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Can Excel trigger actions on a task in Outlook?

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have an Excel spreadsheet in which the user creates goals, projects and tasks for the purpose of staying organized.

I have a friend who is using it and he has actually used Outlook for task management.  He's asked me if the spreadsheet he's now using could be integrated with Outlook so that he could manage tasks from either application.

I don't know the details of exactly what he's hoping for, but I thought I'd lob the general question out for feedback.

What else do you need to know to answer the question?  Are there limitations that might be deal breakers for usability?

FYI, the spreadsheet does include a significant amount of VBA, conditional formatting, Data validation and such.

Thanks, Jim
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Question by:coachjim
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4 Comments
 
LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:GaGirrl
GaGirrl earned 80 total points
ID: 35061876
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but you can launch a command in Excel to execute an Outlook task.

Create Outlook task for workbook

You can add the "Create Microsoft Outlook Task" option to the ribbon (if you're using Office 2007). Once you launch that option, it opens an Outlook task and you see your Excel sheet embedded within it.

Not sure how much "managing" occurs between the applications, but you can at least link an Outlook task to the Excel workbook.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:rspahitz
rspahitz earned 80 total points
ID: 35061882
This is totally do-able, but not necessarily an easy task.
Coding in Excel to add macros, etc is not bad since there's a wizard to help create it.  That wizard is not there in Outlook so experts need to know a lot more about the inner workings of Outlook through experimentation and other kinds of research.

However, simply things like getting Excel to open Outlook is not bad.  Getting the two to interact dynamically from either side requires a lot of synchronization and one has to control the other for it to work (although it can be made to look seamless if done right.
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
royhsiao earned 340 total points
ID: 35063121
Here is an example.
You need to add the Outlook 12.0 Object library to the excel in reference.
You could update the body, due date, assign ...etc by using range value.

' Note: You must first manually bind the Outlook
' 12.0 Object Library by going to Tool,
' References in the VBA editor
''updated by Roy Hsiao 3/7/11
Sub test()
   Set olApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
   Set olTsk = olApp.CreateItem(olTaskItem)
   With olTsk
       .Status = olTaskInProgress
       .Importance = olImportanceHigh
       .Body = "Test body"
       .Assign = "Test!"
       .Owner = "Roy Hsaio"
       .DueDate = "12/25/11"
       .Save
   End With
   Application.ScreenUpdating = True
   Application.ScreenUpdating = False
   Set olTsk = Nothing
   Set olApp = Nothing
End Sub

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LVL 2

Author Closing Comment

by:coachjim
ID: 35110699
All I was asking for was a sense of what was possible.  Next step is to see if someone can help me do it.
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