How to Sync Microsoft Outlook Tasks with iPhone and get Reminders

2008/08/07 · 59 comments

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Apple conspicuously did not provide any Task Management application for the iPhone, even with the latest firmware updates. For some, the default ‘Notes’ application itself provided a simpler way to manage tasks. There was expectations of iPhone featuring a default Task Management application with the MobileMe launch. But that did not happen either. Fortunately, with the AppStore featuring plenty of native Task Management applications, the void has been filled perfectly. One specific Task Management Application which I bought was ToDo by AppiGo. Interestingly You can setup ToDo to Sync perfectly with the Microsoft Outlook too.

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First download and install the ToDo app on your iPhone through AppStore. Setup synchronization with the ToodleDo Service. Download the ToodlDo Sync Application and run it along with Microsoft Outlook. Automatically all your tasks will be synced across the iPhone, Cloud and Outlook.


Getting Task Reminders on iPhone!

Presently, Apple iPhone SDK does not provide for running background notification services. Hence by default ToDo will not be able to give Tasks reminders. But there is a simple way out!. You can automatically sync the dated Outlook tasks as a Outlook Calendar Entry using TaskToCal ($19.95). Thereon You get timely reminders of your ToDo’s!

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

rob mata August 11, 2008 at 6:09 am

perfect! Just what i was looking for. Got it to work as expected in about 15 minutes!


Scott August 18, 2008 at 10:35 am

does this work with mac mail and iCal also?


Stephen August 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm

The Toodledo Outlook plugin worked great for me, but I couldn’t get TaskToCal to set a reminder in the calendar. It synchronized the tasks to the calendar, but it didn’t set the reminder, so I’m not notified at the appropriate time.

I talked to support at TaskToCal, and they said it doesn’t set the reminder in the calendar on purpose because you would get two reminders in Outlook and that would be an annoyance.

Is this your experience too? How did you get it to work for you?


Stephen August 27, 2008 at 9:22 am

They just came out with a new version of TaskToCal that automatically sets the reminder in the calendar. So now I automatically get reminders for all my tasks in my calendar!


Vinod Ponmanadiyil August 28, 2008 at 10:30 am

Thanks for the Update, Stephen.


Dominic Walshe September 24, 2008 at 4:42 am

Unless I’m missing something, this does not work as the article implies. “Download the ToodlDo Sync Application and run it along with Microsoft Outlook.” How? I have ToDo as a stand-alone app on my iPhone. There does not appear to be any connectivity between it and ToodleDo (as it is spelled in the dialogue box that appears when you move your cursor over the icon) Sync and/or Outlook. Also, rather annoyingly, the ToodleDo Outlook Sync program dialogue box interrupts each time it seeks to retrieve information, and it created duplicate tasks when I tried to sync tasks with more than one computer. I content that this isn’t filling perfectly the iPhone task management the void. Help!


Stephen Guine October 1, 2008 at 10:55 am

I think you missed the part about ToDo Sync.


Mark October 2, 2008 at 6:53 am

This didn’t work for me, either. It synced only SOME of my tasks, and couldn’t figure out a pattern as to why it chose the ones it did. It also doesn’t handle recurring tasks. I’m still looking…


Marty Hopkins December 19, 2008 at 4:29 am

Help! I know it’s been a while since this posting, but I just got my iPhone on Monday and I’m desparate to get my tasks on it. I followed the directions about downloading the ToDo application & I did the Toodle stuff also, but when I sync I don’t get my tasks from Outlook. Thanks for any help you can give me.


Manish chauhan March 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Thanks for the update man … It was good

Keep writing such good stuff



Rachel Levy April 11, 2009 at 4:33 am

Does this work with Notes/memos too?


FliqiPhone April 29, 2009 at 1:22 am

the new missing sync for iphone, with free Fliq apps (Fliq Docs, Fliq Notes) works! I just downloaded it and the fliq apps (which dynamically support the synching) and synchronized my notes from iPhone to my mac, and transferred over wifi docs like my PDFs and Word files from the mac to my iphone so I can read them on the train to/from work. Thanks MarkSpace!


