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Outlook – Adding From: field to Tasks

February 1, 2013

An IT manager asked me if we could add in the From: field onto Tasks based on our inMailX experience.  Many senior staff in his firm have secondary exchange profiles for internal communications and they need to be able to set the account to which the task will be saved into.  Seemed a straight forward request but Google showed up nothing and even lead me to think it may not be possible.  The ‘Owner’ was set when the Task was created and pretty much fixed according to various forums.  Well you can, sort of do it.

In Outlook 2010 you are able to add multiple exchange accounts (unavailable in 2003 and 2007).  To add a secondary Exchange account to my Outlook set up ‘File’ – ‘Account Settings’ – Select ‘Email’ tab – Select ‘new’ and set up the secondary account.  Once set up restart Outlook.

If you have multiple accounts connected to Outlook then you can select from the 2 accounts in My Tasks.  Select the account you want to associate Ownership with before you select New Task and it will assign to that account.  Every time you return to Tasks in an Outlook session it will remember which account you last selected.  On opening Outlook Tasks for the first time in a session you are set to the default account.

Also in Outlook 2010 you can now Select ‘Assign Task’ from the ‘Manage Task’ section on the Outlook ribbon.  This allows you to select the From: and the To:  Note you can’t use this setting to assign a Task to yourself.

What we were looking for was to simply include From: into the Task interface as a standard option for those users with multiple accounts.   That makes sense as people understand From in the Outlook context and not Owner.  The ultimate goal would be to enable the Owner field as a default required field, blank and requiring a selection from the user, with the label ‘From:’.  If anyone knows the answer please let me know.

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