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Create Tasks From Outlook Dialog

ToDoList has the ability to import Outlook items as tasks. One might assume that only Outlook Tasks can be imported. In fact, all Outlook item types can be imported: Email messages, Tasks, Calendar Appointments, Journal Entries, and Notes.

This page is not invoked from a menu, or from within ToDoList at all. To import an Outlook item, left-click the item in Outlook and drag it to ToDoList. Drop the item at the bottom of the tasklist tree, under the last task. The page above will be displayed. On clicking OK a new task is created at the bottom of the list. Dropping onto another task does not create a sub-task.

Outlook also allows drag/drop of items to the Desktop and other folders. These items can also be dropped at the bottom of the tasklist.

The page above allows mapping of Outlook fields to task attributes. The defaults should be acceptable. For each Outlook field, a dropdown list of all task attributes is available. While a field like Creation Time obviously fits with Creation Date, it's a matter of preference where a field like Expiry Time will be saved. Fields that don't fit easily into task attributes, like Expiry Time, will be added to Comments.

Since all task attributes are available in the lists, it is possible to assign fields that don't make sense, like assigning the Expiry Time as the task Priority. There is nothing to prevent this. In such a case the data for that field won't be saved or it may result in an anomalous value. In short, be sure to use similarly typed values.

As seen in the screenshot above, the Entry ID of the Outlook item is saved by default to the File Link field. The format of this field is “outlook:123456…..”. The “outlook:” prefix is called a Protocol. Similar protocols are http:, mailto:, and ftp:. The 123456 number is a long unique ID (called the Entry ID) which points within Outlook to the item.

There are many details associated with links like this. It is beyond the scope of this page to go into detail, but here are some examples.

  • The outlook: protocol was added by default to systems with the installation of Outlook through version 2003. Since version 2007 it is only available when manually added by users. Instructions for doing this are available from various sources including this article at
  • Outlook may warn about a security issue when such a link is used. (This may only apply to entry IDs used within Outlook.) The warnings can be disabled.
  • The details for adding the protocol to a system are specific to the Outlook version and the 32/64-bit nature of the platform.
  • Outlook may open a new instance to display a requested item. The information here maybe helpful to force opening the item in an existing instance.

You may also be interested in other kinds of links to access Outlook data, as seen in this other article at, and here at

create-tasks-from-outlook-dialog.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/17 09:25 (external edit)