outlook 2013 task reminders vs. outlook.com task reminders

Status
Not open for further replies.
I’ve been noticing weird behavior with Outlook 2013 task reminders using a Hotmail activesync account. There are also many threads on answers.microsoft.com about it. So I did an experiment. I have three instances of outlook 2013 running:

1. Surface RT 8.1 (aka “surface”)

2. Windows 7 Home Premium (aka “laptop”)

3. Windows 8 Enterprise (aka “work”)

The Hotmail account is not the default account on any of those instances, but the Hotmail data file is the default on the Surface and the Laptop. (at Work, an exchange account is the default, and the default data file).

I also have two android devices using Activesync. On my Galaxy S 3, the built-in calendar “supports” tasks, but on my HP Touchpad running ICS, it does not. So I have used a free app on google play called “Tasks and notes for exchange” that syncs tasks from an activesync account. So that gives us three more activesync clients, although I am much more concerned about outlook than the activesync clients. I only include them for context. And, well, because I use them.

1. Built-in android calendar on phone (aka ‘android calendar’)

2. Task app on phone (aka “Phone tasks app”)

3. Tasks app on touchpad (aka “touchpad tasks app”)

My experiment was to create a task with a due date and a reminder in each instance of outlook and on each activesync client. That’s six tasks, six reminders. The due date is required because reminders aren’t synced to hotmail without them. The tasks were all due 11/1, and I spread the reminders out over the morning of 11/1. The tasks synced as expected to all six clients, and I verified the reminder time synced with them.

1. ‘test outlook task work’ 9 am

2. ‘test outlook task laptop’ 9.30am

3. ‘test Android calendar task’ 10.21 am

4. ‘Test phone tasks app task’ 10.30am

5. ‘Test touchpad tasks app task’ 11.00am

6. ‘test outlook task surface’ 11.30am
 
a few notes:

-I made sure all the tasks were synced, with reminders intact, prior to 9am (i actually created them all the night before). i also looked at each task on http://calendar.live.com, to see if the reminders looked any different depending on the method of their creation. they did not.


-I believe the notifications on the built-in android calendar have their own issues separate from Hotmail/outlook, specifically if multiple notifications need to be shown. so we’ll take the android calendar results with a grain of salt. I marked the flakiness with "side notes" in the results. however the 'Tasks and Notes app' was 100% consistent in its results across the phone and the tablet.

-I read an old MS article about Hotmail reminders not appearing in outlook (2002 or 2003) if the Hotmail account was not the default account. But I thought that had long been fixed, so to test it I created an appointment in my Work outlook. The reminder for the appointment appeared on all devices. So my issue is only with tasks.

-There is an Appointments field available but hidden by default in the tasks view called “remind beforehand.” On each task created in outlook, that value was 0 in the instance of outlook where it was created. This value did not replicate to other instances of outlook (as an example, ‘test outlook task surface’ had 0 in Remind Beforehandc column on the Surface, but the column was empty on the Laptop and Work machines.)

to summarize the results:

-no task reminder created in outlook fired on any instance of outlook other than the one where it was created.
-no task reminder created in the android calendar, the phone 'tasks and notes' app, or the touchpad 'tasks and notes' app fired on any instance of outlook.

-All task reminders, no matter where they were created, fired correctly in the “tasks and notes” app on both the phone and the touchpad.
 
detailed results (feel free to skip ahead):

9.00 am
reminder for ‘test outlook task work’ appeared on Work outlook, phone Tasks app, Touchpad Tasks app
reminder did not appear on android calendar or any other outlook


9.30am
reminder for ‘test outlook task laptop’ appeared on Laptop outlook, phone Tasks app, touchpad tasks app
reminder did not appear on android calendar or any other outlook


10.21am
reminder for “test android calendar task’ appeared on android calendar, phone tasks app, touchpad tasks app
reminder did not appear in an instance of outlook
(side note: when I opened Android Calendar notification for 'test android calendar task,' I saw a list of all three reminders so far with an option to snooze/dismiss any or all of them)


10.30am
reminder for ‘test phone tasks app task’ appeared in android calendar, phone tasks app, touchpad tasks app
reminder did not appear in an instance of outlook
(side note: when I opened Android Calendar notification for 'test phone tasks app,' I saw a list of all four reminders so far with an option to snooze/dismiss any or all of them)


11.00am
reminder for ‘test touchpad tasks app’ appeared in phone tasks app, touchpad tasks app
reminder did not appear in android calendar or any instance of outlook.


