OneNote Tasks <-> Outlook Tasks <-> iOS Reminders Tasks

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by AFG, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Q: is anyone managing to synchronize OneNote Tasks all the way to iOS (iPhone) Reminders, by using Outlook Tasks as an intermediate step?

    --- TL;DR ---

    [Minor edits - typos]

    Elsewhere I have described how I use OneNote on a convertible tablet PC, wearable iPhone and Apple Watch, and how I use both Outlook at work, and Gmail for personal stuff, and have therefore been reluctant to use Outlook specific tasks.

    I was wondering about keeping my GTD Next Action Context Lists in iOS Reminders, since my iPhone and Apple Watch are the devices I have most regular access to. CONSENSUS of GtdConnect users seems to be "don't do that", since crossing ecosystems is a hassle. That's true.

    But poking around inspired by these fora showed me that OneNote Tasks can synchronize with Outlook Tasks (which I knew, but did not care about, since I am reluctant to use Outlook/Exchange specific features), and also that Outlook Tasks can synchronize with iOS Reminders on my iPhone and Apple Watch (which I did not know).

    If that synchronization was seamless and hassle free, it might be worth my while to use.

    Moreover, in the past I only had an Outlook/Exchange account for work, so was reluctant to put personal tasks in Outlook. But if this is available via my personal Office365 home license for Outlook connected on my otherwise mostly unused MS based personal accounts (which mostly just forward to Gmail), or even if available in one of MS's mail apps that can connect to non-Exchange IMAP, it might be worth my using Outlook tasks both for work and separate personal Outlook accounts. (But then I wonder about gotchas - e.g. I bet that Outlook Tasks are not available on IMAP.)

    Hence my question: is anyone doing this? How much hassle?

    This is a superset of the question "How much of a hassle is it to synchronize OneNote Tasks with Outlook Tasks"? I have looked into this before, and did so again last night - and it looked pretty painful. Not instantaneous. A task might appear to be checked off as completed on Outlook and not be completed on OneNote, and vice versa, at least for a while. No way that I could see to say "Make consistent right now." At least one GTD consultant says that it isn't worth bothering with.

    But, there may be tricks that other GTD connect and forum users know, that I do not know, to make such synchronization work OneNote<->Outlook, and thence to <->iOS Reminders. I am hopeful but doubtful.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  2. bdavidson

    bdavidson Registered

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    I think you could make it work, but it would require a lot of upkeep, because the OneNote to Outlook linkage is a manual process available only in the Office version of OneNote (not the go-forward Win10 OneNote app).

    I hate to say it, but I always look for the lowest common denominator when deciding how to handle multiple devices. What's the most basic functionality that is common across all the devices for tasks? It's generally a task with a description and due date with no category, stored in a single task folder.

    My employer uses O365 but we can only use the Outlook app on IOS to access our account, so no task sync is possible at the moment, until Microsoft updates the To Do app to be manageable by InTune. So I'm working in a paper notebook for now, which is my new lowest common denominator.
     
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  3. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Thanks for confirming this. I could have wasted lots of time wondering why synchronization was not occurring automatically. The manuals do not clearly say "We have not automated this functionality in a way that would make it useful".

    I might be able to live with having to manually hit "synchronize all Outlook tasks to OneNote, and vice versa" - e.g. might be needed if you had a VBA macro to dop the synch, but could not hook to have it done whenever a task status changes.

    But AFAICT you have to click each task individually.

    I agree, although I think you mean Greatest Common Denominator, or the largest subset common to all apps.

    Unfortunately, using OneNote as I do, there's no due date, unless manually added.

    Been there.

    IMHO every software developer of such PIM apps should be forced to use paper for a few years. If your SW isn't even as functional as a good paper system, find another app domain.
     

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