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How to quickly turn emails into tasks

This post was updated on October 1, 2020.

Need to stop checking emails and start getting work done? With the turn emails into tasks feature, you can create and forward tasks from your email account to your MeisterTask project board, in the relevant section, quickly and easily.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

According to Inc. the average U.S. worker spends a whopping 30 hours per week simply checking their emails. At Meister, we’re all about helping users work smarter, not longer, so to cut down on email admin, we’ve created a turn emails into tasks feature for MeisterTask.

There’s no need to set up any additional integrations, just sign-in or sign-up for MeisterTask (it’s free!) and follow the simple instructions below.

How Does It Work?

Every time you create a new section in a project, MeisterTask automatically generates a unique email address for that section. When you send an email to the address, the contents of the email will be converted into a task via the turn emails into tasks feature. The task will then appear in the desired section in MeisterTask, just like that.

This is particularly useful if you have colleagues who like to issue instructions via email. Rather than getting swallowed by your inbox, these to-dos can be organized as compact, actionable tasks that fit neatly into the rest of your workflow. All you have to do is forward them to the correct address and MeisterTask will take care of the rest.

4 Steps to Turn Emails into Tasks

1. Find your section’s email address

First, hover over the section you’d like to create your tasks in and click on the white drop-down arrow. Then:

  1. Select the Automations tab
  2. Click the email address to copy it to your clipboard.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

This is the email address only for the section you have selected. If you wish to send an email to a different section, use the steps above to find the relevant address.

2. Save your section to contacts

Once you’ve copied your section’s email address to you clipboard, you’ll need to add the section to your contacts using your mail client. Obviously the process will differ depending on which mail client you use, but we’d recommend saving both the project and the section name so that you know exactly where your emails are headed.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

This is an important step: when you’re emailing to set up a task in the respective section, the email address is already saved as a contact. As a result, the process can be completed in just a couple of clicks.

3. Write down the details in the email

Tasks created via email can include several types of information. If you feel your task requires more information, you can add any additional details you like to your emails before you send them.

  • Your email subject will become the task title.
  • Your email content will form the task description.
  • Email attachments will be included as attachments in your task. For example, if your email includes an attached Microsoft Word document, this will show up in your task under Attachments.
  • #Hashtagged words become task tags. If you include #marketing, the task will be assigned the marketing tag in the relevant Project Board, presuming this tag is already set up in MeisterTask.

The task will only include the features mentioned in the email, so for example, if there are no hashtags within the email body, the task will include no tags.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Remember to remove any ‘forwarded from’ text or email footers before sending on the email, to prevent your task descriptions from becoming clogged up with unnecessary text.

4. Press send and tackle the task

Following the above steps to turn emails into tasks, your task should end up looking something like this:

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

The task will appear on the board unassigned, but you will be listed as a watcher, meaning you can assign it as you please from there. If you assign it to another team member, as a watcher you’ll remain updated with all task progress, being alerted for example when the task is completed. You can also see who sent the task email from the task under Integrations.

So now you have all of the instructions, why not give turning emails into tasks a try?

Feel free to leave questions in the comments below and happy scheduling!

Reach inbox zero

This article was originally published in 2017. It was updated in 2020 to depict updates to the UI

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How to quickly turn emails into tasks

There is a quick and easy way to change an Email Message into a Task in Microsoft Outlook with Drag and Drop!

In a recent blog Post, I provided an overview of the powerful Task feature that is part of Microsoft Outlook.

As we discussed, Tasks are anything that you would want to put onto a “To Do” list.

It can be either a “one-time” action item that you need to complete by a specific due-date. Or it can be a “recurring” item that you need to remember to complete on an ongoing, periodic basis.

An Email processing and triage best practice is to avoid using your Inbox as as “To Do” list. So, instead of keeping an Email sitting in your Inbox to remind you of something you need to do, turn it into a Task instead!

Very often, Emails are better managed as Tasks.

