Tasks, Gmail, IMAP, and Outlook

posted on 06/01/08 at 11:38:58 pm by Joel Ross

My biggest frustration since moving all of my email to Google Apps has been around how Google's labels don't really translate to Outlook folders. For the most part, it's not an issue, but for certain things, it is. Tasks is one of those things.

In Gmail, a single message can have multiple labels. In Outlook, that translates to multiple copies of the same message in different folders. I don't typically label my messages with more than one label, but just by default, all messages get labeled "All Mail", and anything starred (or flagged in Outlook) gets labeled as "Starred" in Gmail. Those translate to folders in Outlook. As a result, whenever you flag a message, it shows in your tasks pane three times. That gets really, really annoying after a while and I eventually started ignoring my tasks altogether.

Well, the How-To Geek has a solution. Unfortunately, I couldn't use it as is, because I have other email accounts that I use besides the Gmail IMAP ones, so I had other folders I wanted to include. Instead of including the All Mail folder, I excluded it, as well as excluding "Starred". But that didn't work, and I had to modify the SQL directly - by default, any criteria you add is Or'd together, and I wanted it to be And'd, so I changed it.

Now when I flag a message, it shows up once and only once in my task list. Maybe I'll actually start using it again. Outlook is NOT the best at task management, but that's a whole separate discussion!

Categories: Personal, Software