Microsoft To-Do: Mediocrity with one killer feature

I was surprised to hear Christian Selig discussing Microsoft To-Do in episode 648. I use it daily despite its shortcomings due to its tight integration into Office 365.

The killer feature is that when flagging an email in Outlook, Microsoft To-Do provides a deep link to a specific Outlook Office 365 email - I found no other way to get a link to a particular email, since Microsoft has that locked down very tightly. Similar deep-links can be accessed for OneNote and other MSFT apps. If you are (forced to be) working in Office 365, I would recommend using To-Do. Otherwise, Reminders or other To-Do apps provide the same or even better functionality.

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Hook allows you to generate a link to a specific email in Outlook, but only in the ‘old’ Outlook, not the new look version. How long that will remain available is in Microsoft’s hands. Hopefully they’ll add automation to Outlook before forcing a change.

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Another good reason NOT to use Microsoft for anything…


Does the link take you to the email in the desktop app, or the web app? I could be wrong, but I recall that when I looked at it long ago, it would only open the link in the web app, so I deconstructed the link and wrote a Keyboard Maestro macro to get the link from the web app and paste it into Things.

Avoiding Microsoft is easier said than done. The number of MS Office 365 users jumped 21% in 2020. Now it is nearly 48% of the total office productivity software market. The majority of my users could use LibreOffice but our accounting department, executives, and anyone who dealt with outside vendors, etc. needed MSO.


Web App. At least it gets you a link :grinning:

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That means that 52% are following my philosophy on that… :wink:

Yes, Google has been gaining customers. They and MS now have 92% of the market.

Web app, but it opens in the outlook app on iOS/iPadOS

Opens in-app over here? Still the old-Outlook though — that’s presumably the difference?

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I will look at it again. All-in on Office365 at work, and since about 91% of my tasks end up teaching me via Outlook, this makes quite a big difference.

But last I checked, it wasn’t very feature-rich — here’s hoping they give it some love and attention.

How much market share does Apple have?

The report I read was about Microsoft and Google. I did just find this report that has some info on Apple Numbers.

Not sure what they are measuring, but Apple is certainly a non-entity in the Office space, esp. with larger companies. The only exception that I keep seeing is for Keynote. It’s not used in everyday life, but executive presentations at conferences, esp. if they are outsourced to Marketing agencies, are very often built in Keynote.

Keynote is definitely Apple’s crown jewel. Numbers and Pages are capable programs but business still runs on Excel. OTOH because Microsoft can’t match Google’s collaboration features it is facing some real competition for the first time in decades.

The cloud and covid have already changed the way we conduct business and, IMO, no single OS program will ever be a major player in business.

Do they also have any information on LibreOffice?

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I use Office 365 email within Spark, where I can create both app links and public web links to emails and with a keyboard shortcut save the app links to a new Reminder (my task manager) or to Trello. Moved from Apple Mail to Spark a year ago and have never looked back (although ios16 and Ventura Mail updates look interesting!)

Of course, that doesn’t help anyone who must use Outlook as their email client for work reasons.

@veit …I am stuck with (but starting to like) Outlook and Todo… What do you mean by “Flag”? When I flag an email with the flag symbol, it doesnt make a ToDo…

Can you let me know how you do this??


Unfortunately it has been pushed to March 2023… so not any time soon.

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The “Top 5 Products . . . “ report lists OpenOffice and LibreOffice as well as many other productivity apps. All are in the same less than 5% category.

I found LibreOffice/OpenOffice a good program for people that needed a basic spreadsheet. My LibreOffice and Microsoft Office users exchanged and linked to each other’s (non password protected) spreadsheets all the time. But I’ve never seen a program that can open a complex MS Word document without some errors.