Organize Business Projects in Business Contact Manager

A business project is a multi-step activity or event, such as a sales meeting, a marketing activity, or work you are completing for a customer. Your business projects may look very different from the projects the business next door works on, but all business projects include individual tasks that need to be identified, assigned, and tracked. In Business Contact Manager for Outlook, you can use Business Project records to manage all of your projects.

This article explains how to create and manage Business Projects and how to add and assign project tasks.

What do you want to do?

Create a new Business Project

Add project tasks

Assign a project to a co-worker

Manage your Business Projects

Edit a Business Project

Link communication history items to a Business Project

Create a project template

Delete a Business Project

Create a new Business Project

You can use the Business Project form to track all of the activities needed to finish a project, such as a sales meeting, seminar, or a customer project.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Ribbon, in the New group, click New Business Project.

  3. Complete the following required information:

    • On the General page, in the Project information section, in the Project name box, type a name for your project.

    • In the same section, click the Link To button and, in the Link to an Account or Business Contact dialog box, select a single Account or Business Contact.

      Note:  A Business Project record has just one primary Account or Business Contact, but you can link to other Accounts and Business Contacts involved in the Business Project, in the Related accounts and business contacts section.

  4. You can complete the rest of the form by using the General, Details, History, or User fields pages, which you access from the Show group.

    Note:  User-defined fields are only displayed if the database owner has customized the Business Project form.

  5. On the Ribbon, click Save & Close.

    Tip:  You can customize your Business Project forms to add fields that are relevant to your business, remove fields that you don't need, and move fields to emphasize the information that is most important to you. For more information, see Create and customize record types and lists.

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Create a Business Project from an Opportunity

If you want to track all of the sales activities that you need to perform to turn an Opportunity into a sale, you can create a Business Project from the Opportunity record.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Sales.

  2. On the Opportunities tab, double-click the Opportunity record you want to open.

  3. On the Ribbon, in the Business Project group, click Create Project.

  4. In the Create Business Project dialog box, accept the default selections or make changes, and then click OK.

    The Business Project record based on your Opportunity record opens.

  5. Complete the Business Project form. For more information, see the previous section in this article.

  6. On the Ribbon, click Save & Close.

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Add project tasks

A project can include one or more project tasks. For example, if your project is a sales meeting, there may be project tasks such as arranging for the meeting space, delivering refreshments, or creating, producing, and delivering presentation materials. You can add all of these to the Project tasks section of the Business Project record, and then assign each one to the project owner or other members of your team.

  1. In your open Business Project, under Project tasks information, click New.

  2. Type a name for the project task in the Subject box.

  3. Complete the project task form.

    The task is automatically linked to the Business Project record used to create the project task. You can set the due date, priority, and other details.

For more information about project tasks, see Use project tasks in Business Contact Manager.

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Assign a project to a co-worker

Business Contact Manager for Outlook stores your business data in a database. You can share that business data with co-workers so that they have the necessary information to serve your customers. You can assign a business project to anyone with whom you have shared the database.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Business Projects tab, click the Business Project record that you want to assign.

    You can also select more than one project at a time.

    How?

    To select Business Projects that are adjacent to each other, press the SHIFT key, and then click the first and last Business Projects. To select more than one nonadjacent Business Project, hold down the CTRL key, and then click the individual projects. To select all Business Projects, click one Business Project and then press CTRL+A.

  3. On the Ribbon, click Assign To, and then click the person you want to assign the project to.

    Note:  You will see co-workers in the Assign To list only if you have shared your database with them. If you don’t see a name, it is because the database is not shared with that person. For information on sharing your database, see Share your Business Contact Manager data with other users.

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Manage your Business Projects

You can track the progress of your project using sections of the General page. Of particular importance are the following sections:

  • Project overview     Includes a summary of tasks that are completed, overdue, incomplete, or important. You can also see the days remaining to the completion date that was set when the project was created.

  • Status information     In the Project Status field, select the current project status in the list, for example, Not Started or In Progress. Click Edit this list to customize the list.

  • Project Tasks     Includes a list of project tasks linked to this project. After each task is updated and saved, the latest information appears here.

    You can also assign categories to your projects to help you stay organized, just as you can assign categories to e-mail messages. For more information, see Apply categories to Business Contact Manager records.

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Edit a Business Project

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Business Projects tab, double-click the Business Project record that you want to edit.

  3. Make the changes.

  4. Click Save & Close.

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Link communication history items to a Business Project

Linking communication history items to your Business Project helps you keep all of details at your fingertips. You can link business notes, phone logs, e-mail messages, Outlook tasks and appointments, and files to your Business Projects.

