How to Use Outlook Calendar as a To-Do List (Tips & Tricks)

The Outlook Calendar might just be the most effective way to manage your tasks and to-do lists. In this video, Scott Friesen shows you how to set up the Microsoft Outlook Calendar as a to-do list on both the desktop and mobile app. You may never look at your calendar the same way again!

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Scott Friesen is a productivity specialist and founder of Simpletivity training and consulting. He is also a prolific public speaker, workshop leader, and time management coach.

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This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. So I love your way of managing tasks in Outlook Calendar and have been using it this way since I saw your video the first time. BUT, how do you manage long-term tasks this way, or tasks you want to keep in mind but do not require attention right away (like a backlog)? Without having to fall back on another to-do list or app. Hope to hear from you in the comments!

  2. But you were talking all about events, not tasks! There is a big difference, at least for me. My callendar is full of events (meetings, conferences) but also full of my personal tasks: write this, send that, go there… I need them to behave differently. Is there a chance to make a real Task that I can tick off after completing in Outlook Calendar? The Task manager itself in Outlook is simply disgusting and I never met anyone who would use it.

  3. Great way of organising tasks and now that ToDo is embedded within Outlook, I am using a combination of this to drag tasks to create all day events directly within Outlook! Would not have though of that without this tutorial. much thanks

  4. Nice video, but I have one question: On my outlook mobile app (it only appears here) I would like to have one task on one line. As of now, if the task consists of few words and I add another task, I might end up with two tasks on one line on the mobile app. Based on this video, it seems like theres a way to fix this?

  5. This is great Scott, just what I want to do, but we have to share our calendars and I don't want others seeing a list of my tasks. If I padlock them, it shows that I have a private appt all day – which could be taken as I'm skiving every day, lol! Any solution?

  6. I schedule my tasks at specific times and colour code tasks, appointments meetings engagements and training in different colours. I do this as if there are gaps in my diary, then management or colleagues may schedule things in my diary leaving me no time for my tasks! There's no free time in my job every minute has to be used as we have more work than time so it's a case of schedule me before I schedule tasks lol

  7. I used to be a Wunderlist user and there was an option to add it to your outlook calendar. This was very similar as it kept it at the top of each day but the problem was you couldn't edit them inside of Outlook. I wish the new Microsoft to do app would do the same thing as this as it allows us to share it with others. I find that Microsoft to do app is not very visual and would like to see it incorporated into the calendar at some point.

  8. I use calendar the same way … with small improvement which allows me to use the power of search function … I use “yy” at the very beginning of every task instead of hashtag “#” to mark active task, “qq” for finished task, “ii” for information database inside calendar. It is convenient especially on mobile keyboard. For task management you can use combinations like “”yy nov …” where “nov” stands for name of your colleague “novak” etc. You can also combine these shortcuts with “wee” , “yea”, … for repeating tasks. “yy” method also allows you to associate tasks with time while still simply visible and searchable. Search then allows you to create views based on your selection. Works also for google calendar.

  9. I am looking for one button to connect an email to a TASK and put it on the calendar with a reminder; and using the Category for both TASK and Calendar (where calendar items are color coordinated)

  10. This is great! Doing it this way allows for "master tasks" banking, working out, etc. to be set. Then you can create a separate slot for that task if you want. For example, going to the gym maybe a variable in your day. But by having it listed every day (recurrence) you are always reminded to go to the gym and still slot it in an appropriate/convenient time. A bit of accountability partner.

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