CD May 7, 2009 at 11:20 pm

This just made my life a whole lot easier.
Very good application.
I installed it on my computer and my assistant, so we can update each other on task to be completed.


Doug Monett May 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Help anyone? When I do the initial run of the Toodledo Sync Tool on my laptop, entering my Unique Id and password, the test gives ‘Authentication Failed’ everytime. Any suggestions?


Andrew Grant June 30, 2009 at 12:02 am

You have to use the Unique ID that is located in Account Settings when you log onto the Free web account


Doji June 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Another alternative is to use Google Calender with Google Calender Sync that work on most Java phones. Simple, no need to Windows/Outlook


steve June 29, 2009 at 10:30 pm

So basically you give someone else all of your email accounts, content and information and in return you get to read it on your IPhone. I don’t get where this is a good or an exciting thing


Art July 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I looked at the AppiGo website. It seems that it will only Sync with Apple computers. I have a windows computer (Vista). Someday I may get a Mac; but I don’t have one now and need to get my tasks. The comments above do not distinguish between Mac/PC; but the AppiGo website does. Is there any hope I can get my tasks from Outlook to my iPhone?


Jeff July 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm

It works for me, and rather well. Using Windows XP and Outlook 2003. Syncing with ToDo and Toodledo. No duplicates. Works great


VERNE August 20, 2009 at 5:18 am

Jeff or Anyone, I downloaded everything like before mentioned. Will it actually pull my tasks from Outlook or do I need to reenter everything into this program. If so it kind of defeats the purpose. I have XP by the way.


Jeff August 20, 2009 at 6:54 am

Todo sync runs in you tray, and it has a few options for which you can set how things sink up. I think it can be set to automatically sync on a schedule, but I just hit the manual button once a day, and todo sync will sync up outlook and toodledo in seconds. Been using this for about a month now, no duplicates or erroneous deletions, it just works. I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but I use a local outlook pst file, my tasks don’t sit on an exchange server.


Stuart Cracraft August 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm

How does this application download/upload its
tasks to the Microsoft Outlook Exchange server
via the PC client?

Does the PC client have the address of the
Exchange server?

What if it is blocked from inside the Intranet
of the company (I don’t know that we are, just
suggesting a scenario…)



Bruce October 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm


Installed this and it worked fine at first. I am getting the tasks copying themselves with the Outlook sync. I started by manually syncing then as it was due to sync another copy of the tasks appeared. Any thoughts?




Daja Phillips November 11, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Your post on how to move tasks/to-dos to the iPhone from Outlook was very helpful. Gold star for you!


Not Happy! November 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm

None of the above works for me.
I don’t want my calendar & tasks in the cloud at all.
I just want to sync Outlook tasks on a Windows PC direct with iPhone via USB cable.
Surely that is not too much to ask.
This has been a dead simple proedure on Nokia and Windows Mobile phones for years.
Has Apple been living under a rock?


Stuart Cracraft November 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm

It’s the rest of the world that’s been living under
the rock except for the Tasks/Todo/Notebook area
of Apple which is under not just a rock but a boulder,
perhaps a moutain. While 3rd party apps exist,
Apple never provided it, in going with their “home
style computer” approach which has held them back
from business acceptance for their MacBook and iPhone,
both immensely superior devices to non-Apple equivalents
on average.


Iphone user frustrated March 17, 2010 at 7:31 am

Hi Not Happy !

Same as you, I was expected simple outlook task sync by USB cable (same as my palm or nokia phone) Since I already got cell cervice provide by my cie, I do not want pay for data service as a extra. If you found a way to do this sync between outlook task and iphone, let me know…. I will probably resell my iphone to get a blackberry … to bad ..


neal November 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Hi Stuart,

did you figure out microsoft exchange server? I have no idea as to sync the iphone its asking for ports and IP addresses.

Is it right that everyone else is syncing to their own PCs rather than a push mail type thing??

any help is much appreciated


zig November 27, 2009 at 7:32 am

Sorry I don’t have access to MS Exchange server, so cant help you with that.

The point I was trying to make was that I want to sync tasks direct to Outlook on my PC via USB to avoid paying exhorbitant data charges to my mobile carrier.
It seems Steve Jobs & Co have decided we have no choice but to line the pockets of the Telcos.


