Managing Your Outlook Tasks

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Tips from Jeff Oddo, Owner of City Wide Maintenance in Lenexa, KS. Strategies taken from the tried and true Outlook lessons from
Michael Linenberger.

Would you like to change from dealing with the Urgent (REACTIVE) to the Priority (PROACTIVE)? If so, take some time to follow these steps to organize your emil inbox. Stop saying “I’m too busy” “I don’t have time” and start owning that you are choosing your priorities.


Basic Steps:

  1. Do what you can immediately. File away to a minimal amount of folders.
  2. Delete the junk and unsubscribe.
    TIP: Shift-Delete Permanently deletes an email.
    TIP: Unsubscribe from junk, use
  3. Move what can be read of processed later to a new general folder.
  4. Convert everything else to task.

Mark each task with a priority in Outlook.

  • High – Check every hour, these are the CRITICAL NOW, do not place more that 5 things in this box
  • Normal – Check every day, these are the OPPORTUNITY NOW, do not place more than 20 things here
  • Low- Over-the-horizon – Check every week, unlimited, prioritize as needed


TIP: Start sending clear subject lines, listing the action item.

Especially if your team is using this system, save them time by making their task list process easier.
Example: Provide Jackie with XYZ Report

If you have a real due date, add to the task subject line.
Example: DUE April 15th – Submit Taxes

TIP: Change start dates to control when the task shows up on your list.

Our brains are not meant to set ‘Due Dates’ for things without clear due dates.

TIP: Learn to use Outlook rules.

Use them to set dates, sort out emails you copy yourself on, anything else. Make sure you follow up on all tasks.

TIP: Learn to search your inbox instead of having folders

Did you know you can search by:

  • Who email is to
  • Who email is from
  • Subject line
  • If it has an attachment
  • and more!

TIP: Eliminate the other task lists and choose one.

Use strategy that works best for you, such as this one. If you try to work multiple to-do lists, this will not work.


  • TaskTask –  iOs app – 99 cents – will sync with your Outlook.

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