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We’ve previously blogged about the To-Do Bar in Outlook. Here are a few tips that show how this little slice of screen real estate is more than just a static list; in fact, you can easily customize it to reflect the priorities in your work day and week.
First off, don’t get rid of the To-Do Bar when you need more screen space on a smaller monitor! You can easily minimize it by clicking the at the top of the To-Do Bar. You can then conveniently expand and collapse it while working that way, instead of banishing it completely by turning it off. All of these options are available on the View menu:
Now, how about the general appearance of the To-Do Bar? You have the option to show the Date Navigator (which is the handy calendar at the top of the Bar), a selection of appointments and meetings from your Calendar, and the Task List at the bottom.
You can make changes to display any or all of these items in the To-Do Bar Options dialog box. You can right-click on the To-Do Bar header or go to the Views menu, then choose ‘To-Do Bar’ followed by ‘Options’.
Customizing the Task List
The real workhorse of the To-Do Bar is the task list. Here are a few tips for customizing the To-Do Bar’s task list that may make it more efficient for you.
You’ll make changes to your task list from the Customize View: To-Do Task List dialog box.
Open the View: To-Do Task List dialog box
Right-click the column heading of the To-Do list and then click Custom.
I like to show the Icons column in my task list to easily show the type of item the entry is. For example, it can show if an entry is a Task or a Mail item, or if you’re a person who flags RSS items during the day then you’ll be able to see them differentiated in the To-Do Bar.
Customizing the task list is all about seeing more information, and you can choose the different information included with each entry on the list. I like to keep the due date for an item visible, so I display Due Date on my task list. I also like to display icons to indicate the type of item listed.
Add the Icon column to the task list
If you don’t see the column or field, that you want to add, click the arrow to see more under Select available fields from for extra choices.
Change the number of lines for entries in the task list
You can also see more in the task list is by viewing the information on multiple lines.
Filter the To-Do Bar to just show tasks
For some of you, flags may have a whole different meaning, and the fact that the To-Do Bar is cluttered with your flagged mail and flagged contacts may not be working for you. Here is a solution: filter the To-Do Bar to just show tasks.
Reset the To-Do Bar to the default settings
If after playing around while customizing the To-Do Bar you decide to go back to the default view in the task list, here’s how you do it:
There are many ways you can customize the To-Do Bar and task list so that you have quick access to the information you need while you’re working. Give it a try!
Laurie Hughes Outlook UA writer
Is there any way to get the To-Do Bar to also look at archived email? Because of our corporate policy on InBox size, I have to archive my emails daily. When the emails with flags are archived, they disappear off the To-Do Bar.
+1 for the to-do bar showing events from ALL calendars
+1 for showing all day events From the amount of posts on these two topics alone, I'd hope it'd be a top priority to get out in an update soon. Thanks for the attention to the matter.
For those that have problems with reminders and the to-do bar... I found under Tools - Account Settings - Date Files, that I had two "Personal Folders". They both had the same name and filename. One was designated default, the other not. I deleted the non-default one and restarted outlook. Now everything works great! Just be careful. This might lead to BCM not working... :( I just fixed one problem and created another.
When minimized, the To-Do Bar shows just one appointment. Which is great, but the appointment it shows is the one you're already at. It would be better if it showed the next appointment you need to get to.
ALL DAY EVENTS, can they be shown? Any chance we can get a separator between calendar items for today, tomorrow, etc?
Is there a way to see "All Day Events" in the TO-DO bar? I like everything else about it.
My To-Do Bar shows 4 PAST MEETINGS at the top of the list. Two were two days ago, and Two were yesterday. I only want to see today and forward scheduled items!
Also, would like to click on a future day in the To Do Bar calendar, and NOT jump to the Calendar view (replacing my mail view), but have the events for that day (and forward) on the To-Do Bar. (Another annoying behavior). Thanks
I would like to filter tasks so they will show on the to do bar if the start date is on or before the date I select on the To-Do Bar calendar. I am almost able to make it work by creating Advanced Filter "Start Date on or before Today", but that does not show tasks that are to start on a future date when that date is selected on the calendar. Also there appears to be no way to see what acceptable values are for the condition specified.
I have just had a microsoft exchange account added for work and now the todo bar shows my exchange calendar instead of my personal calendar. How do I change the todo bar settings so that it always shows my personal calendar.
My outlook To-Do bar setting seems to be very delicate. I used to have the tasks show up as Today, Tomorrow, This Week, and Next Week. I tried to change the Sort by setting and now I cant get back the Relative sorting, but am getting hard dates (April 14th, April 15th, etc). Can you help!
Is there any way I can show the items from an internet calendar in the to-do bar? I really like the overlaid view in the calendar. It would have been nice if I can see the same entries in the to-do bar as well.
Is there any way to get Outlook to quit changing which To-Do list it uses in the To-Do Bar?
I use a separate view of the Task List for each client I am working for. (This makes my status reports at the end of the week a snap.) I have one overall listing grouped by client and sorted by task ID that I specifically created to show on the to-do bar and this is what I (want to) print on the print-out of the calendar page I use to make notes on what I do each day for time reporting. The problem is that the list occasionally changes to some other list from my available views and I have no idea what the problem is. All-of-the-sudden, the view will change and if I go to "Customize Current View" it becomes apparent that the system has changed the view entirely. Instead of the To-Do view, I will have one of the client views.
The only fix for this that I have discovered is to delete the "To-Do" view, customise the client view that is being used, and then rename it to "To-Do" Finally, I have to re-create the view that I had to customize under the client's name for the client that was on the view that Outlook chose to use as the view for the To-Do bar.
Is there some way to tell the program what view I want it to use? This work-around, while it works, it a bit of a hassle!
Is there a way to show dependencies between tasks?