Synchronize Outlook Task Lists with MindManager

I'm working on improving my Next Action Analysis (NAA) score this week and am faced with a "Project Needing Next Action" penalty for my "Create Macro to Sync up Dashboard to OutLook Task List" project. This was a reader requested script I finished up a few days ago. It looks like the next action it to mention it here, so here goes…

There is a new macro installed by the MindReader installer and also available on the wiki MindManager Macro Library that will do a basic syncronization of tasks between your ResultsManager Daily Action Dashboard in MindManager and your Microsoft Outlook task list.

The macro (ao_nextactions_to_outlook.mmbas) does the following:

  1. Delete previosly transferred or exported items from oulook unless marked complete
  2. If marked complete in outlook, run mark task complete on them in the daily action dashboard.
  3. Transfer new items from Outlook into MindManager via MindReader.
  4. Leave them behind as well but add "ao_transferred" into note to mark them as transferred
  5. Export next actions from daily action dashboard to Outlook task list. Set basic attributes like context, due date, and priority.

Note that this is designed specifically for use with a ResultsManager Daily Action Dashboard.

This basic macro isn't smarter than described above, and will not detect changes in attributes (beyond completion) to sync back to MindManager. Attempting to do anything fancier than this is is buried deep on my GTD someday/maybe list.

I've never had much success in attempting to do this type of synchronization with other "built-in" methods. This provides some basic functionality that might be of use to those who need it.

If you want to have ready access to your next actions from outlook or your smart phone, this can be a good strategy. This also allows you to capture new actions in Outlook and feed them in. For 1-way transfers into MindManager from OutLook, OutLinker provides a more robust approach.

You can run the macro manually or incorporate into the "Put it in front of the door script" for overnight processing.

Next Action: "Waiting for reader feedback on Outlook Task Syncronization".

NAA score +0.1 :-).

5 Comments »

  1. H. I . said,

    February 27, 2010 @ 7:24 am

    Looking forward to try this macro later today. Thanks! (Standard integration is cumbersome, this looks like a fine start!)

  2. Craig Kennedy said,

    April 8, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    Love the new Mindreader script that allows me to send a task directly to Outllok Task List. Would love it if I could select a topic in Mindmanager and send it to Outlook tasks via GyroQ.

    Craig

  3. ActivityOwner said,

    April 8, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    Hi Craig — The macro below will do what you want. If you save it to a mmbas file you can use "tools", "macros", "organize" to add it to the topic context menu as a "click right" option. This eliminates need for GyroQ. It could be put in as a GyroQ tag but I've run out of empty slots.

    Sub Main
    Set taskstore = GetNamespace("MAPI").GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks)
    Set Task =CreateItem(olTaskItem)
    Task.Subject=activedocument.selection.primarytopic.text
    On Error Resume Next
    Task.Move(taskstore)
    End Sub

  4. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

    Note that this script has embedded references to the OutLook Object model. If you are using it with OutLook 2010, you need to go into the macro editor and select the Microsoft Outlook 14 Object Model. I will update this in next setup released.

    It is also fully built into the MindReader2 ribbon add-in in a version-independent manner so that is likely the better route to follow if you are interested in this macro.

  5. ActivityOwner said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    The setup is now updated with references assuming that you are using Outlook 2010 and mindmanager 9. If you are using different versions, you will need to adjust the references.

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