In this section

Link a new communication history item

Link existing communication history items

Attach files and items to a Business Project

Link a new communication history item

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Business Projects tab, double-click the Business Project record that you want to add a history item to.

  3. On the Ribbon, in the Show group, click History.

  4. Click the New button.

  5. Click one of the following:

    • Business Note

    • Phone Log

    • Appointment

    • File

      Note:  Journal items cannot be linked to Business Projects or project tasks.

  6. Add the information for the communication history item.

    The item is automatically linked to the Business Project.

  7. On the Business Project record, click Save & Close.

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Link existing communication history items

Note:  You can link existing items to a Business Project, including e-mail messages, Outlook tasks, appointments, business notes, phone logs, and files. See the next section for information about linking business notes, phone logs, and files.

  1. In Outlook, right-click on an e-mail message, task, or appointment, and then click Link to Record.

  2. In the Item Type list, select Business Projects.

  3. In the list, select one or more Business Projects.

    You can also select more than one project at a time.

    How?

    To select Business Projects that are adjacent to each other, press the SHIFT key, and then click the first and last Business Projects. To select more than one nonadjacent Business Project, hold down the CTRL key, and then click the individual projects. To select all Business Projects, click one Business Project and then press CTRL+A.

  4. Under Linked Records, click Link To. The records you selected become listed in the Link To box.

  5. Click OK.

The selected e-mail message, task, or appointment is now linked to the selected record or records.

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Attach files and items to a Business Project

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Business Projects tab, double-click the Business Project record that you want to edit.

  3. On the Ribbon, in the Show group, click Details.

  4. Click the Insert tab.

  5. In the Include group, click the option that describes what you want to do:

    • To add a file, click Attach File, locate the file you want to insert, select it, and then click Insert.

    • To add another Outlook item such as a task or an appointment, click Outlook Item, locate the item you want to attach, select it, and then click OK.

    • To add a business card, click Business Cards, next click Other Business Cards, locate the card, and then click OK.

  6. In the Business Project record, click Save & Close.

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Create a project template

If your business has similar multi-step events or activities that you need to organize, you can create a project template to simplify setting up your Business Project record for those activities or events.

For example, your business might have a booth at several trade shows throughout the year. Many of the project tasks are the same for each show—rent a booth, arrange travel, gather materials for the show, set up the booth, tear down the booth, and follow up with new business opportunities from the show. You can create a project template with these project tasks, and then use that template to plan each trade show.

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. In the List Pane, on the Business Projects tab, select the project you want to base your project template on.

    Note:  If you base your template on another project, and it has project tasks and a project type, duration, and priority, these elements are added to your template. If you do not have any Business Project records, you can still create a project template and add the elements you need for this type of project.

  3. On the Ribbon, in the Project Templates group, click Create Template.

  4. In the Create Project Template dialog box, type a name for your project, and then click OK.

  5. In the Edit a Project Template dialog box, you can click or add any of the following to your project template:

    • Project type    Click a project type from the list, or edit the list to add another project type.

    • Project duration (days)    Type the number of days needed to complete this type of project.

    • Priority    Click a priority, or edit the list to add or change priority names.

    • Project tasks    To add tasks that this type of project requires, click New.

  6. Click OK.

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Create a Business Project from a project template

  1. In the Navigation Pane, under Business Contact Manager, click Project Management.

  2. On the Ribbon, in the Project Templates group, click Manage Project Templates.

  3. In the Manage Project Templates dialog box, select a project template from the list, and then click Create Project.

    Tip:  On the Ribbon, in the New group, you can also click the arrow on the New Business Project button, and then click Create Project From Template.

  4. In the Create Business Project dialog box, type a name for your project, and then click Link to.

  5. In the Item Type list, select the type of record that you want to link to.

  6. In the list, select an Account or Business Contact.

    Note:  You can link only one Account or Business Contact to a Business Project record in the Link to field. You can link to other Accounts and Business Contacts involved in the business project on the Business Project form, in the Related accounts and business contacts section.

  7. Under Linked Records, click Link To. The record you selected is listed in the Link To box.

  8. Click OK.

  9. In the Create a Business Project dialog box, adjust the start date, if necessary, and then click OK.

    The Business Project form opens based on the template you selected.

  10. Complete the Business Project form. For more information, see Create a new Business Project earlier in this article.

  11. On the Ribbon, click Save & Close.

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Delete a Business Project

For information about deleting records, including Business Project records, see Delete Business Contact Manager records.

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