What I want from Outlook…

In a word, linked sub-tasks. I use Outlook every day for my task list, my calendar and my email. I spend hours in the this program and, while I've fully aware I could always use more training in it, I don't think I'm a total dummy in it's use either. (Glad to be proven wrong though!)

Ultimately, what I want from Outlook is an EASY way to manage the projects that I work on. I don't want Microsoft Project and I don't want to have to go to the hassle of setting up Sharepoint for a one-off project. (Steve French showed me a cool trick for doing pushing repeated tasks into Outlook from Sharepoint, but that's overkill here.) The big issue that I run into with Outlook is that I can't link the minor milestones to the overall project goal.

What I do now is create a task, and within it create a table of what needs to be done and the status, like this one that I'm working on now:

This has a few inherent problems. The very first is that the Due Date is what shows in my calendar on the task view. As you can see below, where the work week starts on Sunday, the task is showing up on Friday (the 20th). I have to complete a lot of these tasks as I go along through the week. So if I don't want an overdue task in my calendar, I have to update that field every day.

What I want is to be able to create all of the milestones into "Sub Tasks", then link them to the main task. When I click on the main task, I should be able to get a status update that shows me exactly what I'm seeing above in the first image… Okay, maybe not subgroup like I've done the "Build Statement" tasks, but I could preface each of those as something if I wanted. With proper sub-tasking, I could then manage my calendar.

Honestly, my needs aren't that big… I just want a central place to manage related tasks as compared to those that aren't. Surely this is something that should be native in Outlook as a "productivity" app, shouldn't it?

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