Productivity Tip: Convert “Emails” TO “Tasks” or “Prioritized To-DO List” in Outlook 2010


Though I have used Outlook as an email client for about couple of years now – I recently figured a nice way to convert “Emails” to “Tasks” in a Prioritized way. One way to think about emails is that it’s a mechanism via which others assign work to you. Some work may be more important than the other. Wouldn’t it nice to just take an email (that has some “to-do” work for you) and put in a Prioritized To-DO format? Yes? Turns out Outlook can do that for you! In this blog-post, I am going to show you how.

Here are the steps for Outlook 2010 (Desktop Version):

1. Select an Email. Drag it to the TASKS (in the bottom left corner of the navigation pane)

2. Now it will add the content of the email as the description of the Task and it will let you select:

  • Subject
  • Start Date
  • Due Date
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Reminder

outlook emails to tasks to do

3. And you’re done! you can do so for more than one emails – After you COMPLETE a task you can mark it complete.

4.When I get in the “work mode”, the first thing I see is my Task- List. If you want to see your Tasks:

Navigation Pane > Tasks section > Just select “Tasks” (and not To-DO list) to see the Tasks (you can sort it by subject, due date, categories)

5. Note this is similar to “flagging” an email and then assigning the follow up data to it. But I find Dragging the Email to Tasks and then setting the priority simpler.


So that’s about it. Do you use this feature? No? Would you use it? Also, Do share outlook tips with me – I am always looking for things that can make me more productive!

How to Create Calendar Files (.ics) that can be Shared/Emailed/Downloaded?


For all those who rely on their electronic calendar as much as I do – You know, that receiving a calendar file (.ics)  for events/parties/online-meetings is very convenient! So as an organizer – next time, when you want to invite a bunch of people to an event – How about adding a calendar file (.ics) file in your email? People who got invited could just open and save “meeting details” stored in .ics file attached with your email. And once saved, their calendar would “remind” them about your event. Do you think it is useful? Yes? Great!

For this blog-post, I am going to show how you can do this via my favorite email client: Microsoft Outlook. Here are the steps for Outlook 2010:

1. Press “ctrl + 2″ to switch to calendar.

OR outlook > Bottom Left Corner > Calendar.

2. Select the calendar and click on NEW Appointment.

3. Enter Meeting Details. Select Date & Time.

Regarding Timezone: I just set it based on my timezone. If your recipients are in different timezone, Don’t worry – when they receive the file, it would show their timezone.

enter outlook calendar meeting details timezone

4. Save and close the appointment.

5. switch to calendar and select the appointment.

6. Go to file > Save As > save it as “.ics” file

how to create an ics file


You have the file now and This calendar file (.ics) is ready to be emailed/shared/downloaded!


If you are organizing online meetings, events, parties, talks, etc and need to invite people to it – next time, consider including an electronic calendar to it. And in this blog-post, you learned how to do it via Outlook. If you’re not using Outlook as your email client, sorry that the steps were not helpful but here’s the idea: Include electronic calendar files for the convenience of the prospective attendees!