Microsoft Project Task Lists: 3 Easy Tricks

Hey there, fellow project planners! Today, I’m excited to share a couple of tips with you on how to create your Microsoft Project Task Lists. We all know that this part of the process might seem a bit daunting, but fear not – I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve that will simplify things and make your life a whole lot easier. So, let’s dive right in! If you would rather watch the YouTube video on this subject, click here or click the thumbnail below.

microsoft project create tasks lists

Inserting a New Task

You’re knee-deep into your task planning when suddenly, it hits you – there’s a task missing from the lineup. No worries, this happens all the time. Here’s a nifty trick to seamlessly insert a new task exactly where it belongs.

  1. Highlight and Select: Select the task name in the task row where you want to insert your new task.
  2. Press the Insert Key: Now, take a look at your keyboard. Spot the “Insert” key? That’s your golden ticket. Press the “Insert” key. Microsoft Project will automatically insert a new blank task row at the selected location.
  3. Type Away: Type the name of your new task and press the “Enter” key.

Deleting Unwanted Tasks

Okay, so sometimes plans change, and certain tasks end up on the cutting room floor. No biggie! Let’s breeze through the process of deleting tasks that no longer have a place in your project.

  1. Right-Click Technique: Locate the task you want to delete. Right-click anywhere in that task row.
  2. Select “Delete Task”: A handy shortcut menu pops up. Look for the “Delete Task” option and give it a click.
  3. Task Begone: Like magic, the task disappears from your list. Poof!

Shuffling Tasks into the Right Order

Picture this: your task list is almost perfect, but a couple of tasks are dancing in the wrong places. Let’s untangle the mix-up and arrange those tasks properly.

  1. Select the Task: Find the task that’s out of line. Click the row ID number to select the entire task row – you’ll see the whole row light up.
  2. Release and Hold: Let go of the mouse button, but not for long. Click and hold again to “grab” the task row.
  3. Drag into Place: Drag the task up or down until you see a gray insertion point where you want it to drop. This is your cue.
  4. Drop the Task: Release the mouse button to “drop” the selected task in its new location, and watch your task slide gracefully into place.

And there you have it, my friends! These tricks will surely smoothen out your initial task planning process in Microsoft Project. I hope you found these steps helpful and practical.

If you have questions, please add them in the Comments section below. Or if you watch the video, add your questions or comments there. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave “Likes” if you like the videos.

If you would like to have a formal class on using Microsoft Project, here is a link for my classes.

What Type of Microsoft Project Training Do You Need?

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Templates, Student Hand Outs, Tips and Tricks

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Microsoft Project Standard Desktop Training

Microsoft Project Professional Desktop for Project Online Training

Microsoft Project Professional Desktop for Project Server Training

Templates, Student Hand Outs, Tips and Tricks

Certificate of Completion

Automated Training Progress Report

Course Materials

As a part of this course, each student will receive the following:

  • Hands On Exercises workbook in PDF format
  • Student sample files

Course Description

This “hands on” self-paced eLearning course teaches the foundational knowledge required to effectively manage “process agnostic” enterprise projects using Microsoft Project with either Project Online or Microsoft Project Server. Our “keep it simple” training approach allows students to master the vital skills they need to effectively plan and manage an enterprise project using Microsoft’s PPM (Project Portfolio Management) tools.


This course is focused on the core needs of project managers, project schedulers, and project coordinators who use Microsoft Project with either Project Online or Microsoft Project Server to manage enterprise projects.

Course Pre-Requisites

Each student must have a copy of one of the following installed on his/her PC:

  • Project Online Professional for Office 365
  • Microsoft Project 2016 or higher

Versions of Microsoft Project earlier than the 2016 version do not qualify for this course.

Best Instructor Ever!

Dale Howard has been a Microsoft Project MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for 20 years in a row and is currently one of only 26 Project MVPs in the entire world. If you post a question about any of Microsoft’s PPM tools on the public message boards, Dale is frequently the person who will answer your question.

Module 01: Microsoft Project Overview

  • Working with the User Interface
  • Understanding the Gantt Chart View
  • Understanding the Microsoft Project Data Model
  • Understanding and Using Views
  • Understanding and Using Tables
  • Understanding and Using Filters
  • Understanding and Using Groups
  • Project Navigation Tips

Module 02: Working with a New Project

  • Creating a New Project
    • Creating a New Project from a Template
    • Creating a New Project from a Personal Template
  • Working with the Standard Calendar
    • Add Holidays to the Standard Calendar
    • Create a Custom Calendar
    • Copy Calendars to the Global.mpt File
  • Defining a New Project
    • Set the Project Start Date
    • Enter Project Properties
    • Display the Project Summary Task
    • Set the Project and Nonworking Time Calendars
    • Set Project Options
    • Save the Project

Module 03: Task Planning

  • Understanding Manually Scheduled vs. Auto Scheduled Tasks
  • Creating the Task List
  • Creating Summary Tasks
  • Creating Milestone Tasks
  • Entering Duration Estimates
  • Specifying Task Dependencies – Overview
  • Specifying Task Dependencies in a Real World Project
  • Applying Task Constraints
  • Applying Deadline Dates
  • Applying a Task Calendar
  • Using Cell Background Formatting to Highlight Tasks of Interest

Module 04: Resource Planning

  • Understanding Project Resource Types
  • Creating a Work Resource
  • Creating a Generic Resource
  • Editing a Work Resource
  • Creating a Material Resource
  • Creating Budget and Expense Cost Resources

Module 05: Assignment Planning

  • Assigning Resources to Tasks: Best Practices
  • Assigning Resources to Tasks Using the Task Entry View
  • Assigning Resources to Tasks Using the Assign Resources Dialog
  • Assigning Material Resources
  • Assigning Budget Cost and Expense Cost Resources

Module 06: Completing the Project Schedule

  • Performing a Quality Check on the Project Schedule
  • Saving and Backing Up a Baseline for the Project

Topical Outline: Execution Training

Module 07: Capturing Task Progress

  • Setting the Status Date for the Project
  • Manually Entering Task Progress

Module 08: Working with Task Updates

  • Rescheduling Incomplete Work from the Past

Module 09: Variance Analysis, Plan Revision, and Change Control

  • Analyzing Project Variance
  • Revising a Project Schedule
  • Adding New Tasks to a Project through Change Control
  • Updating the Project Baseline

Module 10: Project Reporting

  • Creating a Timeline View
  • Formatting the Timeline View
  • Exporting the Timeline View to Another Application
  • Viewing a Dashboard Report
  • Editing a Table in a Dashboard Report
  • Editing a Chart in a Dashboard Report

Microsoft Project Training Course Samples

Click here to see some of the videos from the courses or check out my YouTube Channel for tips and tricks about Microsoft Project, Project Online/Server and Project for the Web.

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