Stuart Cracraft July 4, 2010 at 3:13 am

Yes – for a time I used the iPhone, successfully, with the Microsoft Exchange Server at the office.

It was a good productivity-enhancer and was worthwhile.

Later, the company disconnected the MES for non-Blackberry devices…

You know the story…


Stuart Cracraft November 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

My company disconnected its servers for all
but Blackberry devices (which I wouldn’t own.)

So, as a result, I’m now used to be giving a lower level of service
as to prior.


RG December 21, 2009 at 4:00 pm

It really bothers me that there is not a single app that solves this matter.
I live on these tasks, they are a life saver for those who are Outlook depended and dont use exchange either.



Aimee July 29, 2010 at 2:42 am

Hey, RG: Did you find a solution yet? if so, please let me know — I live by tasks, too…..I carry a Blackberry and iPhone now…..which is just ridiculous!


JU January 4, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I love most things with the iphone, but missing a working task manager with good sync to outlook/exchange is so serious that im gonna give it to one of my kids and find another mobile phone.

USB connection to sync would be fine.
Too bad really


Zig January 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

Like Ju, I will probably give my iPhone to one of the kids too.
Repeating tasks doesn’t work. They either disappear altogether or duplicate themselves.
Looking at the HTC Touch HD2 which is supposed to be released here on 18th January.


Jeff January 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I’ve had better success w/ keeping my tasks updated w/ the iPhone than with my former windows mobile device. I can enter tasks via Outlook, iphone, or web interface and it all syncs seamlessly. I can even add to my wife’s task list which syncs up to her iPhone. I’ve had no issues using the methods described above, and since it syncs via the cloud I no longer have to fight the USB/bluetooth connection issues I always seemed to have w/ windows mobile.

Toodledo for tasks
Mobilenoter for notes (syncs w/ microsoft Onenote on the pc)
Pocket Informant for the calendar

With these apps, I can keep track of practically everything I need w/ the iPhone.


Terry February 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Jeff; are you using the free or paid Toodledo service? I just purchased PI and not happy that the WDS is not working… Can you outine your process for syncing between Outlook and iPhone for us.



Jeff February 10, 2010 at 3:21 am

Here’s what works for me (and why I run it this way).

I use the ToodleDo sync (Version tool listed above along with the free toodledo service, but paid the few $ for the iPhone app. Although Pocket informant has a task manager as well, I prefer the toodledo app. I’ve also setup a launchy script for adding tasks to toodledo using command line interface via my laptop. As for setting this up, I didn’t do anything special. I’m running XP sp2, Outlook 2003 SP3. My calendar/tasks/emails are stored on a Personal Folders file, locally on the pc. I simply installed the toodledosync tool, and run the manual sync once/day. On the “synchronization” tab, everything is enabled except auto sync and ignore existing completed tasks.

There are actually new versions of the tool that apparently fix some of the issues mentioned here, I just haven’t upgraded because I haven’t had any problems w/ it (don’t fix what isn’t broken).
I would see the help page if you’re having problems:

My work calendar is in Outlook, but I have multiple personal calendars that are in Google calendar. Since Outlook 2003 doesn’t support multiple calendars as well as 2007, I use SyncMyCal (outlook plugin) to sync multiple google calendars into “categories” in outlook. That way, my entire calendar (work + personal) is in outlook and google calendar, but I can filter based upon the Outlook categories when I only want to see certain calendars only. If categories weren’t so important, then Google has a sync tool that will bring outlook and gcal together.

Now that the entire calendar is in gcal, regardless of what tool used to get it there, then it’s simple enough to set up pocket informant to sync up w/ gcal. Sounds like alot of steps, but once it is setup it’s seamless. I have complete access to all of my calendars via iPhone, gcal, and Outlook, plus my wife and I can see/edit each others calendar (gcal and iPhone).

Onenote on the PC (much preferred over evernote) and Mobilenoter on the iPhone, syncing thru cloud (wi-fi available as well).


Philip January 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm

I get duplicate tasks constantly.


Marit February 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Can anyone tell me, by using task to call, if the tasks are shown in a seperate agenda or in the same agenda as your appointments?


