When it comes to the software programs included in Microsoft Office 2010 most of us, myself included, have barely scratched the surface of using all of the features that are available to us.

At the Microsoft at Home website they have compiled together several examples of the in depth functionality of Outlook 2010 and how you can use it to be even more productive while organizing your daily tasks.

At the most basic level, the Tasks features of Microsoft Outlook help you create lists of task-related items. But dig a little deeper, and you will find they do much more for you than simply holding your to-do list. Following these six tips for using Microsoft Outlook Tasks features will help you stay better organized and keep you steps ahead of your deadlines.

Here is a brief summary of each of the in depth features they are discussing in this article:

  • Customize Your View – In Outlook Tasks, you can find your tasks and view their status at a glance. Choosing the appropriate view saves time. For example, you can prioritize the items that are most critical on your list without scrolling through all the other tasks that are still marked as incomplete. Or if you prefer to tackle the task that needs to be completed first or sort your tasks by project or collaborator’s name, the options in Tasks can help you organize your tasks the way that works best for you and the project at hand.
  • Work with the To-Do Bar – Another handy Outlook feature is the To-Do Bar. You can set it up to display your calendar, appointment reminders, and list of tasks—even when you’re not using the Tasks features in Outlook.
  • Detail your time, billing, or mileage – It’s not easy to remember the date you drove to an appointment or how much time you spent completing a task. Some people try to remember to write down the time or mileage later. Often, that means holding a jumble of details in your head, or trying to decipher multiple sticky notes or scraps of paper.
  • Create Outlook tasks from OneNote – If you use Microsoft OneNote, you already know how it gives you one convenient place to keep notes, draw sketches, capture text, save images, and more. And OneNote integrates seamlessly with Outlook Tasks to give you some quick shortcuts to save you time and increase your productivity. It just takes a couple of clicks, for example, to create an Outlook task from within OneNote—and keep that task synced automatically between the two programs.
  • Create and track assigned tasks – When you work with others, you may want to delegate a task to someone else and keep track of its progress. Outlook makes it nice and easy to create and track a task that you assign.
  • Send status reports for tasks from Outlook – If you ever have a project or task that is of utmost importance to someone other than yourself, this tip will become a favorite. In Outlook, you can send a periodic status report. It’s a great way to communicate that you’re managing things efficiently.

Make sure you visit 6 Ways to Streamline Your Tasks in Outlook to see each tip and the step by step instructions to use them.

Do you have a favorite feature in Outlook that you would like to share with everyone? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.