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What's the Difference Between a To-Do List and Task in Outlook?

2 minute read

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You know that tab at the bottom of your Outlook called Tasks? It’s a tab full of features to help you organize all of your flagged emails and create a task list. However, once you’ve entered this magical organizational tab, it can be slightly confusing to navigate. There are tasks you can create and a To-Do list in the left hand side bar. But what’s the difference?

An item is added to the To-Do list when you add this flag to an email in your inbox. We know how easily emails can get lost in our inbox, so it can be helpful to add a flag to an email that requires a response, or has an action item within the message. As a follow-up to the flag, the email is also added to the To-Do List in the Tasks tab.

Also within the Tasks tab is Tasks. Tasks are items you create from scratch. They are not tied to an email message and you can add important details to your task. In the new task window, you can add details such as a start date, due date, reminder, and priority. You are also able to assign tasks to others to add to their task list, integrate your task list with OneNote, and send a status report update.

Check out the overview video above. The steps below describe how to create a new task.

  1. Select Tasks tab at the bottom of your Outlook window.
  2. Click New Task in the upper left hand corner.
  3. A new window will appear where you can write your task and add details with the many feature options.

Click here to learn how to make To-Do lists in OneNote.


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