How to Color Code Outlook Task List in To Do Bar: Organize Microsoft Office Task List by Color Coding!

How to Color Code Outlook Task List in To Do Bar: Organize Microsoft Office Task List by Color Coding!
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To-Do Bar with Task List

Microsoft Outlook 2007 adds a To-Do Bar on the right of the main user interface. One of the features of the To-Do Bar is the Task List. Task items are pulled from the task list or items that have been marked for follow-up with a follow-up flag. You can customize how these items are presented in this task list independent of the formatting used in their source folders. The Tasks folder has many options for formatting; however, these settings are not transferred to the To-Do List.

You can control the color and font for the items listed in the To-Do List. Right click on the top bar of the Task List, on the ‘Arrange By’ line, and select Custom. This will open the Customize View window as shown in Figure 1. From here, select the Automatic Formatting button. The Automatic Formatting window is displayed in Figure 2.


Figure2 - Automatic Formatting

Color Code the Task List

Automatic Formating uses rules to determine how text is presented in the To Do List and what characteristics trigger that format. As seen in Figure 2 above, we added a rule called ‘Next Month’ where all tasks with a due date falling in the next month assume the formatting of 8pt Segui font with bold green color. There are two parts to this formatting rule: 1) setting the condition to be met and 2) defining the formatting to be used.

Clicking the Condition button near the bottom of the Automatic Formatting window will open the Filter window as shown in Figure 3 below. In this case we set the condition solely as a due date falling in the next month. The conditions available here are quite granular and should be reviewed to make better use of Outlook. After the condition is set, the Font button allows us to apply a font type, a font color and presentation. For this example we also made tasks due in the following week a purple font. Figure 4 shows a To Do bar with the task list on the bottom. You can see tasks due next week are in purple while tasks due next month (that are not due next week in this case) are in bold green font. As the due date comes closer, the task’s colors will change, in this case from black to green to purple.


Figure3 - Format Filter

Figure4 - Color Coded Task List on To-Do Bar

This post is part of the series: Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Tips

A series of Tips and Tricks for working with Microsoft Outlook 2007 both as a user and an administrator.

  1. New E-mail Account Configuration in Microsoft Outlook: Tip #1
  2. Use AutoComplete “Nickname” Cache in Outlook: Tip #2
  3. Configure Outlook Custom Message Views: Tip #3
  4. How to Configure RSS Feeds in Outlook: Tip #4
  5. Tip #5 - Making Changes to the Custom Dictionary in Microsoft Outlook 2007
  6. Tip #6 - Configure Outlook Autosave Settings
  7. Microsoft Outlook Keyboard Shortcuts: Tip #7
  8. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #8 - Outlook.exe Startup Switches
  9. Microsoft Outlook Instant Messenger Addons: #9
  10. Tip #10 - Using Outlook 2007 to Access GMail
  11. Showing Full Message Headers in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #11
  12. How to Re-Send an E-mail Message in Outlook: Tip #12
  13. How to View Animated GIFs Embedded in an E-mail in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #13
  14. Telling Outlook How to Handle Messages: Tip #14
  15. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #15 - How to Color Code the Task List in the To Do Bar
  16. Tip #16 - Importing from Incredimail to Microsoft Outlook 2007
  17. Viewing Multiple Outlook Calendars: Tip #17
  18. Removing Cancelled Future Appointments in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #18
  19. Tip #19: How to Create New Outlook E-mail from the Command Line
  20. How to Configure Outlook AutoArchiving: Tip #20
  21. Using Custom Categories in Microsoft Outlook 2007: Tip #21
  22. How to Manage Outlook Add-ins: Tip #21
  23. Microsoft Outlook 2007 Tip #23 - Attachment Previewing Options