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Assigning Projects to Tasks in Outlook (Contacts as Projects)

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  • Assigning Projects to Tasks in Outlook (Contacts as Projects)

    I use the "Contacts as Projects" method in Outlook. I often wish to link already existing Tasks to a already existing Projects during my weely review.

    When I "Select Contact" within the Task window I have to scowl down each time from the Contacts Directory to my Projects Directory. I've got sort of used to it but it takes quite a lot of minutes off my weekly review time.

    Has anyone found a way to make the "Select Contact" window open in a given Project Directory by default.

    Probably impossible but just thought I'd ask.

  • #2
    This is not exactly what you asked for, but it is close and very simple -- When the "Select Contact" window pops open, hit the "p" key (assuming your Projects are in a folder called "Projects" and that there are no other "p" folders ahead of it alphabetically). This will immediately scroll you to that folder, and open the Project items in the lower pane of the "Select Contact" window.

    Regards.....Bill Kratz


    • #3
      Thanks Bill!

      I'm honoured to recieve an answer from you Bill!

      That's sort of a solution, though I have to admit, not ideal..
      ...and thanks for your web page from which I learnt the Contacts as Project method and downloaded a Project Form ( for those that don't know it yet - i'm sure you have enough traffic as it is).

      This way of doing things I find preferable to the GTD add in. It's great and has helped me enormously.



      • #4
        I haven't really thought about this topic in two or three years, because I long ago solved it with the QuickAssign gadget, which I realize most of you have never seen since I quit maintaining my site. Here's an old screenshot illustrating it:

        Clicking a toolbar button opens the QuickAssign from which, as you can see, you have dropdowns to link your Project and assign a Context category. It works either from a currently open Item, or from the highlighted item(s) in a folder list.

        It can still be downloaded from:

        Regards....Bill Kratz


        • #5
          Yes, that works...

          I myself organise my projects into different folders and sub folders in a sort of mind mapping tree. I find this helps me get my head round them when I review projects but of course it messes up the use of your QuickAssign gadget which only looks in the Project (root) directory.

          But that's just me. I'm sure this tool will help lots of other people. Pretty awesome that you've developed all these tools for working in Outlook. Thanks again.


          • #6
            QuickAssign problem

            Why do I keep getting an error message when I click Quick Assign saying that "The operation failed. An object could not be found"?


            • #7
              Hi Dan -- When you receive the error message, click the Debug button at the bottom of the dialogue box. Your VBA Editor should open with a line of code highlighted in yellow. What does the highlighted line say?

              Regards.....Bill Kratz


              • #8
                It's not that kind of error box. See attached
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info Dan. A few more questions:

                  What version of Outlook are you running, and what operating system?

                  Are your projects in a first-level contacts folder named "Projects"?

                  Did you set up the Contexts folder in a task folder under your default Tasks folder?

                  In your Visual Basic Editor, under Tools | References, is "Microsoft Forms 2.0 Object Library" checked?

                  Regards.....Bill Kratz


                  • #10
                    I think I got this message before I made the contexts as tasks in the task directory, if that's any help.


                    • #11
                      Outlook 2003, XP Pro SP1
                      Still getting error


                      • #12
                        Here are screenshots of my folder arrangement. I think I have the projects and contexts set up correctly, no?
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          I think I found it....

                          Hello all,

                          I've also been getting this problem. Now, I don't profess to be a coder in the same league as Bill, but I found that if I changed a couple of values in the VBA editor, then the form now works.

                          If you feel lucky, read on:

                          Just to let you know up front, I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but at work I am connected to an MS Exchange Server, so when I read the code, I found that it was referring to a folder structure called "personal folders". I don't have that structure in my Outlook. Instead, when I go to folder view, I see the "root directory" as my user name (Thrush, Warren).

                          So I substituted my user name in the same format it appears in Outlook for every instance of "personal folders" and hey presto it worked!

                          After following the instructions in the pdf to publish the form and macros, I made the changes listed below. Please note that I made copies of the code I changed by copying the lines affected and pasting them on the next line directly below the line being changed. I then typed "REM" (No quotes) in front of each line to remark it out. That way I've still got a copy of the original code line from Bill's work.

                          Project Form
                          1. Open up the "Forms" folder in the VBA Editor (this is the top left panel that has a tree like structure to it. Root directory for me was "Project1 (VbaProject.OTM) )
                          2. Right click on the "ProjectLink" form and select "View Code"
                          3. Find the code for the routine called "Private Sub UserForm_Initialize()"
                          4. Change the values for lines that start with "Set Fldr = .." and "Set Fldr2 = .." from "oNspc.Folders("Personal Folders") to "oNspc.Folders("Your User name"). Mine now reads "oNspc.Folders("Thrush, Warren")

                          Main Module
                          1. Under "Modules in the VBA Editor ( same place you found the project form), right click on the "Project_Links_Main" module and select "view code"
                          2. Find the code called "Sub AddPrjLinks(Pobj.....
                          3. Change the value for the line "Set objFldr = objNS.Folders("Personal Folders").Folders("Projects")" to read "Set objFldr = objNS.Folders("Your User Name").Folders("Projects")".

                          Save the project and see if it works. Bill probably has a better explanation of this than I do, but I found this worked out. I'll test it some more to see if I have any other errors and report them back if I do.

                          Good Luck!

                          Warren Thrush
                          Sydney, Australia.


                          • #14

                            Bill was gracious enough to debug my Outlook module and QuickAssign works great. Thanks again Bill!


                            • #15
                              Outlook- Contacts as Projects info very helpful

                              I'm new to GTD and have been looking at this forum over the last few days to see how I wanted to set up my "trusted system".

                              I am a speech language pathology student going to be starting practice soon. Having been on placement I have seen how difficult the job is to keep track of... especially since our scope of practice has expanded exponentially in the last 5 years (and will again in the next 5). I was feeling anxious about how to manage personal and professional projects, which I knew would only increase after graduation.

                              So now I've decided on the simple outlook system (which is on every work and home computer I've ever seen), with tasks linked to context categories i.e.@Calls and project "contacts". For collection away from the computer I will use a very small notepad with a page for each thought throughout the day. I also have a paper calendar which will be for must dos. I will print out my task contexts and project lists during my weekly review and carry them with me throughout the week in my paper calendar, so if a random thought occurs to me I can check to see if its already been assigned to a project/task.

                              I'd like to personally thank Bill Kratz for his easy to follow instructions on how to set up the projects as contacts!