In addition to creating new workitems, TMO can also find existing workitems in TFS or Visual Studio Team Services. You can use these existing workitems with Outlook emails, calendar appointments or tasks just as you would use new workitems. You can launch the existing workitem finder tool of TMO by either clicking the “Find existing workitem” button in the TMO toolbar or by right clicking an Outlook item and selecting the option “Find existing workitem” as shown in the images below
Find Existing workitem button in Ribbon
Find Existing workitem menu option in Context Menu
Right click any email, task or calendar item to bring up the context menu as shown.
Clicking either of these will launch the TMO Find Existing workitem window as shown below. This window will let you search for an existing workitem either by directly typing the workitem id or by using one of the saved queries that you might have in your TFS or Visual Studio Team Services Project.
You can use the workitem id to find an existing workitem.
Finding workitem using workitem id
Select the team project that you want to use from the team project picker dialogue, then type the workitem id and click Find. This will show the workitem in the list. Select the workitem and click OK.
Finding workitem using a saved query.
To find a workitem using a saved query in TFS or Visual Studio Team Services you once again select the Team Project but this time select the radio box titled “Saved Query”. Use the drop down to select a saved query and once again click “Find”. This will populate a list of all the workitems as returned by that query. Select the workitem you would like to use and click OK.
Once you click OK, the normal TMO control will load in Outlook and you can use the existing workitem.
Quickly Reusing the last used workitem.
One of the lesser known features of TMO is it’s ability to quickly let you use the last few workitems you either created or reused with TMO. For e.g. if you just used a workitem id 311 with an Outlook email, you do not have to repeat all the above steps to use workitem 311 with another email again. Simply click the New Workitem menu but this time go to “Suggested workitems” menu option. This will list all the workitems you have recently used. It also shows workitems which are linked to your Outlook conversation however we will cover that topic in detail in another post!