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The To-Do Bar is brand-new to Outlook 2007, and enables you to track your time and tasks wherever you are in the application. We hope you’ll find the post below informative, and in the coming months we will posting more about tips and tricks about using the To-Do Bar. Enjoy!
Instead of looking at scraps of paper, notepads, planners, and the Outlook Inbox, you can see everything you need to do simply by looking at the To-Do Bar. The To-Do Bar shows a Date Navigator (a small monthly calendar), your upcoming appointments, and a list of your tasks on the side of the screen. In the To-Do Bar, you can accept/decline meetings, quickly access the full Calendar, add new tasks, categorize, rearrange, and change the dates of your tasks all while responding to e-mail. With the To-Do Bar, you may never leave your Inbox.
A little background…
During site visits, we discovered that people frequently referred to desk calendars or their system clocks when looking for the date (sometimes changing their system clocks in the process - oops.) To help with this simple task, we added a Date Navigator to the To-Do Bar, which allows you to find a date with just a glance. In addition, clicking on a date in the Date Navigator takes you to the Calendar, making it even easier to get to this often visited place.
For many of us, what we can accomplish in a day is dictated by what appointments and meetings we have. By default, the To-Do Bar shows your next three appointments (you can change this in the To-Do Bar Options). Like the Date Navigator, the appointments in the To-Do Bar look and act just like they do in the Calendar: you can right-click on them to accept/decline meetings, change privacy settings, apply a Color Category, forward, print, and open.
Through our time management research, we found that people are likely to use scraps of paper or notepads to keep track of the tasks they need to complete because a) the content of these lists is always visible and b) it is easy to add items. Therefore, in the To-Do Bar, we made tasks always visible and added a task entry bar where tasks can be entered without switching context.
To add a task to the To-Do Bar, you can:
(And this is just within Outlook. You can also create tasks in SharePoint, OneNote, and Project and have them show up in Outlook too.)
We also improved upon paper lists by making it easy to manage your tasks once they are in the list. Once a task is in the To-Do Bar, you can:
In cell editing in the To-Do Bar: Changing to-do title of flagged e-mail with subject "Go to Soccer Game" to "Cancel Soccer Game"
The To-Do Bar also filters out completed items, keeping your list tidy.
You can change the arrangement of tasks in the To-Do Bar by using the arrangement drop down at the top of the task list. This feature enables you to easily switch from viewing your tasks by start date to due date to categories, etc. You can even specify your own custom arrangement.
Arrangement drop down: Default sorted by Due Date.
To prevent you from losing your tasks, overdue tasks continue to "roll over" to the present day until they are marked complete, deleted, or the flag is cleared. If you don’t complete your tasks, they will begin to accumulate in the Today grouping. However, we have kept the coloring of overdue tasks so that you can tell them apart.
Because not everyone works in the same way, we have tried to make the To-Do Bar as flexible as possible. The task list can be customized in the same ways that lists in the Task Module can be customized. (For example, you can turn off the coloring of overdue tasks by clicking on the Arrange by: header in the To-Do Bar, then Custom…, and then change the settings in Automatic Formatting.) You can also change the number of Date Navigators and appointments shown in the To-Do Bar by going to the View menu then to To-Do Bar (or from the context menu when you right-click on an empty area in the To-Do Bar )
Context Menu: Right-click on an empty area to get the context menu.
While one of the To-Do Bar's advantages is that it's always visible, you can also minimize it, thereby allowing for more space for viewing mail while still providing useful information such as the time and subject of the next appointment and the number of remaining tasks on the day. Clicking on the minimized version also has the added benefit of flying out in order to see your upcoming appointments and tasks without the need for fully expanding the To-Do Bar.
Mini To-Do Bar: Clicking the minimized To-Do Bar shows the fly-out.
The hope is that the flexibility we have provided will let you work any way that you are accustomed to – while still providing valuable information to help you get your job done.
We would love to hear about your own experiences with the To-Do Bar and what ways you have made it work best for you.
Jed BrownOutlook Program Manager
The Date Navigator is either displayed in the To Do Bar, or in the Navigation Pane, but it can't be displayed in both places. If you turn off the To Do Bar, or you use the To Do Bar options to hide the Date Navigator, then it will always be displayed in the navigation pane.
I have two calendars: 1. Calendar: Default - works as my 'Work' calendar
2. Personal: added calendar which works as my ...taaaddaaaaa.. personal calendar. In the To-Do bar, I can see only the Calendar appointments and not Personal appointments. I went through the help 'how-to', but to no effect. Help?!
I'm very happy to see it is not just me being frustrated with missing All Day Appointments that are not displayed in the To-Do Bar. What a shame to get hooked then #$%^& when you miss items that logically make sense that they *would* be displayed. This is just like the defect when not running a full screen -Some appointments disappear! Hopefully service packs will address rather than purchase of a later product!
and how to change font faces!?
Great new feature but like the others I would really like the all day events to appear, as I use the calendar to keep track of birthdays/anniversaries, people visiting, holidays etc and not having them on the To-Do Bar is a real pain.
Great integration and functionality with the new To Do bar. Unfortunately it is still extremely limited because the most basic functionality -- Prioritization -- has not been implemented. This is an amazing oversight in the most widely used productivity app in the world. The essence of time management is the ability to focus on a single task, the most important one, at a time. With only three prio levels (low, normal, high), a user can only effectively manage three tasks per day. Please enable priorities that scale, either a simple numerical counter, or the A1, A2, B1, B2 system. This simple change could actually have a massive impact on worldwide office efficiency, including at Microsoft itself.
Only qualm with this brilliant To-Do Bar is that it only shows one of my calendars. I keep two calendars (work and personal) and I want to see both of them in the To-Do Bar. If there is a way to do this please let me know.
I really need the capability to view all-day events. I've missed several birthdays and other appointments due to this!
How do I clear appointments other than deleting them? Is there a way to have a completed appointment show as a history with the contact associated? I have BCM. tks.
Recently I have changed my workstation. The task list in the to do bar missing in the new workstation. How to retrieve it? I still can see those task list in the old workstation.
The To Do Bar and Multi day Appointments. Which narrow minded genius decided that people should not see multi day appointments or All day appointments in the to do list? That should be an option that should be allowed to be set by the USER. I can open my Franklin (a PAPER calander for those of you who don't know what that is) and very eaisly see all my appointments, and when the power goes out or the batteries die in my laptop. I can still see my appointments. So if the feature is not neat, not cool, and not function why should I use Outlook over Gmail, or lotus notes or groupwise. Email is email I don't care who's server its on.
Why Can't I add different calendars to the todo bar?
I have serveral calendars why is there no filter to select different calendars? and to display To-Dos from different calendars?
Searching for support for events from multiple calendars in the to-do bar too...
I like the To-Do bar, but it really isn't very functional. We use a shared 'Group Calendar' running on our Exchange Server in my office, and most people use that for all business appointments. Our individual calendars are used for personal appointments. If there was a way to view both in my To-Do bar I would want to use it more. As it is now, with limited options and no way to view all day events, it is sort of useless. Reminders already pop up, and if I can only view To-Do tasks that the software has decided I need, not what I have decided, it is not doing us much good, is it?
It's appalling that all day events are not shown in the to-do bar. Whoever made that call should be fired as that is a serious design flaw. Why can't a hotfix be put out to address this? We shouldn't have to wait for another release. I have service pack 1 installed and it still is missing, so when and what version is supposedly going to address this?