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Tech Bits: Turn an Email into a To-Do Item (Faculty & Staff)


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Is your inbox filling up with email asking you to do certain tasks? In Gmail and Exchange, you can easily convert these messages into a to-do list and have it as a reminder to take care of them. 


  1.  Find a message in your Gmail list that you would like to turn into a to-do item. 
  2. Click the checkbox next to the message, or open the message. 
  3. Click the three vertical dots icon above your inbox, then click Add to Tasks.

The email message is now added as a to-do item in your My Tasks list, which now appears on the right. 

To edit the details (e.g., add a due date or subtask) to an item, click the pencil icon that appears when you hover over the right side of the My Tasks list. Once you're done editing, click the back arrow at the top left of the My Tasks list. You can also click the blue pencil icon to close the list. 


These instructions work with the Outlook client:

  1. In your list of messages in Outlook, find the email that you would like to turn into a to-do item. Then on the PC, right-click or, on the Mac, hold down the Control key and press the mouse or trackpad. 
  2. Click Follow Up and then select an option, such as Tomorrow, This Week or No Date (PC) or No Due Date (Mac). 

The email message is now added as a to-do item in your Task list. To add the task list so it appears on your Outlook screen on the PC, click the View menu, click To-Do Bar, and then click Tasks. (Add the Calendar too! It's a helpful way to see your appointments.)

On the Mac, click the check mark  icon on the bottom of the left panel to see the Task screen. 

To remove an item from the Task list, first select it. Then on the Home tab at the top of the screen, click the Mark Complete (check mark) icon. You can also right-click on an item and click Mark Complete (PC) or click the check box to the left of the item (Mac).