In Arrow-Tip #45 we discussed managing tasks across an organization using the task assigmnet options in Microsoft Outlook and Exchange. In Arrow-Tip #46 we discussed managing these same tasks in SharePoint. This Arrow-Tip will address using a combination of Outlook/Exchange and SharePoint to manage assigned tasks.
SharePoint tasks can be downloaded and synchronized with Outlook tasks by selecting Connect to Outlook from the Actions menu. SharePoint will create a folder in your Outlook Folder list called SharePoint Lists and then a subfolder called Team Web Site – Tasks that will house SharePoint tasks.
Although the SharePoint tasks do not show up in your default Outlook Tasks folder, you can see them in the To Do List views in your Outlook Tasks area if you are using Outlook 2007 (see thumbnail to the left). Items get placed in the To Do List view if they are flagged which SharePoint automatically does for you when it downloads tasks to the Team Web Site Tasks folder.
You can edit tasks either from SharePoint or Outlook and the edits will be synchronized in both places (you may need to refresh your browser in Share Point or click Send/Receive in Outlook for changes to show up).
I’ve been pretty happy with this arrangement and most of the team seems to have adjusted fairly well. Probably my only issue with this methodoloy is that tasks from SharePoint do not sync on my Blackberry since it only syncs with my Outlook Tasks folder. If anyone has a resolution for that issue, please leave me a comment. This issue isn’t a huge deal for me though as I rarely manage tasks from my Blackberry.