Microsoft always tried to develop excellent task management software for Outlook users by adding more features and extending functionality. Task management in Outlook 2003 was taken as an attempt of Microsoft to satisfy users by offering more powerful functionality. It was really great, and many users found it perfect. A little later, the extended functionality in 2007 was presented. It has added new features and allowed users to benefit from new options for data synchronization. Since, Microsoft has been developing new add-ins and tools to satisfy users with better functionality and more powerful tools for task management.
As soon as a new add-in is released, users can go to Microsoft’s web portals to read about how to manage activities and download tutorials. The corporation provides its users with great support services. It keeps users informed of new features and lets them manage tasks Outlook software in the best way. But at the same time, Microsoft doesn’t provide instant answering and live support services to settle problems of users immediately. Users have to wait for a reply or to look for a solution in Internet, which is time consuming.
Some users think that managing tasks with Outlook is easy and convenient. Here are some advantages that let understand features of this software:
- Emailing capabilities. It becomes more efficient when you can receive and send emails. Users can collaborate and communicate with each other through simple email services.
- Todo list . Your task management in Outlook will be efficient as the software has Tasks Pane to create, share and manage todo lists and tasks. You can use Tasks Pane to prioritize tasks, set filters, sort todo items, change current task view, create timelines, etc.
- Forms. In Outlook, information can be shared and presented in a convenient view by using forms. Outlook’s forms give users flexible options to collaborate with each other and share data.
Like any other software applications, MS Outlook is not perfect to users. Here are some examples of disadvantages:
- Expensiveness. It is a personal information manager. If you want to turn it into a teamwork solution to share tasks, journals and calendars with your team, you have to buy and install MS Exchange Server. The multi-user software becomes an expensive solution since you purchase Exchange Server as well as most likely you will have to hire a specialist for its installation and administration.
- Common task tree view. You are able to assign tasks to folders and subfolders. There are two panes for task management in MS Outlook, including Folder List and Tasks, which display tasks and folders/subfolders separately. You cannot combine tasks and folders into common task tree view where you could aggregate values (e.g.: total percentage of complete tasks, total actual hours spent on tasks, etc.)
- Templates of tasks. To schedule regular events and manage activities, you will need to use templates. You can use Folder List to create templates of tasks by copying existing tasks to a new folder. But MS Outlook doesn’t allow you to preset date&time characteristics (like Start date and Finish date) for templates of tasks automatically, so you have to set date&time characteristics manually after a template is created.
- Workflow customization. Five standard task statuses make it less effective and inflexible. You have to use these five statuses to manage various workflows and you cannot add your own statuses to customize different workflows for departments of your company.
VIP Task Manager is an alternative to task management software Outlook that shows users how to manage tasks in a new fashion. This software uses Firebird, a free database management system, to allow you to install and maintain your copy of VIP Task Manager easily and to use task management functionality in a convenient way.
VIP Task Manager has Task Tree view, Task List view and Scheduler. Task Tree view helps you organize tasks into projects and hierarchical todo lists where you can aggregate values. Task Tree view lets you use a hierarchy of projects and todo lists to create charts and diagrams. You can also use Task Tree view to duplicate templates of tasks and create checklists for daily tasks.
Task List view and Scheduler allow you planning todo items, prioritizing tasks, and creating timelines. You can use Task List view everyday to perform daily routine tasks and track new assignments. Schedulerwill help you create calendars and display your tasks on common business/project calendar.
VIP Task Manager has Workflow Editor to create and customize types of workflows. Each department of your company may have its own workflow that reflects specific tasks and processes.
Any user who is interested in downloading and using VIP Task Manager can get free support services. You can use Live Chat, leave an email message or submit a ticket to find a quick answer to your question. Live Chat lets you get instant support services and talk to operators.