For example, it can be an Email telling you of the need to complete an online training module by a certain due date. This is much more appropriate to manage as a TASK.

It is a very specific activity, is clearly defined, and has a due-date by which it must be completed.

The message already contains all the information you need to create a Task, such as as due date, instructions and the link to the module.

Luckily, this is easy to do in programs such as Microsoft Outlook.

You can turn that Email right into an Outlook Task!

Instead of creating a new task from scratch and retyping all the information from the Email, there is a faster and easier alternative.

Here is how it all works…

Turning an Outlook Email into a Task

A great feature in Microsoft Outlook is the ability to turn an Email message into a Task.

All you need to do is to drag the Email message from your Inbox to the Task Icon at the bottom our your Inbox:

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

This creates a Task with the Email subject as the Title of the Task.

The dates, status, and other task specific fields are not initially populated.

The Email text becomes the Task details.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Now, all you need to do is to a bit of quick clean-up of this newly created task:

Revise the Subject line.

Add a Start Date and/or Due Date.

Add in a Category if you use them for your Tasks.

Just hit “Save and Close“.

And Vooom.. Your Task is created without needing to retype everything.

Quick, easy, and (almost) automatic!

But, what if you want to create a task, but also keep easy access to the original Email message?
This is helpful in case you want to ever reply to it or forward it to someone else.

Luckily, there is another easy option to do this as well..

Turn an Email into a Task with the Email as an Attachment

If you right-click the Email before you drag it down to the Task icon, you given some extra options:

Choose the option “Create Here as Task with Attachment”.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

This creates a Task from an Email, but with the Email as an embedded attachment into the Task itself.

And you can still update the rest of the information in the Task however you need.

But if you double-click the Email attachment, you are right back in the original Email that you started with!

This makes it very easy if you ever want to reply-to or forward the original Email. And you don’t need to keep that Email hanging-around and clogging-up your Inbox.

“ These types of features are one reason I remain a big Microsoft Outlook user and fan. You can quickly convert different components of your Email system, such as turning Emails into Appointments or Tasks (and vice-versa). ”

There are even more advanced ways to assign Tasks to individuals that I will cover in a future post.

We receive 30-40 emails a day, each is the basis of a task that must be done be one of 3 or 4 employees. Some emails have links in them some have attachments all have instructions on what the task is. I know with Office 365 Planner I can input tasks manually, but with 30-40 emails coming in there is no way tasks can be created manually. Is it possible to take the incoming email and either make it into a Outlook task and then import it into Planner or just import the email and have a planner task created using the info from the email. Either way the attachments and the information in the body of the email must be able to be read and used. Planner looks to be the perfect program to use, but if I have to manually put in the task its useless to us.

I have already tried using Flow but I can get the task created with the subject line of email as the task name but nothing else come across not the body and not the attachments.

Replies (3) 

Based on your description, may I know if you mean you want to take the incoming emails to Outlook task automatically?

Regarding this, you can create a rule in Outlook to check if it meets your requirement:

Rules > Create Rule > Advanced Options > Select conditions (with specific words in the subject or others according to your requirements) > Select action (flag the message for following up at this time) > double Next > Finish (you can choose to select the checkbox for Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox”)

Let us know if you have any concern about it.

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Thanks for the response, I’m familiar with creating rules. My question is how to get that task or even the email the task was created from into planner without having to create the planner task manually. weather that’s drag and dropping the email or task into planner and having the Planner task created or some sort of button to bring the email or task in.

The goal would be take incoming email and drag and drop it straight into planner and for example, filling in the name of the task from the email subject, filling in the planner task description or comments field with the body of the email, and most important attaching any attachments to the email as attachments to the planner task.

