Projects in Outlook

edited December 1969 in TRO General Discussion
I'll ask from the outset that you forgive my ignorance: today is day 1 for me and after reading through the Outlook material, I'm confused.

Am I correct in assuming that the only difference between tasks and projects in outlook is that project titles are formatted as 'Project Name' - 'Next Action'? I got the impression that I'm to name my projects in the aforementioned format and then list subsequent actions in the body of the Outlook task itself. Is that correct?

Again, I may have looked at this all wrong, but If that's correct how do I keep track of due dates for simultaneous project tasks at a 'big picture' level?

Everything else seems clear, but I can't get my head around projects in Outlook at the moment... HELP!


  • Kurt,

    I think this was answered directly, offline, but I'll post the answer here as well for everyone's benefit. (Some of this is included in the Day 18 follow-up email as well, as part of advanced training for projects.)

    How projects are handled in Outlook and many other tools

    Yes, in Outllok, Trog Bar, and many other task list tools, you enter projects using the Project name - Next action naming convention. When you complete the next action, you immediately reprocess the project and put the new next action in the subject line.

    This is deceptively powerful. It ensures that you never have orphaned projects, so there is no need to scan a project list during a weekly review to see if all your project s have next actions. They always will. Also, when looking at a task/step, you always know what project it applies to. This makes a difference in how you think of your tasks.

    In TRO you "schedule" your tasks/steps loosely, and also with a "hard date" for starting the step (if bad things will happen if it isn't done). You use the typical task date fields for this. But you also have final deadlines or "Due Dates" for projects or project milestones/steps. Those are lousy dates to sort by--you would be sorting by the date on which you are already in trouble if it isn't done! So, instead of putting those dates in the regular task date fields, you put the due dates in the subject line after the task or project name:

        Hiring proposal (8/15) - Call fred for input

    This reminds you that the proposal is due 8/15, so you can make smart decisions when processing the next actions for the project. If a specific step has a deadline too, you can add that deadline after the step:

        Hiring proposal (8/15) - W/F final printing (8/12)

    This says you will follow up on the final printing if you haven't heard back, and you have to get that final printing by 8/12 to make sure you meet the overall 8/15 project deadline.
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