that took me to a page that confirmed this:


            Maybe I missed something here, so If anyone has further ideas, please let me know!