From what I see planner is great tool, but if I have to manually import every email task I receive its not worth it. Again I’m receiving 30-40 emails a day and each email is a different task that must be done, many with attachments that are critically to that task. Right now the emails go to a common group, then one of 4 employees each takes an email and works on that email. The 4 employees have to call each other to see which email to do next. It can take any one employee can a day or more to complete the emailed task and can also be working on multiple email tasks. My thought is with Planner created a plan with the 4 employees as members and then set up a bucket for each employee, they can then go to that plan take a task(which is created from the emails) and move it into there bucket and work on it. This way any task not in one of there buckets is a task not yet taken by one of them, there manager can look at the plan can quickly see what is and isn’t done. Planner seems a no brainer to do this, again the draw back is that the initial email information and attachments has to easily be made into a task in planner, without having to manually retype the email.

There are a couple option to get the email into planner, using Flow is one option, which does work, I was able to use flow to move email into planner and converting it to a task, but only the subject line of the email comes thru, no other information or attachments are in the planner task. Drag and dropping straight from outlook would be easiest.

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How to convert email to appointments in Outlook?

Let’s say you received an email message, and now you need to create a new appointment or meeting with the content of this received email message. How to deal with it? Of course you can create a new appointment firstly, and then copy and paste the email content into it. Here we will introduce a trick to convert an email message into an appointment directly.

  • Auto CC/BCC by rules when sending email; Auto Forward Multiple Emails by rules; Auto Reply without exchange server, and more automatic features.
  • BCC Warning – show message when you try to reply all if your mail address is in the BCC list; Remind When Missing Attachments , and more remind features.
  • Reply (All) With All Attachments in the mail conversation; Reply Many Emails at once; Auto Add Greeting when reply; Auto Add Date&Time into subject.
  • Attachment Tools : Auto Detach, Compress All, Rename All, Auto Save All. Quick Report , Count Selected Mails, Remove Duplicate Mails and Contacts.
  • More than 100 advanced features will solve most of your problems in Outlook 2010-2019 and 365. Full features 60-day free trial.

It is easy to convert an email message into an appointment with the Copy to Folder feature in Microsoft Outlook. You can do it as following:

Step 1: Select and highlight the email message that you will convert to an appointment.

Step 2: Open the Copy Items dialog box:

  • In Outlook 2007, please click the Edit >Copy to Folder.
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, please click the Move >Copy to Folder in the Move group on the Home tab.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Step 3: In the Copy Items dialog box,

1) Select and highlight the Calendar in the Copy the selected items to the folder: box.
2) Click the OK button.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Step 4: Then an Appointment window opens,

1) Modify the start time in the Start Time box, and modify the end time in the End Time box.
2) Enter appointment location in the Location box.
3) Click the Save & Close button in the Actions group on the Appointment tab.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Then the selected email message is converted to an appointment. And you can find out the new appointment in the calendar that you specified in Step 3.

The ClearContext Task button allows you to quickly add an email to your task list. Clicking Task will open a new Outlook task with the subject of the email and contents pasted into it and the original message attached.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

Once the task is created from a message, it is associated with the email conversation and will appear in the original conversation’s MessageContext.

Project Assignment

The Project field in a task is pre-populated with the original email’s Project. If one has not been assigned previously, ClearContext will query for a Project assignment when creating a task. This allows you to view this Tasks and other items by Project in the ClearContext Dashboard. Turn this feature on/off via Project Assignment on New Tasks at ClearContext > Options > Tasks/Appts.

File Original

When creating a task from an email, ClearContext can automatically file the original message, moving it out of the Inbox and saving the need to deal with it again. Enable File Original on the task toolbar and ClearContext will move the message you are creating the task from into the Project folder you select. ClearContext remembers this option the next time you create an appointment.

Task Options

By default, ClearContext truncates the text of long emails and attaches a copy of the message when copying creating an appointment or task. Turn these features on/off via the ClearContext > Options > Tasks/Appts.

The Summary and Detail Dashboards can be used to mark individual tasks as Next Actions. By default, this appends a category of !Next to the task. Change the category and category color assigned when using Mark Next Action at ClearContext > Options > Tasks/Appts.

