ResultsManager deals with more information than is normally transferred to Outlook using MindManager's synchronisation. ResultsManager uses some special techniques to make as much information as possible available to Outlook.


First, MindManager does not pass any Owner information across to Outlook. Outlook's "task owners" are taken from its Contacts list. By contrast, the Owners that MindManager & ResultsManager use are just text names. Currently, these text names are not sent to Outlook nor reconciled with names in Outlook's Contact list. Using ResultsManager to synchronise dashboard maps with Outlook can partially help with this, because ResultsManager's dashboards can be configured to contain only tasks that belong to a certain person. So if you synchronise a normal project map directly with Outlook, it will post all tasks, including any assigned to other people, into your Task List in Outlook. But if you synchronise via a ResultsManager Dashboard map, then only tasks that belong to you will be posted to your Outlook Task list.


Second, if you enable the ResultsManager option for storing Contexts and Areas in the Categories, then ResultsManager will make further information available to Outlook. It does this in two ways: by storing information in the Categories field, and by adding extra information in the Categories field when creating dashboards for synchronisation with Outlook.


The Context (location) and Area (if defined) will be stored visibly in the Categories field, so that this gets synchronised with Outlook and can be used to view tasks by these properties. Contexts are always prefixed with the at-sign (@), and Areas are prefixed with a caret (^). This allows ResultsManager to distinguish between contexts, areas and regular categories. For example, suppose you create an Activity using ResultsManager, and assign the "phone" Context to the activity:


An activity using the "Phone" context


When this topic is stored in the map, this context is stored in the Categories field (visible in the Task Info task pane):


Context stored in the Categories field, marked with "@"


When this activity appears in a Dashboard and is synchronised with Outlook, the Context appears as a category that can be used to sort and display tasks in Outlook:


Context appears as a @Category in Outlook


The same mechanism also lets you sort tasks by Area in Outlook. Areas assigned in ResultsManager will appear as Outlook categories. For example, if you used an area called "Productivity improvements" in your ResultsManager maps, then you would be able to sort tasks by a category named "^Productivity improvements" in Outlook.


You can create new Contexts and Areas in Outlook by prefixing them with "@" and "^". So if you assign a new Category "@Monthly Meeting" in Outlook, then when you synchronise a dashboard map and send the changes back to the project maps, you will create a new context called "Monthly Meeting" that can be used on other activities too.


Third, ResultsManager also dynamically creates Parent Activity information to help you identify tasks in Outlook. Suppose you had a project with one telephone call:


A project with one action


When a Dashboard map is generated, ResultsManager normally shows the "parent project" as a Callout above the Next Action item:


ResultsManager displays the Parent Project in a Callout        


But if this is an Outlook Synchronisation Dashboard, ResultsManager also shows this parent activity as a special Category (prefixed with the tilde character "~"), which then appears in Outlook:


Parent Project name also appears as a ~Category in Outlook


Note that this information is not read back by ResultsManager when it synchronises dashboards. You cannot change or assign the project membership of a task in Outlook by changing this category. The parent project name always comes from the original project map.