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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
I'm another one who cannot get tasks to appear on the to-do bar. (And yes, I've checked the box entitled "display reminders and tasks from this folder in the To-Do Bar" in the Properties dialog box.) When Outlook 2007 opens and loads my .pst file, I get an error message stating that "There was a problem reading one or more of your reminders. Some of your reminders may not appear." The to-do bar shows calendar items, but in the area where tasks should be, it says "The operation failed. An object could not be found.". Same is true of to-do bar at bottom of calendar. Interestingly, I do NOT have this problem on the Outlook 2007 running on my office computer (same .pst file) just my home office computer. Any ideas from user or MS bloggers would be welcome.
I am one to pile on about the absence of all-day/multi-day appointments in the to-do bar. I have so many of these in my calendar that the exclusion of these from the to-do bar makes it virtually useless to me. Please fix without forcing us to pay for it in the next version please.
Dear sir, I am using microsoft outlook 2007. Can you help me on my following questions:
1) Can I change the color of bold items in the calander ? from black to red
2) There is an appointment on 15th of next month but the list is showing appointments of only of this month. I want the complete list to be displayed here
3) There is no information of Date available for the current week activities like Saudi Pak Shares no activity date is avaiable but "my work this month" date is available mon 6/30 11:00 AM
4) Can I generate a reminder email rather then reminder popups as it shows all reminder flags items? I also have a snapshot of my issues. if you reply me i could send you that. Kindly answer my questions Thanks. plz reply me at email@example.com Regards,
My wish list for To-Do bar:
1. Right-clicking on a task would have an option to navigate to a folder that contains that task.
2. Ability to adjust it width to any width
3. Sorting. Currently adding additional sorting breaks "by Due Date" grouping 4. Default OOTB view would contain icon indicating origins of the task ( i.e. task, flagged email, linked onenote, etc)
5. Ability to remove flag column.
6. all day events Other then that, the current To-Do bar is great thing and huge improvement over Outlook 2003. Great job, thanks.
Microsoft ... If your listening ... Please run, don't walk, to your development team and tell them their customers require multiple calendar and multi day / all day appointment visibility in the to-do bar. It's currently useless for sharepoint users as appointments in a shared calendar do not appear in the to-do bar. Are you freakin' kidding me?
I really, really like the To Do bar; it makes it very easy and convenient to keep track of things I need to do... with one slight exception:
Since it's become possible to keep track of recurring tasks within the Tasks area (instead of using recurring appointments, which is what I've always used before), my appointments area has become rather empty. Specifically, as I write this, I have one upcoming appointment... three weeks from now. What I want is for the appointments pane to show me that appointment, but not until three days before it happens. This way I get a good reminder that I will actually *notice* (instead of tuning it out after needing to ignore it for over a month), without the annoyance of using reminders.
So, basically, I'd like to be able to filter the "Appointments" section of the To Do bar, the same way I can filter the "Tasks" section... using something along the lines of, "between Today and Today+3."
The problem with the to-do list is it does not work the way I think many people use a to-do list. It may work how some people work but certainly not me. Outlook also forces me to view the To-Do list first in preference to Tasks and As I prefer to use Tasks this is REALLY annoying!
My paper to-do list is not based on dates but on order. It's a brain-dump of things to do. Then I go down the list and mark each item with a number to show the order in which I intent to do work through the list.
Having a facility to drag to-do items into my preferred order would probably meet my need and I guess this would meet the needs of many others too.
Could anyone please help me to find out how to show emails with flag, stored in a different personal folder pst than Main Mailbox, appears on To-Do-Bar? Thanks
It'd be nice if you could provide the user with the option as to which appointments, including all day appointments, should be displayed. i just created a tool that allows our users to add to their Outlook Calendar Appointment Items for their various multi-day events. Each Calendar items includes links to relevant folders & URL's related to the events. If the To Do bar allowed the all day appointments to be displayed my users would be one click away from information relevant to their events. As it is they now have to click, click, click, click and click some more.
Please try to be a bit more broad in your thinking. Defaults are good, flexibility is better.
I am more than happy to email you a screen shot of the AppointmentItem so you can see what it includes.
I am having trouble getting some appointments to show up in the to-do-bar. I have said show 8 appointments in "options" and I am currently displaying 3. My next appointment is in February, but I cannot get it to display in the to-do-bar. Also "all-day" appointments do not show up. Any suggestions.