How to quickly turn emails into tasks

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While Microsoft Excel is not a database, it can help you filter, organize and sort important data quickly. Your Outlook mail, for instance, may consist of messages from a variety of contacts that cover multiple topics. One way to analyze that mail is view it in Excel. Outlook’s Export tool enables you to get your data out of Outlook and Excel’s Import tool helps you copy it into a new spreadsheet.

Export from Outlook

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Outlook and tap or click “File.” Tap or click “Open & Export” and then tap or click “Import/Export” to launch the Import and Export Wizard.

Step 2

Tap or click “Export to a File” and then tap or click “Next.” Tap or click “Comma Separated Values” and tap or click “Next.” The wizard displays a list of folders you can export. This list includes Inbox, Personal and Junk Email.

Step 3

Tap or click the folder you wish to export and then tap or click “Next.” Tap or click “Browse” to view the Browse window that displays your computer’s folders and files.

Step 4

Tap or click the folder to which you’d like to export your data and then tap or click “OK.” Tap or click “Next,” and then tap or click “Finish.” Outlook exports the email folder you selected to the target folder you selected in the Browse window.

Import into Excel

Step 1

Launch Excel and tap or click “Data.” Tap or click “Get External Data” and then tap or click “From Text.” Excel opens the Import Text File window that displays your hard drive’s contents.

Step 2

Tap or click the file you exported from Outlook and then tap or click “Import” to launch the Text Import Wizard. Tap or click the “Delimited” radio button to select it and put a check mark in the My Data Has Headers” check box. You check this box because the data that you exported from Outlook has headings Subject, Body and other headers.

Step 3

Tap or click “Next” and place a check mark in the “Comma” check box located in the Delimiters section. Tap or click “Finish” and then tap or click “OK” to import the data into a new worksheet.

  • Review the information in the worksheet. You will see that it contains columns you see in your Outlook email.
  • Repeat these steps if you would like to copy other Outlook email folders to Excel worksheets.

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

Sometimes, on Microsoft Teams, you’ll receive essential messages that you then turn into tasks using Microsoft To-Do. However, because there’s not an integration in place, you need to copy the message and switch applications to create a task.

Although the process isn’t complicated, it adds extra steps that can break your workflow when using Microsoft Teams to work from home or the office. If you usually create a reasonable amount of tasks based on messages, then you should use the Tasks add-on to Microsoft Teams. It seamlessly integrates into the platform, and it allows you to quickly create Microsoft To-Do tasks from messages you receive in one-to-one chats or channels.

In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to integrate Microsoft To-Do into Microsoft Teams.

How to connect Microsoft To Do to Microsoft Teams

To integrate Microsoft To-Do into Teams, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click on Apps from the bottom-left corner.

Search for Tasks and click the top result.

How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

Click the Add button.

How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

Click the Sign in Now button.

Source: Windows Central

Click the Yes button to allow the app access to the account information.

How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

  • Click the Close button.
  • Once you complete the steps, you can start creating tasks without the need to switch to a different app.

    How to create To Do tasks from messages of Microsoft Teams

    To create a Microsoft To-Do task from a Teams message, use these steps:

    1. Open Microsoft Teams.
    2. Hover over any message.
    3. Click the menu (three-dotted) button on the message on a chat or team (channel).

    Select the “More actions” and click the Create Task option.

    How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

    Specify a title for the task as you want to appear in Microsoft To Do.

    How to quickly turn emails into tasksSource: Windows Central

  • (Optional) Select a due date.
  • (Optional) In the “Body” section, you can add much detail as possible about the task. This information will append to the note section of the Microsoft To Do task along with the Microsoft Teams message.
  • (Optional) Check the Important option.
  • Click the Submit button.
  • Click the Close button.
  • After you complete the steps, the task will be created, and it’ll be available in the “Tasks” list of Microsoft To-Do, where you can view, edit, remove, or mark as completed.

    If you want to stop granting permissions to the add-on to your account, you can click the Tasks button and then click the Sign out button.

