The "To Do" list

Occasional Contributor

I am confused as to what typically goes in the "To Do" list. Since it comes pre-installed, I think it has a special purpose as opposed to the other lists. I set up the other lists of to do items but what do I put in the "To Do" list. All the lists are to do items???? Am I crazy or what?

8 Replies

The To-Do list is automatically synchronized (bi-directionally) with the Outlook Tasks.

best response confirmed by Edward Boyd (Occasional Contributor)

Hi Edward,


To expand on Salvatore's answer, which is correct, the To-Do list is there by default because users have a default folder (or list) in their Exchange Tasks module. It's called Tasks in Outlook and is the default list for both apps in a few ways, an example being that My Day in our app is a view rather than a list, and thus things added there go to the To-Do list. Thinking more broadly it is also common for people to have shopping, reading, and movie lists, which are often actionable but not to-dos specifically.



Timo... I now have an insight into the "geek" world of thinking. As a businessman, I never understood the difference of To Do's and Tasks in Outlook. To me they are one and the same? My Outlook has To Do's because the list shows up on my email page but the Tasks do not. Further, flagging messages go to the To Do section of Outlook and not Task section.  Given that the IT community likes eye candy, the need for the To Do section in "TODO" seems redundant. 


After all the above drivel, I appreciate your response and explanation. I would much rather have that section used as an "All" section where all the To do's are recapped in one place. Then one could also print that list. Maybe all that is coming? 

Hi Edward,


I may not have been as clear as I'd hoped. What I was trying to depict is that the "To-Do" list you start out with in To-Do is 100% identical to the "Tasks" list you start out with in Outlook. They appears to sync because they are both literally the same list/folder that users have by default when they start using Exchange. 


The reason To-Dos and Tasks are differentiated in Outlook is a bit complicated--the short story is that flagged emails are not actually tasks on the backend, but rather emails that have been tagged with the flag property. That is why they don't currently show up in the To-Do app--it only shows true Exchange Tasks and not emails.


"To-Do" might not be the ideal name for this default list, so we're always open to suggestions. We cannot for technical reasons have it act as a list of all tasks, as that would once again be a view (or filter) and not a true list on the backend. Users must have one default list/folder as that is a requirement in Exchange in general and also a requirement of the My Day feature in To-Do. 


Hope that's not too geeky for you :)



Again Thanks. Like I said... I'd much rather have an "All" section, rather than a "sync'd To Do. Then one can print a list to throw in the brief case..etc etc. 

@Edward Boyd

I would try to say it with other words:

Since the backend of Microsoft To-Do is Exchange Online, then, for every user, every To-Do tasks list corresponds to an Outlook task list and vice-versa. In other words, there is not an Outlook tasks list without a corresponding To-Do tasks list and vice-versa.

As I said, all corresponding tasks lists are synced bidirectionally (Moreover, Timo explains why: the lists in both apps, actually, are not synced, but they are literally the same. In other words, To-Do is basically an app that manages Outlook tasks....)

BTW, the only (apparent) exception is the To-Do task list named My Day, which has not a corresponding Outlook task list. This happens because My Day is not a "real" Outlook task list, but rather a "virtual" task list, i.e. a view of Outlook tasks.

Makes sense?

Thank you Salvatore...between you and Timo you have drilled it into my head. You also have given me a small sample of how you guys think down the road there in Redmond. I'm waiting to see your further improved product. 

Thank you, Edward.

But I am not affiliated with Microsoft and I live and work in Italy, not in Redmond. :-))