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  1. #1

    Creating subtasks (a.k.a. parent-child tasks)?

    Using Outlook 2000 with Exchange 5.5 SP4...

    I would like to set up tasks-subtasks (aka parent-child tasks) in Outlook for simple project management. (I don't want to use Project/ProjectCentral...that's more than I need...and I have not liked what I have seen of TrackerOffice).

    The only "solution" I have come across is a custom Task form with a second page that allows the simple listing and "checking off" of subtasks ... but completing the subtasks doesn't mark the task complete...and it is just a can't assign subtasks, set reminders, etc.

    One possibility I thought of is creating custom fields for "tasknumber" and "subtasknumber" and then using a table view. That might allow me to sort them in groups...but not much else.

    Has anyone come across a solution or tried to tackle this problem before?

    Any ideas/suggestions would be MUCH appreciated!

  2. #2

    Re: Creating subtasks (a.k.a. parent-child tasks)?

    I don't have a solution of any elegance... but I have tried a bunch of things to try and "work" with subtasks (without getting into custom forms and such like - I don't have the time to save time <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    The least worst workaround I've found is to assign tasks a number, from 00 to 99, and a name. Then, for each subtask I need to add, I separate the subtask name with a colon : and number. So my task list might look like :
    "Task 01 : Fix all Outlook issues"
    "Task 01 : Fix all Outlook issues : 00 : Delete Outlook"
    "Task 01 : Fix all Outlook issues : 01 : Install Text Editor"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 00 : Call Hall hire"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 01 : Call Caterers"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 02 : Call Aunty Em"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 10 : Call Limo"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 10 : Call Limo : 00 : Find Phone #"
    "Task 02 : Anniversary : 10 : Call Limo : 01 : Dial number"
    .. and so on.
    I know it's a stupid way of using an otherwise great tool, but at least it lets Outleak handle the sort order for me! And you can see at a glance what tasks and subtasks are outstanding. You can add tasks of arbitrary complexity, as long as you have room for the text. Even if you can't see all the text, you can at least see the task title in most cases. You can also assign numbers arbitrarily, according to how you see the task requirements progressing.

    Natch, it'd be best to have a good clipboard manager (like ClipCache Plus or some similar tool) to handle all the cutting & pasting you'll do.

    I know it's a silly answer, but it's the only one I've been able to consistently use across all versions of Outlook.

    Messy? Yes. Works? Mostly. Cost? Nothing.

    Hope this helps in some way. Even if it just makes you laugh...
    PC Pete

  3. #3

    Re: Creating subtasks (a.k.a. parent-child tasks)?

    I'm not laughing!

    That is actually one of the better workarounds I've seen...and I'll try it. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

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