    More Windows 10 resources

    For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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    If you’re in the market for a new Xbox One console, you’ll want to check these deals out first.

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    How to quickly turn emails into tasks

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    How to quickly turn emails into tasks

    A good task manager can help clear your brain of all the things you need to do, but it can be tedious and time consuming to create new tasks. But there’s a feature in Todoist and 2Do that enables you to quickly add multiple tasks using a single keyboard shortcut.

    My Solutions for Adding Tasks

    My solutions to reducing the time it takes to create tasks to Todoist include the following:

    • I use recurring tasks for weekly, monthly and annual todo’s.
    • I use an IFTTT hack to re-create triggers based on specified tasks I set a date to and completed. See this article for how to do that.
    • I use the export to Todoist feature in my Safari web browser, the iOS share sheet, and other supporting applications like Feedly.
    • I copy and paste a composed list of items directly into Todoist, which in turn automatically creates tasks of the pasted list. Read below to find out how it’s done.

    Add Multiple Tasks in Todoist

    When I found out about the feature to paste a list of items into Todoist and 2Do, I felt overjoyed by how simple and powerfully useful the feature is.

    If you’ve never pasted tasks into one of these tasks managers, you’re going to smile when you first do it. Watch this video to see it in action.

    Try It

    If you want to try it for yourself, you can and copy and paste the list below in Todoist or 2Do. It may work in other task managers that I don’t know about.

    How to Add a Multiple Tasks in Todoist

      Create a list of tasks in a text file or document.

    Hit the Return key after each task. No spaces between tasks.

    Option: Add the due date and priority level to the list.

    Example: Tuesday, next week; p1

    Review your list.

    Copy the list to your system clipboard

    Start a new task in Todoist, and paste your list.

    A Few More Automations in Todoist

    Unfortunately the Todoist or 2Do feature doesn’t create a parent and child list automatically. You still have to use the Command+Left Arrow key to indent items.

    My solution for indenting sub-tasks in Todoist on the Mac is to use a BetterTouchTool trigger. I simply place my cursor inside a task field, and do a Three Finger Clickswipe Left The finger gesture triggers two hotkeys: Command+Left Arrow and then the Return key. Boom, it’s done. Go back and watch the above video to see it in action.

    Sharing a Lists for Pasting

    There’s not much else to explain about using paste feature, but it got me to thinking how useful it would be for content producers like myself.

    For example, there are times when I read a practical how-to article that include multiple steps or recommendations that can’t be completed in a single setting. So sometimes I type out tasks based on the article, and then I create a project in Todoist for completing those tasks at some future date.

    Using the copy and paste feature makes it easier to create the list of tasks. But wouldn’t it be cool if content developers like myself created such lists and added them at the end of their articles, saving readers time in creating such lists? I start including task manager lists to appropriate articles on my site.

    Though Todoist allows for exporting projects as templates, the ability to copy and paste are more user friendly in my view.

    Your Turn

    If you’ve used the copy and paste feature before or if you’re trying it for the first time, let me know what you think of it. Does it work in another task manager you use?

    How to quickly turn emails into tasks

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    A security update disabled the Run a script option in Outlook 2013 and 2016’s rules wizard. See Run-a-Script Rules Missing in Outlook for more information and the registry key to fix restore it.

    Sure, you can use a simple script that creates a task from an email and use it with a Run a Script rule. We also added a second code sample that creates a task from the message you are reading in the reading pane.

    To create an appointment from an email message, see Create an Outlook appointment from an email message.

    Press Alt+F11 to open the VBA editor and expand the tree to find ThisOutlookSession. Paste this code into the VBA editor then create a rule and choose Run a script as the action.

    You can customize the script to set a category or due date (or any other fields supported in Tasks). To calculate the due date, you’ll use the DueDate property and add a whole number to the Received date. If you prefer to change the Start date, you would add a whole number to the start date line. If you use a category that is not in your Categories list, the color category field in the view will be colorless as the category is not in the master list.