11.30am
reminder for ‘test outlook task surface’ appeared on surface outlook, phone tasks app, touchpad tasks app
reminder did not appear in android calendar or any other instance of outlook.
 
So, as an example, even though I could see “test outlook task work” in my Surface outlook and my Laptop outlook, WITH the reminder configured, the reminder did not trigger on either device. it only triggered on the work pc where it was created. I thought this might have something to do with the 0, or lack of 0, in the ‘remind beforehand’ column, but further tests, manually changing that value to 0 before the reminder time, did not change any of the reminder behavior.

So then I’m wondering, as a Microsoft tech would, is it the tasks app or android calendar to blame for this? Are they corrupting the tasks? I don’t think so, but it is a wildcard MS might love to blame. I put the situation on a shelf, went to lunch, and moved on to other things.

Then I went home.

at 5pm, on the home laptop, *FIVE REMINDERS* showed up. The only one that did not show up was the 'test android calendar task', but I thought maybe I’d deleted it, and as I mentioned, the calendar app was flaky anyway. Apparently when I set a task due on 11/1 in outlook, it is actually due at 5pm on 11/1, and that’s when the reminders fire elsewhere, even if those reminders are scheduled for specific other times. I opened my surface, and all five reminders were there. I remoted in to my Work PC, and all five reminders were there.

At this point I ran into a situation I've seen before. I thought it had gone away, but clearly had not. I guess it only takes place after the ‘due date’ of the task. If I dismiss those reminders on one of the outlooks, then dismiss them on a second outlook, they all come back on the first outlook. Same with the third outlook. It is impossible to get the reminder notification to go away everywhere, because dismissing them in one outlook seems to ‘un-dismiss’ them in another outlook. The only solution is to delete the task (which I don’t want to do) or forcibly remove the reminder. And by “forcibly,” I mean, simply unchecking the ‘reminder’ box on the task doesn’t cut it: the reminder remains on the task on calendar.live.com. I have to go into the date/time field of the reminder, delete it, click outside the field so the value becomes ‘none’ and the ‘reminder’ checkbox becomes unchecked, and save the task. Only then is the reminder removed from the task on calendar.live.com (and thus removed from the other clients syncing to the account).
 
Then on the morning of 11/2. I woke up and noticed that the android calendar reminder had now shown up in all instances of outlook. Apparently when I set a task due on 11/1 in the android calendar, it’s really due 11/2 at 1am, and that’s when the reminder fires in outlook even if it’s scheduled for a specific other time.

Here’s a screenshot of my Laptop reminder pop-up as of 2.55pm on 11.2.

FileDownloadHandler.ashx


I have the android task highlighted, and notice it says “1am Saturday November 2” at the top. All the other tasks say ‘5pm Friday November 1’ if I highlight them. And again, if I click the ‘dismiss all’ in that screenshot, then all six reminders will pop back up on my Work computer and Surface.

- - - Updated - - -

I would love it if I could create a reminder for myself while I’m away from Work and have it pop-up for me in my Work outlook. seems like a simple request. I trusted this would happen, since I saw my tasks syncing with the reminders (appearing to be) intact. But this past week I missed something pretty important because this did not work as I expected. I had created the reminder on my phone a couple of weeks ago for 8 am on 10/31, but did not see the reminder for it until it fired on all devices at 5pm. At the time I had the “tasks and notes” app notifications turned off on my phone because I expected the built-in android calendar to notify me. It didn’t, and neither did the Outlook on my work pc which I was sitting at all day from 8-5, and neither did the outlook on my Surface I had sitting in my cube all day with me.

