In this third and final article looking at tracking tasks in Microsoft Outlook, we’ll discover how to manage tasks that you have assigned to other people and how to track task progress.
Managing assigned tasks in Microsoft Outlook
Forwarding a task to another person
After you have assigned a task to somebody, there may be occasions where you need to ask somebody else to manage the monitoring of it. In this case, you can forward it to someone else for them to track in the following way:
Open you task manager and find the task that you want to send by doing the following …
In Office 2007: under the Task tab > Manage Task group, click Forward. Tip: you can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+F to do this.
In Office 2010 under Home tab > Respond group, click Forward
You can then enter the name or e-mail address of the person you want to forward the task to, in the same way as you would forward an email – using the Cc or Bcc boxes.
If you are including a message, type this into the body of task box. It’s also possible to send more than one task at a time, and you can do this by dragging the additional tasks from the task list to the body of the task that you are forwarding. Click Send.
What to do if a task is rejected by the recipient
Sometimes you may forward a task to somebody who may be unable to complete it and therefore reject your task assignment. When this happens, you may wish to reclaim the task so that you can assign it to somebody else. Do this from the declined task message by clicking Return to Task List.
Tracking tasks that you have assigned in Microsoft Outlook
Applying settings to track tasks and receive status updates
Tracking tasks is a very useful function that allows you to receive status updates and reports on tasks that you have assigned. You could use this with your clients so that they can see how you are getting on with a task without them having to call or email you for updates. When a task is assigned in Microsoft Outlook, it automatically keeps copies of them, and then when a change is made by the task owner, Outlook will send automated status report updates. To do this do the following:
From the Tools menu, click Options > Task Options.
Select ‘Keep updated copies of assigned tasks on my task list’ and ‘send status reports when assigned tasks are completed’ check boxes.
Sending manual updates
Aside from automated status updates, it is also possible to send manual updates or comments. To do this, first open the task that you want to send the update for and then select Task tab > Manage Task group > click Send Status Report, Reply, or Reply to All depending upon your requirements
You can then enter the name or e-mail address of the person you want to forward the task to, in the same way as you would forward an email – using the Cc or Bcc boxes. Note: If the task is assigned to you, then the names of people to be updated are added automatically.
If you are including a message, typpe this into the body of task box. It’s also possible to send more than one task at a time, and you can do this by dragging the additional tasks from the task list to the body of the task that you are forwarding.
Viewing tasks that you have assigned to other people
You can easily monitor which tasks have been assigned to which people through the task view. To do this select Tasks > View > Change View > Assignment. You should then see a list of the tasks that you have assigned and who they have been assigned to.