Changing Up the Order

Do you use MS Outlook’s Task feature?

You know, the one that resembles a big “To Do” list? Maybe you’ve used it to replace all those tasks you would have formerly written on post-its and left all over your desk?

Anyway, if you use the task feature to keep track of everything, I’m sure you’ve looked for ways to organize your list.

I mean, with the post-its, you would have just picked them up and rearranged them as needed, but what do you do with the list you’re now facing in Outlook? Seems like rearranging these could be a bit of a pain. Or is it?

The answer to that is “No.” If you know just a few tricks, you’ll find that rearranging is just a click or two away.

While there are lots of ways to organize, I’ve chosen a few quick and easy ways to take a look at today.

First, I’d like to discuss sorting tasks in ascending or descending order on any field you have displayed by clicking on the column title. This method works just like sorting your Inbox. Click one to sort one way and click again to sort in the opposite direction.

Or, you could right click over column title and choose Group by this field. The result will be that all items that match in the chosen field will be collapsed into an expandable list.

And, if you want nothing to do with any of Outlook’s sorting and grouping, you can manually move task items as long as there’s no grouping or sorting already set.

To manually move a task, simply click-hold-and-drag the task up or down the list.

A red line will show you the new location of the task in the list. Simply release the mouse button when the red line is where you want the task to be.

Now, one last thought. What do you do if you’ve already got the tasks grouped and / or sorted and want to switch to manual rearrangement?

I’m sure there’s several ways, but I was easily able to turn the sorting off by right clicking on a column title and choosing Customize Current View.

Once in the View Summary window, I clicked on the Sort button.

Then from there, I chose None in all the sort fields and clicked OK twice.

If I’ve got tasks grouped, I simply drag the group headings from the top

…and drop them into the body of the window. This will remove the group setting, allowing for manual sorting.

Whatever your needs, with a little experimentation, you’ll find that Outlook has just the thing to sort your tasks to your liking.

~ April