In my last post, I showed you how to create tasks in Microsoft Outlook to provide reminders and help you track your tasks. Today, I’ll cover creating recurring tasks in Outlook.
We all have those tasks that we do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. However, if you have a short attention span like me, you’ll think about doing it, but as soon as the phone rings, it completely slips your mind, and you don’t think about it again until the next day. For folks like me with a short attention span, not to mention the short term memory loss that comes as we get older, the recurring task function in Outlook is a big help.
You begin to create your task as you would any other by opening a new task window. In that window, click on the recurrence button.
This will bring up the Task Recurrence window. You have 4 choices for the type of recurrence you want.
You have several choices for how you want the daily recurrence to happen:
Most of the time, I use the Every weekday option, since I use this mostly at work. It will generate a task for every weekday. Every day works the same way. The 3rd option, though, will only generate one task, and won’t generate the next until you mark the first one complete. Essentially, you can snooze the task for a week, and won’t get another one until you mark it complete. With the first two options, if you snooze the task for more than 24 hours, when you mark it complete, it will generate the next task for the day after the creation of the first one. If you choose the third option, it will generate the next task 1 day after the completion of the first one. If you will be snoozing these tasks for more than 24 hours, it is best to use the 3rd option. Otherwise the first two work.
Remember, though, if you use the first two options, and you let it get more than 24 hours behind, once you mark it complete, you will stop getting reminders, since the reminder date/time of the newly originated task will already be past. You’ll need to go to your task list and either mark the new one complete or open it and reset the reminder time. If you miss several days, you’ll need to keep marking the new ones complete until you get it current. This applies to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly options as well.
Weekly tasks can be set to recur every week on the same day of the week or to regenerate every a number of weeks after the first is marked complete.
Monthly tasks can be set to recur on a specific day of the month, or on a specific weekday of the month. For instance, if you send out the agenda for a meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, you would want to use this option to generate the task. As usual, you can also set it to recur one month after the completion of the first.
Yearly tasks can also be set for a specific date (a reminder of the boss’s birthday, for instance), or for a specific weekday each year. And, of course, set for one year after the completion of the first date.
Once you have your recurrence options set, you need to set how many times you want the task to recur.
Set the date you want the first task to begin, and then set how long you want it to recur:
I usually use no end date, since most of my tasks are things I do as part of my job duties. However, if you are taking on a task for a limited amount of time such as when someone is on vacation, you can use one of the other two options to limit how long the tasks recur.
You may also want to note that this is the same window that is used when you create a recurrent meeting on your calendar.
Once you have all of your recurring task options set, click OK. This sends you back to your Task window to finish putting in the rest of the data for your task. Don’t forget to set the reminder time or you won’t get reminders!
If you have any questions about any of this, just ask. My e-mail address is linked in the right sidebar or you can just use the handy comment function.