Thomas Wetzel May 15, 2011 at 6:35 pm

The Tasks are shown as appointment in the same agenda as your appointments. You can add a prefix to your tasks if you want.


Josep March 18, 2010 at 1:15 am

After 1 month and a half of Iphone, I’m fed up. It’s not an smartphone. For those who came from Nokia it’s just like a step back. It’s amazing that we can’t syncronize the tasks. Incredible… unbelieveable, which solution do they give us? Even I would accept to change Outlook for another program, but they just have let us abandoned. Not funny.


Zig March 19, 2010 at 7:14 am

I agree Josep.
The iPhone is only a pretend smartphone. An Ipod trying to be a smartphone and failing miserably.
For business productivity my old Nokia was light years ahead of iPhone.
Since my previous post I have given up on the HTC HD2 as they only have one warranty repairer in this country and forums indicate this is a major problem.
I’m now looking at getting a Nokia N900 Maemo.


Lee December 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I agree…I like the iPhone overall, but this feels like banging my head against a wall… Just want to sync with Outlook tasks via USB. Should be the simplest thing in the world…Windows Mobile and I’m pretty sure Android can do it easily with no hassle or the need to buy 50 additional apps. WHY?


Stuart Cracraft March 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

Zig – I disagree with you.

The iPhone is a significant device.

If you lived in Orange County, California,
I would give you a personal demo.

Have you ever been given a demo by someone?
(not a salesman mind-you.)



pierre van der deure July 3, 2010 at 12:27 am

just purchased Iphone 4 and discovered that it still does not feature native task mgt within the sync with Outlook. Still have to use data connection for non resident task mgt apps which is rather expensive when abroad. this is incredible ! is Apple listening to customers since the first Iphone went out or are they autists ? I’m gonna sell it back and keep my Blackberry Storm. really pissed off…


CoffeeGuru July 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Another solution worth checking out is SYNCING.NET ( You can sync Outlook features, including tasks, through the MobileMe platform.


Dave August 11, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I am looking for an iphone app that enables me to sync to my corporate TASKS in Outlook (mail,calendar work as part of iphone functionality).
I have tried a few apps but there seem to be issues – possibly blocked by firewal ?
Does htis app overcome aby firewall issues ?


Chris August 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

For tasks in Exchange (Outlook), I like the iPhone app called IMExchange:

It’s $7-8, but worth it to have task sync with Microsoft Exchange.



Nate August 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thanks for the link Chris. This was exactly what i was looking for.


George December 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I use Pocket Informant for Tasks in iPhone, needs WebIs for about $6 to be installed on PC to then allow sync with Outlook via WiFi (no need for cloud). Works well, has task notifications & handles recurring tasks.
PI also has Calendar appointments but I turn off the internal PI calendar and let it use the iOS calendar which then gets synced normally via iTunes (if you leave both PI & iOS calendars on then you get duplicate appointments displayed). I like the PI week (7 day) view, instead of the iOS day or month view.
Have discovered minor bugs which they fix as they are reported.


Casey March 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

George – I too am using PI, but I am in a corporate environment. Are you in a corporate environment? If so, how do you sync via Wi-Fi?


Franl March 11, 2011 at 3:27 am

Does this have the “postpone reminder 5…10..15 minutes…1 hour” feature?


Uri April 22, 2011 at 12:42 am

I am looking to synch notes and tasks from different outlook pst files and I do not want to use the cloud. Do you konw a product that can do this?


Evelina May 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

It’s useful information, but I am also using ,,Plan” app and I don’t want anything else:) It solves all my planning and forgetting everything problems. easy and quick to use.


Peter May 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm

As Uri, I do not want to use the cloud/any web-page service to sync my calendar and tasks.

Is there anyway to sync the Outlook calendar and tasks with iPhone just using the connector cable that came with iPhone? (As has been possible with some of the competitors’ phones already for years.)


WM6.1-Lover June 6, 2011 at 4:20 am

@Peter “Is there anyway to sync the Outlook calendar and tasks with iPhone just using the connector cable that came with iPhone?”

You can sync the Outlook Calendar to the iPhone through iTunes – but still no tasks…

I want a simple USB-Sync and not to give my data to the Internet…


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