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Create Notes or To-Do's in Apple Mail

Keep Reminders of Appointments and Tasks a Click or Two Away

By Tom Nelson and Mary F. O'Connor

Keep Reminders of Appointments and Tasks a Click or Two Away

To change a note into a to-do item, click the To Do icon at the top of the note window.

Screen shot courtesy Coyote Moon, Inc.

If there's one thing most of us don't need, it's another to-do list. But there's no question that to-do lists come in handy; they also free us from worrying about remembering appointments, tasks, or what have you.

You can use Apple Mail to create notes or to-do's for important items (or trivial items, for that matter). The notes and to-do's you create will be viewable under the Reminders section on the left side of the Mail viewer window.

You can attach a file to a note, if appropriate. You can turn a note into a to-do item by adding a due date, an alarm, and a priority ranking; you can also add it to iCal. You can even email a note to yourself (or someone else); perhaps you want to send a reminder to your home email address from work, or vice versa.

Create a Note in Mail

  1. In the Mail viewer window, click the Note icon in the Mail toolbar.

  2. In the New Note window that opens, enter the text of your choice. Click the Fonts icon or the Colors icon if you want to jazz up your note with fancy fonts or bright colors.

  3. If you want to email the note, click the Send icon.

  4. Enter an email address in the To field, and click Send. Mail will send a copy of the note to the designated recipient, and retain the original version of the note under Notes, in the Reminders section of the Mail viewer window.

  5. If you want to attach a file to the note, click the Attach icon. Locate the file on your hard drive, and click Choose File.

  6. To turn a note into a to-do item, click the To Do icon.

  7. Click the red arrow icon that appears to access To Do options.

  8. To assign a due date, place a check mark next to Due Date, and enter the appropriate date.

  9. To add an alarm, click the Alarm icon, and enter a date and time. Click the Message pop-up menu to select a message, a message with sound, an email, or open a file as the alarm.

  10. To assign a priority to the note, place a check mark next to Priority and select Low, Medium, or High from the pop-up menu.

  11. To add the note to iCal, select the appropriate calendar or the To Do entry in the iCal pop-up menu.

  12. When you're finished, click the Done icon or click the red close button to close the window.

The Note will now appear under the Reminders section in the left side of the Mail viewer window.

Create a To Do in Mail

  1. In the Mail viewer window, click the To Do icon in the Mail toolbar. A new entry will appear in the To Do window.

  2. Enter a name for the to-do item in the Title field. Press the tab key to advance to the Date Due field.

  3. Click the Date Due field to enter a date. Press the tab key to advance to the Priority field.

  4. Click the up/down arrows in the Priority field to change the priority to low, medium, or high, or accept the default priority of none. Press the tab key to advance to the Calendar field.

  5. If you have multiple calendars in iCal (such as Work and Home), click the up/down arrows in the Calendar field to select the correct calendar, or accept the default, which will be the same calendar you chose when you last set up a to-do item (unless, of course, this is the first time you've set up a to-do item).

  6. If you want to set an alarm, tab to advance to the Alarm field. Click the plus (+) sign next to the word Alarm to add an alarm.

  7. Click the double arrows next to the word Message to select a type of alarm (Message, Message With Sound, Email, Open File). If you select Open File, iCal will now be listed in this menu. If you want to open something other than iCal, click the double arrows next to the word iCal, select Other, and then locate the target application on your Mac.

  8. Click the next set of double arrows to select a day for the alarm (the same day, the day before, days before, days after).

  9. Click in the Time field to set a time for the alarm (hour, minute, AM or PM).

  10. If you want to add another alarm, click the plus (+) icon next to the word alarm and repeat the previous step.

  11. When you're finished, click outside the pop-up menu to close it. The to-do item will be added to iCal.

Edit or Delete a Note in Mail

  1. To edit a note, double-click the note to open it. Make the desired changes, and then close the note.

  2. To delete a note, click once on the note to select it, and then click the Delete icon in the Mail toolbar.

Edit or Delete a To Do in Mail

  1. To edit a to-do, right-click on the to-do item and select Edit To Do from the pop-up menu. Make the appropriate changes from the To Do Options pop-up window, and then close the window.

  2. To delete a to-do, right-click on the to-do item and select Delete from the pop-up menu, or click once on the to-do item to select it, and then click the Delete icon in the Mail toolbar.
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