Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar

In my campaign for an empty Inbox, you need to set up your To-Do Bar so that you can use it effectively.

Setting up the To-Do Bar

If you look at the control panel shown in Figure 1, you can see the To-Do Bar on the right-hand side of the Calendar. With this bar, you can easily view your “To-Do List” with all of the relevant Categories.

The beauty of the To-Do Bar is that it’s accessible not only from the Inbox, but also from the Calendar, Tasks, and Contacts. This means that whichever part of Outlook you’re working in you can easily add Actions, delete them, or plan and prioritise them onto your Calendar.

The To-Do List is basically the same list with the following exceptions:

  • The To-Do List can be accessed only from Tasks and it shows both completed and active Tasks.

  • The To-Do Bar does not show completed Tasks and is accessible from all parts of Outlook.

Following are the technical instructions to set up your To-Do Bar.

The Control Panel showing the To-Do Bar on the right

Figure 1. The Control Panel showing the To-Do Bar on the right.

Adding Click Here to add a new task and changing Custom to Customize Current View

If you don’t see the words Click Here To Add A New Task at the top of the To-Do Bar, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Subject heading above Categories: (none), and select Custom or Customize Current View. If you see Custom instead of Customize Current View, be sure to follow step 4 below.

  2. In the Customize View: To-Do List dialog box, click the Other Settings button.
  3. In the Other Settings dialog box, in the Column Headings And Rows section, be sure both Allow In-Cell Editing and Show “New Item” Row are selected, as shown in Figure 2.
  4. Adding Click Here to add a new task to the To-Do Bar

    Figure 2. Adding Click Here To Add A New Task to the To-Do Bar.

  5. In the Other Options section, be sure the Always Use Single-Line Layout is selected.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK again.
  8. The words Click Here To Add A New Task will appear below your field headings and above Categories: (none).

To-Do Bar fields and grouping by categories

The next two settings are necessary to choose the To-Do Bar fields and to group your Tasks by categories. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the To-Do Bar, right-click the words Click Here To Add A New Task, and then click Customize Current View on the shortcut menu. Here you will choose the fields to view in the To-Do Bar and group your actions by category.

  2. In the Customize View: To-Do List dialog box, click Fields.
  3. Under the heading Select Available Fields From, choose All Task Fields from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Show These Fields In This Order section, select Icon and Due Date.
  5. Under the heading Select Available Fields From, choose All Mail Fields from the drop-down menu.
  6. Select Task Subject and add to the Show These Fields In This Order area. Rearrange your fields so they’re listed in the order shown in Figure 3 and then click OK.
  7. Selecting the To-Do List fields

    Figure 3. Selecting the To-Do List fields

  8. In the Customize View: To-Do List dialog box, click Group By.
  9. In the Group By dialog box, in the Group Items By drop-down menu, select Categories, and in the Expand/Collapse Defaults drop-down menu, select All Collapsed, as shown in Figure 4. Then, click OK.
  10. Grouping tasks by categories

    Figure 4. Grouping tasks by categories.

  11. Click OK again.

Attaching contacts to your tasks

To complete the final setting that allows you to attach contacts to your Tasks, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, on the Preferences tab, in the Contacts And Notes section, click the Contact Options button.
  3. In the Contact Options dialog box, in the Contact Linking section, select Show Contact Linking On All Forms, as shown in Figure 5, and then click OK.
  4. Click OK again.
  5. Linking contacts to your Tasks in the To-Do List

    Figure 5. Linking contacts to your Tasks in the To-Do List.

1 comment to Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar

  • ncompass

    Hi John, Thanks for this, I am attempting to convert from Act to Outlook and meeting all sorts of unexpected and time consuing problems… but this little article has significantly moved me on a few steps.Next issue, I cannot find how I can easily reference a contact from a Task. I can link contacts… but then I cannot see this information anywhere… in my Todo List.

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