    To use today’s date only, not the current time, use Date and decimals to set the due date or reminder time.

    To override your default settings for Task reminders (set in Options, Tasks), you can use the ReminderSet and ReminderTime properties.

    This example creates a reminder for 6 hrs before the due date or 6 pm the day before. If a reminder time is not set, it will use the default setting for Tasks, usually 8 am on the due date.

    Accepted values for ReminderSet are True (on) or False (no reminder)

    To add the item as an attachment to the task, add the following lines after the Item.Body line:

    To copy attachments from the messages to the task, you need to use the CopyAttachments, added to the end of the task macro.
    Add this code before the .save

    Then this after the end of the first macro:

    If you want to send a Task Request, you need to Assign it and add the Recipient. You can use either the full email address or the GAL alias, or even the person’s display name, provided the name can resolve to an entry in your address book or GAL. I recommend using the address only because it can’t resolve to the wrong person.

    You’ll need to add .Assign to the With objTask code block, along with .Recipients.Add “[email protected]” line. You’ll also need to change .Save to .Send

    If you use the user’s name or alias, you may need to Resolve it using code before it’s sent. .Assign goes in the With objTask code block, but the Recipient is added outside of the With statement, then it’s sent.

    The DIM statement goes at the top of the macro with the other DIM statements.

    Carol asked how to add a category to the tasks. This is easy if you want one category for all tasks – just place this line before the objTask.Save line:

    To assign different categories based on different keywords in the subject, you can use an IF statement for a couple of keywords but should use an array for a larger number of keywords. Instructions are at Using Arrays with Outlook macros.

    You can save the task to a different folder by adding two lines to the code. This example saves it to a Task folder in a different data file, in this case, a Sharepoint task list that is linked to Outlook.

    You can also use a different folder in the mailbox. When the folder is the same level as the Tasks folder, using the example below.

    Set SPSFolder = Session.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks).Parent.Folders(“Task folder Name”)

    When the folder is a subfolder under the default Tasks folder, use this:

    Set SPSFolder = Session.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks).Folders(“Subfolder Name”)

    Create a rule using the condition and choose the action “Run a Script”, choosing the ConvertMailtoTask script you pasted into the VBA editor. Complete the rule.
    How to quickly turn emails into tasks

    When a new message arrives meeting the conditions in the rule, the script runs and creates a task out of the message.

    Jason wanted to know if we could use the code with a button to create a task from a selected message.

    To do this, we needed to modify the original code just a little. To use it, create a command on the ribbon or toolbar and assign the macro to it. When you are reading a message in the reading pane, you can click the button to create a task.

    This code doesn’t work with open messages, but a little more tweaking can change that. Simply change the Set objMail line to Set objMail = GetCurrentItem() and get the GetCurrentItem function from “Outlook VBA: Work with Open Item or Selected Item”.

    To use, select the message and run the macro.

    SimplyFile helps you file incoming and outgoing messages to the right Outlook folder with one click of a mouse. SimplyFile’s state of the art algorithm learns as you file messages and suggests destination folders for filing. All you have to do to send a message to the right folder is click a button. SimplyFile also includes buttons for turning messages into Tasks and Appointments. Compatible with Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007. Version 2.3.4.106.

    First: You will need macro security set to low during testing.

    To check your macro security in Outlook 2010 or 2013, go to File, Options, Trust Center and open Trust Center Settings, and change the Macro Settings. In Outlook 2007 and older, it’s at Tools, Macro Security.

    After you test the macro and see that it works, you can either leave macro security set to low or sign the macro.

    Open the VBA Editor by pressing Alt+F11 on your keyboard.

    To put the code in a module:

    1. Right click on Project1 and choose Insert > Module
    2. Copy and paste the macro into the new module.

    More information as well as screenshots are at How to use the VBA Editor

    More Information

    Other macros to create tasks or appointments are at