I don’t know if this is a bug, or if Hotmail/outlook.com tasks are not meant to be used with outlook 2013 (is that documented somewhere?). I suppose my workaround could be to schedule all my “due dates” a day prior to when they are actually due, and then ‘snooze’ my way to the actual time I want to be reminded. For now I have turned the notifications back on for the “tasks and notes for exchange" app on my phone, since that app somehow knows how to fire reminders I scheduled in outlook better than outlook knows how to fire reminders I scheduled in outlook.

and that's why I chose to put this in the office/Outlook category instead of the Outlook.com/skydrive category: because a free third party android app is capable of using Hotmail/outlook.com to sync *and trigger* reminders between devices via activesync with 100% reliability. which makes me think the problem lies within outlook 2013.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
-I read an old MS article about Hotmail reminders not appearing in outlook (2002 or 2003) if the Hotmail account was not the default account. But I thought that had long been fixed, so to test it I created an appointment in my Work outlook. The reminder for the appointment appeared on all devices. So my issue is only with tasks.

This does not apply to Outlook anymore - i think it was outlook 2007 that introduced reminders in all folders, if not 2007, then 2010. In any event, current versions fire reminders from any folder.

to summarize the results:

-no task reminder created in outlook fired on any instance of outlook other than the one where it was created.
-no task reminder created in the android calendar, the phone 'tasks and notes' app, or the touchpad 'tasks and notes' app fired on any instance of outlook.

-All task reminders, no matter where they were created, fired correctly in the “tasks and notes” app on both the phone and the touchpad.

Reminder times should sync up to the server and sync down to other computers, but the times are weird. An 8 am reminder in outlook translates to 8 hours before in outlook.com. I'll have to double check how it syncs to the other computer. I'm not sure how it works on the android devices, it depends on the app, not outlook.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
at 5pm, on the home laptop, *FIVE REMINDERS* showed up. The only one that did not show up was the 'test android calendar task', but I thought maybe I’d deleted it, and as I mentioned, the calendar app was flaky anyway. Apparently when I set a task due on 11/1 in outlook, it is actually due at 5pm on 11/1, and that’s when the reminders fire elsewhere, even if those reminders are scheduled for specific other times. I opened my surface, and all five reminders were there. I remoted in to my Work PC, and all five reminders were there.

Tasks are due at the end of the workday, they are not set for a specific time, like appointments are. The reminder can be set for a specific time, and that is when it should fire in outlook and on the devices. When you sync tasks, the reminders should either be the reminder time set in the reminder or the default reminder time set on the device - ie, if outlook sets reminders at 8 am, when you sync they should be set for 8 am. if outlook is set to not set a reminder by default, then no reminder is set when you sync.

It is impossible to get the reminder notification to go away everywhere, because dismissing them in one outlook seems to ‘un-dismiss’ them in another outlook.

Reminders are toggled off and on and it may be a limitation of outlook.com or the task app - its not how it works with exchange accounts on outlook and windows phones (I'd really like it to just dismiss it on the phone, not in outlook).
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I don’t know if this is a bug, or if Hotmail/outlook.com tasks are not meant to be used with outlook 2013 (is that documented somewhere?).

Outlook 2013 is the only version that syncs tasks, so yes, they should work. The problem is syncing with multiple devices and each handles tasks and their reminders differently. Because of this, if you need reminded of something at a specific time, an appointment would be better. Appointments can be set to fire at a specific time, and you can use it to set aside time to complete the task.
 

