How to Create a Custom Task Request in Windows Outlook

Use Outlook to assign and track tasks.
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Creating and assigning tasks in Microsoft Outlook provides an easy method of delegating responsibilities. If you're working on a class project, for example, you can send a task to each member of the group by email, and then keep track of the progress on each task from your own Outlook task list. For the feature to work properly, the task recipients should also use Outlook as their email client.

Click "Tasks" at the bottom of your Outlook window, and then select "New Task" from the ribbon to open a new task window.

Enter a name for the task in the Subject field.

Select a start date if the task must be performed on a certain date. Select a due date if the task has a deadline. If you're assigning a task to be performed over several days, select both a start date and a due date.

Change the Priority setting to either Low, Normal or High, depending on how important you consider the task.

Click inside the message area, and then describe the task and any action required on the part of the recipient.

Click "Assign Task," and then enter the recipient's email address in the To field. You can assign the task to more than one person by entering multiple email addresses; however, if you assign the same task to more than one person, Outlook won't update the task on your task list.

Click "Send" to submit the task request. The recipient can either accept the task, decline it or assign the task to someone else. If the other person declines the task, it returns to you and becomes your task until you assign it to someone else.

  • Information in this article applies to Outlook 2010 and 2013. The steps may vary in other versions of Outlook.
  • If the task must be performed on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly, click "Recurrence" on the ribbon, and then set up a schedule for the task. Outlook creates a new task item for the current task owner each time the task comes up on the schedule, eliminating the need to recreate and resend the task.
  • If the information about a task is already contained in an email message, you can easily create a new task by dragging the message to "Tasks" on the bottom of the Outlook window. The text of the message automatically appears in the description area of the new task window.

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.