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How to transform your Outlook into a workflow system

“I want to work with workflow tasks from Microsoft Outlook. Is it possible?”

Andrey Yanchenko, Head of Sales Engineering at NetCracker.


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Microsoft Outlook + Comindware

The Problem

I got used to working with Outlook and wouldn’t like to change it. I use it to assign and track and manage Outlook tasks, share my calendar, exchange work files, and to send, receive and discuss tasks in emails. It’s a great collaborative system yet I would like to get more out of it. I want it to be coupled with workflow software. Processes behind my tasks will coordinate team work while I am not going to have to switch between applications to see my full to-do list. My personal tasks and team workflow tasks will be synchronized together in one Outlook list of tasks. To make it fully collaborative, I’d like to have comments tread for each working task, too.

The Solution

Comindware Tasks for Outlook is a free Outlook add-in that you can get right from your Comindware Tracker account. It puts Comindware Tracker workflow system behind your Microsoft Outlook. The add-in is light and invisible. And gives you the power of collaborating on workflows and tasks with your team directly from your Outlook.

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How Does It Work?

After you have the Comindware Tasks for Outlook add-in up and running, your Outlook list of tasks still looks like a list of tasks:

Comindware enriched Outlook tasks

The difference is hidden behind the scenes: now your Outlook is coupled and synchronized with Comindware Tracker. Tasks from Comindware Tracker workflows automatically go to your Outlook list, and you can enjoy all the advantages of collaborative workflow tasks:

1. Workflow enables you to collaborate in team. It divides a process into steps and gives a task to the responsible at each step. As it is performed automatically by Comindware Tracker, you don’t need to write an email to your co-worker saying that your part of work has been accomplished, give details and attach documents: you save it together with your task and then it automatically goes to the next on your team, with all the content and the context.

“Comindware Tasks for Outlook enables workflow for Outlook tasks with the following versions of Microsoft Outlook: 2007, 2010, and 2013 and it requires Microsoft Exchange server.”

2. Larger functionality for your tasks:

  • processes behind workflow tasks,
  • in progress\deferred status with play\pause buttons,
  • collaborative thread,
  • files versioning, hierarchy of tasks and subtasks,
  • synchronization between Outlook and Comindware Tracker lists of tasks.
Difference between simple Outlook Tasks and Comindware enriched ones.

3. All in one: emails, calendar, team collaboration, tasks, attachments, workflow. You don’t need to switch between solutions when they are united by a single Outlook plug-in, and all of the tasks and their content are synchronized automatically between solutions.

4. It’s powerful. Comindware Tasks for Outlook is spared from any excessive features which makes this add-in really light, so that it does not slow your MS Outlook by any means: it’s really quick.

5. You don’t need to learn anything new to work with Comindware Tracker through Outlook. The ribbon interface is already familiar to you, and you only get much larger functionality.

Familiar Ribbon Interface

How Can I Get It?

Comindware Tasks for Outlook goes in the package with Comindware Tracker, and it’s free for Comindware Tracker users. Log in to your account in Comindware Tracker and hit the Menu tab. You will see the button that will get Comindware Tasks for Outlook Add-In installed on your computer.

How to download Comindware Outlook plugin

Try it now, it’s free!

Comindware Tracker and Microsoft Outlook are tightly integrated with the help of Comindware Tasks for Outlook. Other third party applications can be integrated with Comindware Tracker through web-based API. Let’s take an example of Comindware Tracker integration with SalesForce: this is the subject of our next topic.

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Anastasia Chumakova is Product Marketing Analyst and Workflow Automation Expert at Comindware.
She currently explores online process management product development trends, contributes to www.comindware.com and provides tips for better use of Comindware Tracker and online work management solutions.

  • Extremely helpful post. Thumbs up!

Posted on:  in Process World, Tips and Tricks