Bakistax

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Personally I use Beesy, an all-in-one app for productivity, to syncs my to-dos with Outlook tasks and t always worked perfectly.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
santheocles Issue in Outlook 2013 - cannot reschedule single task Using Outlook 0
S Outlook 2013 To Do Task does not minimize. Using Outlook 0
F Combine Outlook Task Folders into one View (Outlook 2013) Using Outlook 3
K Starting Outlook 2013 x64 minimized in Win 8 with or without Task manager Using Outlook 5
P Outlook 2013 search no longer works Using Outlook 0
K Closing external IMAP email... Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 0
P Outlook 2013 Calendar Archiving Using Outlook 0
T Compuserve, Yahoo, Oath2 and Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 4
Paula S. Outlook 2013 won't recognize new password Using Outlook 4
B Outlook 2013 erratically deleting original file that is attached Using Outlook 0
X Using Outlook 2013 and Outlook 365 Using Outlook 1
I Error saving screenshots in a custom form in outlook 2016, outlook 365 - ok in outlook 2013, outlook 2010 Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 5
J Outlook 2013 Change color of text in data fields of contacts in Outlook 2013? Using Outlook 10
Commodore Outlook (2013) issues with icloud.com mail Using Outlook 0
D iCloud Add-in not working in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 After Windows Upgrade & iCloud Upgrade Using Outlook 2
P Outlook 2013 "Item could not be moved - still an issue for Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 0
M Creating an RSS Feed **FROM** Outlook 2013 Calendar. Using Outlook 5
D Outlook 2013 Yahoo IMAP Sync problems Using Outlook 1
iwshim outlook 2013 - I cannot see the "Manage Add-ins" Using Outlook 2
B Outlook 2013/Exchange 2013 - Conf Rooms not fully booking "resolved conflict" meetings Using Outlook 3
G Can't create Folder Groups in Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 0
A Run time error 424. object required in outlook 2013 Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 10
Rupert Dragwater Several questions regarding Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 9
P Outlook 2013 opens with FILE tab selected. Using Outlook 3
I How to display sender's name instead of email address in outlook 2013 message Using Outlook 5
Z Outlook 2013 Gmail IMPA emails not showing dates only showing times Using Outlook 1
B Forward every other email in Outlook 2013 Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 2
P Synching Outlook 2013 Notes with iPhone 8 Using Outlook 1
N Outlook 2013 Folder View Using Outlook 8
M Outlook 2013 fails to start -- missing WindowsCodecs.dll error Using Outlook 3
David Michaels Contact card shows blank Outlook 2013 Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 0
J Calendar data can be viewed on Outlook.com, but no longer syncs to Outlook 2013 Using Outlook.com accounts in Outlook 3
C Attached files on Outlook 2010 Sp1 & Exc 2013 are missing Exchange Server Administration 1
R Folders shifting around in Outlook 2013 and 2016 Using Outlook 3
P Sync Desktop Outlook 2013 with Outlook.com? Using Outlook.com accounts in Outlook 5
J Outlook 2013 when clicking To in a new email show Company names Using Outlook 0
J Outlook - 2013 - Error msg when copying folders from Online Archives to another user's mailbox Using Outlook 0
D Outlook 2013 changing iCloud reminder time? Using Outlook 0
M OUTLOOK 2013 CONTACT PROPERTIES Using Outlook 0
J Object Variable or With Block Not Set Error in Outlook 2016 and not Outlook 2013 Outlook VBA and Custom Forms 3
P Outlook 2013 puts replies in Outbox Using Outlook 1
P Contacts gone missing in Outlook 2013 POP Using Outlook 4
M Outlook 2013 Using Outlook 1
P MS OUTLOOK 2013 - Adding Sender on the CC line Using Outlook 5
P MS OFFICE 2013 - Outlook locking up when using the sent on behalf of feature in VB Using Outlook 3
I Outlook 2010, 2013 will not open .msg or .eml files Using Outlook.com accounts in Outlook 1
Jeff Davis Help fix my Outlook 2013? Using Outlook 28
J Outlook 2013 hanging for unknown reason Using Outlook 1
O Outlook 2013 Problems sending large mails Using Outlook 4
K Rebuilding Outlook 2013 from Outlook.com after OS rebuild Using Outlook.com accounts in Outlook 2

Similar threads

Top