Project management

How to use Microsoft Outlook for project management

If you or your business already uses Microsoft Outlook as an email application, it’s a good idea to use it as a full-fledged project management tool. Why use other heavy software with unfamiliar interface when you can assign tasks, set reminders and due dates to your task lists in Microsoft Outlook?

Maximizing your productivity is easy with Microsoft Outlook. It comes with a lot of useful tools that help you categorize projects, tag them, and more. Let’s take a look at what you can do with Microsoft Outlook as a project management tool.

1. Assign tasks

assign tasks on Outlook

If you are working with a small team, assigning tasks is simple and effortless when using Microsoft Outlook. Go to To do on the left panel and go to Add a task. Once you have added the task, right click and choose Create a new list from this task.

After creating the task list, right click and select Share list. You will have the opportunity to Create an invitation link for people to allow people to join and edit this to-do list. This feature is incredibly useful for sorting projects within a small to medium team.


2. Add an email alias

steps to add alias

Project work updates and communication can get lost in the flurry of emails you get every day, even when you’re being overly careful. A missed email can lead to delays and disputes of all kinds. An easy way to solve this problem is to create an email alias in Microsoft Outlook.

This is an additional email address that uses the same contact list and settings to receive emails. You can do this by going to Add alias and creating a new email address, or by using an existing address to work as an alias. All emails received at this address would be placed by default in special project management software.

3. Create a group

make a group

If you try to keep all project members informed of all project updates, you can easily create a group. It also makes it easier to share calendars (we’ll get to that later).

Go to People on the left panel and find Groups and create one. You will be asked to add members, and once you do that you will see a group email id where you can send all project related emails and have access to the group calendar. You can set new events, stay up to date with upcoming ones, and stay ahead of deadlines.

4. Share calendars

share calendar

There is nothing better than being on the same page when working on a project. The visibility of the project is crucial for the success of the project. A good way to ensure this is to share a project calendar that is accessible to all project members.

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You can not only see what others are working on, but also focus on event milestones and key upcoming project events. With a calendar integration like this, you’ll never miss important updates. Now you can share your calendar with your contacts.

You’ll find the share option at the top right, and you can also choose to mirror the project group’s calendar activities to appear on your calendar to stay up to date.

5. Use rules to manage a project

adding rules

If you want to automate a few mundane processes and take care of your email inbox as well as your project, there’s no better way to do that than using rules. To get started, you can just right-click on an email and navigate to Advanced actions.

Click on a Create a rule from the drop-down list. You can either choose to move the existing email to a folder of your choice, and if you want to do more, select More options. You can also add an action and decide what happens each time you receive an email from this recipient.

6. Categorize everything

categorize everything

When your work is remote and a lot of communication is via email, it’s best to categorize and tag different projects so you don’t miss an important correspondence. You can right click on an email and choose Categorize from the drop-down list. Now you can either choose from the categories already available or proceed to create a new one.

If you need to make changes to an existing category, you can do so in Manage categories.

7. Use the search bar

use the search bar

If you don’t believe in categorizing everything or adding labels to your emails, you can just use the search bar to search for project emails. Enter a relevant keyword and it will find exactly what you are looking for, every time.

RELATED: How to Color Categorize Your Outlook Calendar

The search bar allows you to search specifically in a folder of your choice, or a sub-folder, thus making your task easier. This saves time as well as a lot of effort. Moreover, you can also search deleted emails, conversation history or specify other details like subject, keyword and recipient to help you find what you are looking for.

8. Create new folders to differentiate the projects

create a new folder

You can always set up a new folder to contain information about a project. When you do this, the chances of mixing projects up or missing important emails and deadlines would be minimized. Click on the three lines at the top left of your screen and go to the end of the drop-down list.

There you will find New folder, and it will take you less than a second to create a new folder.

9. Use Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote

integration of the Microsoft productivity suite

Microsoft Outlook or its web version is integrated with Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote. You can easily access Microsoft’s suite of productivity software from the home page. You can find them on the left panel and you can get started in no time.

These integrations help you give presentations, add notes, create spreadsheets and documents, all from the comfort of one screen.

Microsoft Outlook makes project management easier

Perfect for remote teams working online, Microsoft Outlook is extremely useful for assigning tasks and automating mundane tasks. When you have the option to create new folders, subfolders, mail aliases, and sort everything into categories, nothing can go wrong.

Microsoft Outlook can be useful for your project management by letting you create tasks from email, create sticky notes, and create tables, so you can see everything at a glance. With a project management tool that comes with the familiar interface of your messaging app, you can stay on top of your productivity tools anywhere, anytime.

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