Project and Outlook support two common file formats: Access and Excel, We’ll export data from Outlook to Excel, create a custom data map, and import the data from/Excel into Project, To play along, you need to have Outlook 98 or 2000; and Excel 95, 97, or 2000 installed on your computer, This is a multi-step process, but well worth the effort if your team uses Outlook as its Personal Information Management software.
Step t: Exporting Tasks from Outlook to Excel
1. Open Microsoft Outlook and switch to the tasks view.
2. Select,File > Import and Export to open the Import/Export’ Wizard. If the Wizard doesn’t open or if the Import and Export menu item is disabled, run Outlook or Office Setup to install the Import/Export Wizard. (While you’re at it, you may want to see what else wasn’t installed the first time.)
3. In the first step of the Wizard, choose Export to a File. Click Next.
4. In the Create a File Of Type list, select Microsoft Excel. Click Next.
5. In the Select a Folder To Export From list, accept the default selection, Tasks. Click Next.
6. In the Save/Exported File as text box, type a name for the Excel file you’re creating, Click Next.
7. Click Map Custom, Fields to display the Map Custom Fields dialog box.
8. You can remove Outlook fields from the export list now if you know you won’t want to import particular fields into Microsoft Project. When you have finished removing fields from the export list, dick OK to return to the Export to a File dialog box.
9. Click Finish to create the Microsoft Excel file.
Step 2: Massaging the Imported Data in Microsoft Excel
1. In Microsoft Excel, open the file you just created.
2. Delete any thick bars-or open squares-in the Notes column or any other column, (These are symbols for non-printing characters) If you leave these symbols in the file, they’ll cause import errors in Project. The symbols are more of an issue in Outlook 98 than in Outlook 2000, but it doesn’t hurt to check! (Think of it as a symbolic gesture.)
3. If your export includes the Priority column, use Excel’s Replace feature (Edit» Replace) to replace the word Normal with Medium to translate Outlook’s middle-priority setting into Project-speak.
4. Check the values in the Total Work and Actual Work columns against the task information in your Outlook task list. These columns map to Duration and Actual Work in Microsoft Project, In some cases, Excel imports the Outlook values and converts them to minutes, and in others, into hours, You should adjust all values to days or fractions of days before importing the file into Microsoft Project.
5. Save your file. Close Excel if you wish.
Step 3: Importing the Excel Data into Microsoft Project
1. Open the XLS file in Project. Select File > Open. Select XLS in the Files of Type list,locate your Excel spreadsheet file, and then click Open to display the Import Mapping dialog box.
2. Click the New Map button to open the Define Import/Export Map dialog box.
3. Type a name for the new map, such as Outlook Tasks From Excel, in the Import/Export Map Name text box. Select the Import Includes Headers check box, and choose Tasks in the Data to Import/Export area.
4. Click the Task Mapping tab and map the fields you want to import. You do not have to map every field on the spreadsheet, for frequently exported Outlook task fields and their corresponding Project fields. (For information on fields that aren’t included in the table.
5. When your map is complete, click OK to return to the Import Mapping dialog box, Select your map and click Open to begin importing your Outlook Tasks into Project.