Effectively Using the Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar [How-To]

In a busy world, forgetting about an appointment or task is becoming easier and easier.  Microsoft Outlook 2007 has a feature called the To-Do Bar which I use daily to map out my day/week.  It’s very configurable, includes a Calendar, my upcoming Meetings, and my Active Tasks.


Although enabled by default, I like to make a few customizations to optimize fully. Here are a few tips I think you might find helpful.


How-To Expand the Outlook To-Do Bar

First, just in case you minimized your To-Do Bar, let’s make it visible again by setting it back to the Normal or Expanded view.  This way you can benefit from the To-Do Bar.  Like all thing Microsoft however, there are always several ways to do the same task as shown below:


1.   Click the View menu, To-Do Bar then Click Normal to set To-Do Bar to the full extended view

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Customize View to Normal


2.   Optionally, just Click the Double Arrows << on the far right to Expand the To-Do Bar

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Expand


How-To Minimize the Outlook To-Do Bar


3.   If you need more space for writing/reading an email, you can also quickly minimize the To-Do Bar

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Minimize


How-To Customize To-Do Bar Display/Options


4.   Right Click the the To-Do Bar Header and Click the features you want to be enabled/disabled or displayed/not displayed

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Righ-Click to choose options


Use the Outlook To-Do Bar to Create Appointments and Tasks

You can Drag and Drop almost any Outlook Item onto the Outlook To-Do Bar.  This feature is a great time-saver!  For instance, dragging and dropping an Email onto a day on the Calendar will create a new appointment using the Email as the Calendar Invite Message Body.   Or, if you Drag and Drop an Outlook Contact onto the To-Do Bar calendar it will address a new Calendar Appointment to that contact.


5.   Quickly Create new Calendar Items by dragging notes, emails, contacts, or task items to the To-Do Bar calendar

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Drag Email to Calendar


6.   You can ALSO Drag an Email onto the Task Section of the To-Do Bar to create a new Task using the details from the email

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Drag Email to Create Task


7.  Another quick way to create tasks is simply to Type a Task directly into the To-Do Bar itself.  Tasks typed in the To-Do bar will show up underneath “Today.”

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Create new Task


8.   Simply Click the follow-up Flag to mark a task complete

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Click Task Flag to Mark Complete


9.   Right Click the Follow-up Flag on the Task for the full Options Menu to do everything from adding a reminder, delete a task, set a due date, etc.

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Right-Click Flag for Options Menu


Assign and Customize Category and Colors


10.  Right Click the Oval next to Tasks to Assign a Task to a Category and designate the Color.  I base priority on color, and that works well for me.

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Right Click Task to Select Colors and Category


11.  For extra details on a specific date, Hover over the Task or Calendar Item

Outlook 2007 To-Do Bar - Hover over item for more details


These are just a few of the key features of the Outlook 2007 To-Do Toolbar which I use every day.  I bet if you explore a little you can find a few more great tips!  Please feel free to share your favorite tip below!

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tom from Poland  

    Helpful information. Thank you.

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