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SharePoint 2010 cheat sheet

By Jonathan Hassell
December 11, 2012 06:00 AM ET
SharePoint and Outlook calendars side-by-side
How SharePoint and Outlook calendars look together when the import process is completed.
Click to view larger image.

Of particular interest here is the fact that these calendars are now linked between Outlook and SharePoint. If another member of your team updates the Web version of the SharePoint calendar, those changes will migrate directly down to the Outlook display of that calendar.

If you adjust a date or otherwise make a change to the linked SharePoint calendar from within Outlook, that change will migrate back up to SharePoint automatically and likewise go back down into any other users' individual Outlook clients if they have chosen to link the calendar as well. It is all seamlessly synchronized.

Synchronizing task lists from SharePoint into Outlook

Your project team might also store lists of tasks within a SharePoint site. This is particularly interesting in a scenario where other users of SharePoint directly assign tasks to you within the user interface. If you do not have SharePoint alerts set up to notify you of new activities on your site, and you fail to check the website often enough to keep updated and fresh on new developments, then you might miss a deadline or not complete a task the right way.

Syncing task lists from SharePoint into Outlook
You can use Outlook as a single place to collect information about all your SharePoint tasks.
Click to view larger image.

By synchronizing tasks between SharePoint and Outlook, you can use Outlook as a single place to collect all of the information on whatever tasks you have on your plate.

  1. Open the SharePoint task list in your Web browser. Again, Internet Explorer works best in these scenarios.
  2. In the List Tools Ribbon group, click the List tab, and then click Connect to Outlook from within the Connect & Export subgroup.
  3. You'll get an Internet Explorer security warning. Click Allow here to let the process work.
  4. Outlook will then open, if it's not already, and present a dialog box asking you if you are sure that you want to open that SharePoint task list within Outlook. Click Yes.
  5. Outlook will display the SharePoint task list in the left pane under the Other Tasks heading if you have selected the Tasks view. Click the check box beside the listing to make sure it is displayed in the right pane.

The two-way synchronization for tasks works exactly the same way as it does for calendars -- changes in one place automatically make their way to other linked places with no muss and no fuss.

Sharing Outlook contact details with SharePoint

Your team might also store important contact details and information in a SharePoint site. You can synchronize this to Outlook in the same way as you can with calendars and task lists.

  1. Open the SharePoint contact list in your Web browser. You probably know by now that Internet Explorer works best for these synchronization activities.
  2. In the List Tools Ribbon group, click the List tab, and then click Connect to Outlook from within the Connect & Export subgroup.
  3. You'll get an Internet Explorer security warning. Click Allow here to continue.
  4. Outlook will then open, if it's not already, and present a dialog box asking you if you are sure that you want to open that SharePoint contact list within Outlook. Click Yes.
  5. Outlook will display the SharePoint contact list in the left pane under the Other Contacts heading if you have selected the Contacts view. Click the check box beside the listing to make sure it is displayed in the right pane.

Now for a bit of a technicality: SharePoint stores contacts in its database a little bit differently than does Outlook. Some of the fields are named differently. This could affect how your mail merges perform, for example, if you're trying to blast out a piece of email or snail mail to a group of contacts that is represented within Outlook but linked from SharePoint. Luckily, the differences are minor, but they still exist nonetheless. (See chart, below.)

Outlook vs. SharePoint field names

                                      
Outlook field name SharePoint field name
Last NameLast Name
First NameFirst Name
Full NameFull Name
E-mailE-mail Address
CompanyCompany
Job TitleJob Title
BusinessBusiness Phone
HomeHome Phone
MobileMobile Phone
Business FaxFax Number
Business AddressAddress
Business CityCity
Business State/ProvinceState/Province
Business Zip/PostalZip/Postal code
Business CountryCountry/Region
Web PageWeb Page
NotesNotes
Source: Microsoft

Next: 5 tips for working with SharePoint 2010.

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures LLC, a consulting firm based out of Charlotte, N.C. He's also an editor with Apress Media LLC. Reach him at jhassell@gmail.com.

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