How to View and Create SharePoint Tasks from Outlook

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Microsoft allows for full collaboration between Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Server 3.1 and 2007. Workflow tasks are a great way to promote team collaboration and ensure the completion of team projects. For some individuals, they feel more comfortable working in Microsoft Outlook more than they do in SharePoint. SharePoint is still a new medium and will need time before it becomes more mainstream and acceptable to Office users. This is why Microsoft made provisions in Outlook for doing certain functions on SharePoint; a way for users can still have their familiarity but get to take advantage of the collaborative power of SharePoint.

In order for Outlook to effectively communicate with SharePoint, task lists must be connected to Outlook. To do this, click on Actions from inside the SharePoint task list, and then click on Connect to Outlook. The SharePoint tasks appear on the ‘Other Tasks’ portion of the Task Pane in Outlook.

After the tasks appear in Outlook, you are then able to view, update or create new tasks within that list from the To-Do Bar in Outlook. The task list will be instantly updated on the SharePoint site after being altered in Outlook.

To add a new task from Outlook, navigate to the Other Tasks portion of the Task Pane.

In the Navigation Pane, click on the New menu, then click on Task. Input the information for the task, including who the task will be assigned to, the details and a due date. Click Save & Close. The task will be added to the list in your Outlook and on the task list on SharePoint. The other people involved will received an email notification that they have a new assigned task available to them.

At some point you may want to remove the task lists from your Outlook. This is a good way to keep out clutter and remove tasks that you no longer are associated with. Make sure you are still in the Other Tasks portion of the Navigation Pane. Click on the name of the task that you wish to delete with the right mouse button. Then click on the Delete tasks list folder name from the shortcut menu. You will be prompted to confirm the decision to delete; click Yes. The task will be removed from Outlook but is still available on SharePoint.