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Sorting tasks in a customized fashion (for the due date column)

Posted on 2004-08-11
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
The way I want to sort my tasks is the following:
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The sorting order is:

PRIORITY first, then
DUE DATE second

For Priority, I can get that working fine (sort from highest importance to lowest, which works fine)

But I want to sort the due dates like the following:
- dated items first, then undated items after
- dated items are sorted by earliest date first, latest date last

Of course they are grouped within their specified priority groups (high, normal, low) first.

You can see how it looks NOW for me: http://www.garywk.com/screenshots/tasks.png
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How can I do this?
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Question by:Chopianissima
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Expert Comment

by:VolleyTom
ID: 11780323
First, it's always good to specify the version of Outlook you are using just for reference.

Anyway, I'm using Outlook 2002 and after sorting on Priority, I right-click on the header bar and choose Customize Current View. Then choose Due Date as the secondary sort. It works for me even when I set my normally US date computer up for Euro style dates like you're apparently using. View / Current View / Customize Current View will also get you there.

Another option is to use Customer Current View to GROUP by Priority and then SORT by Due Date. This gives the same effect but may be a little more useful to you.

Save whichever approach you like to a new names View.
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Expert Comment

by:VolleyTom
ID: 11780324
Oops, make that Customize Current View in the 3rd paragraph.
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Author Comment

by:Chopianissima
ID: 11780353
I'm using Outlook 2003.

The methods you suggested I have done before, and yet 'None' still shows up before the dates do, but I want the 'None' items to show up AFTER the dates do.
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Expert Comment

by:VolleyTom
ID: 11780651
Like this? Works for me...

http://geldner.com/filez/outlookview.gif

Try this in case we're talking apples & oranges for some reason.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=197919

Again, what version of Outlook are you using?

Tom
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Author Comment

by:Chopianissima
ID: 11785494
Looks like your dates are in reversed order; in your screenshot, you have latest at the top and earliest at the bottom, but I want the earliest at the top instead.

I already told you what version of Outlook I'm using; Outlook 2003, as mentionned in the post above yours.
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Expert Comment

by:VolleyTom
ID: 11786037
Sorry, it was 1:00 in the morning when I posted that. Couldn't sleep. Anyway, now I get what you're trying to do. The only way I can see of doing what you want to do is to simply put in a Due Date that is at some ridculous time in the future or use a filter to hide the Nones while you look at those with due dates.
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Author Comment

by:Chopianissima
ID: 11786064
The best idea I had was just to give everything a due date; but still, pretty stupid; this setup isn't very smart, in that, items with due dates are generally more important than those without.
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Expert Comment

by:VolleyTom
ID: 11787949
OK, here's another idea. Use a category or a user field to identify appointments WITH dates. Then GROUP on priority, SORT level 1 on the user field, SORT level 2 on the due date. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

http://geldner.com/filez/outlookview2.gif

Due is a custom field set as a logical field displayed as an Icon (check box). You do not have to display it in the table view but it can still be used for sorting.

You can add this field to a custom form based on the Outlook task form.
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Author Comment

by:Chopianissima
ID: 11788100
So 'Due' is the mandatory field I need to add right?
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Accepted Solution

by:
VolleyTom earned 500 total points
ID: 11788166
You can call it anything you like but in the instance I showed, yes.

Right click on the gray header bar in your table view task list. Select Field Chooser. Click on "New". Call it "Due". Change Type to "Yes/No" and choose Icon as the format so you get a check box. Now drag the newly created field to your view and check all those tasks with actual Due Dates. Now set up your the groups & sorts as described above.

Now you need to add "Due" to a custom Outlook task form so you can check the box when the task is created. You can also simply leave it showing on the Table view and check the box after you create the Task OR create your new Tasks in table view.

Honestly, I think this is as close as you're going to get without doing some custom programming under the hood someplace.
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