How to Quickly Turn Emails Into Tasks

Hand writing a to-do list in a notebook.Africa Studio/Shutterstock

If you’re using OHIO (Only Handle It Once) to triage your email, you probably want to turn some of your emails into tasks. Here’s how to do that quickly and efficiently so you can get on with handling your other emails.

Make It Quick and Easy

Your inbox is not a to-do list; it’s an inbox. It’s tempting to leave emails in your inbox because it’s easier, but then tasks you need to accomplish are buried in the incoming deluge of email.

Here’s why people run into trouble. The manual process for turning an email into a task often goes something like this:

  1. Open your preferred to-do list manager.
  2. Create a new task.
  3. Copy and paste the relevant parts of the email into the new task.
  4. Set the details, such as priority, due date, color code, and anything else you use.
  5. Save the new task.
  6. Archive or delete the email.

That’s six steps, just to add something to a to-do list. No wonder you end up with emails cluttering your inbox. What if you could cut those six steps down to four? Or three?

Well, you can! And we’re going to show you how.

RELATED: Forget Inbox Zero: Use OHIO to Triage Your Emails Instead

Some Email Clients Are Better for Task Creation Than Others

There are many clients available for managing your email and, as you might expect, some are better than others for creating tasks.

For web clients, Gmail does the job very well. The Tasks application is built-in, and it’s easy to turn a mail into a task. There’s even a keyboard shortcut to create a task straight from a mail—no mousing required. If you don’t want a desktop client, Gmail’s probably your best bet.

For Windows desktop clients, Outlook wins hands down. Thunderbird does have some built-in task management features, and they’re not bad, but Outlook is much slicker and allows you to connect to myriad third-party apps. If you can’t use Outlook for some reason, Thunderbird is a good alternative. If you already use a third-party to-do list manager, though, Thunderbird won’t cut the mustard.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Rob Woodgate

Author: Droolin' Dog News Team