Recently, I received the following e-mail and I thought I would post my response:

Hi Melissa,


Since you’re so active on bloggin on Outlook I was wondering if you can help me solve this question. I have about 35 task folders in Outlook and by default this great new feature To-Do Bar scans all of them and puts about 300 elements in the bar. All I want To-Do Bar to scan is the original Task folder and maybe one other. Is it possible (or will it be possible) to tell this view (cause that’s what it actually is right?) which Task folders to scan? ...


With kind regards,

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to turn off a folder or set of folders in the To-Do Bar (though it is something we thought about. From SQM data, most users do not have more than one folder.) There are a few tricks that you can do, however, to hide these tasks in the To-Do Bar. For example, you could create a new category: "Not In To-Do Bar." Here are the steps:

1.     In the To-Do Bar, Arrange by: Folder (Click on the Arrange by: Due Date header in the middle of the To-Do Bar, and select “Folder”)


2.     Right click the header of a folder that you want to exclude, and select Categorize-> “All Categories...”


3.     In the “All Categories…” dialog, create a new category “Not In To-Do Bar”

4.     Continue applying the “Not In TDB” category to all of the folder headers that you don’t want to appear in the To-Do Bar. (Note: you are just applying the categories to items in these folders – the folders themselves do not have categories on them. New tasks created/added to these folders will need to have the category added to them.)


5.     Once you have finished, remove the “Not In TDB” category from your To-Do Bar View ()

a.     click on the header in the To-Do Bar, and select “Custom…”

b.     In the Customize View dialog, click on “Filter…” button.

c.     Click on the Advanced tab.

d.     Under “Fields” select “All Task Fields” and then “Categories”

e.     Click on the “Condition” drop down, and select “doesn’t contain”

f.      In the value field, add “Not In To-Do Bar” and then click “Add to List” (Ok, Ok)


      And unwanted tasks are hidden from your To-Do Bar!


If you want to view your tasks in the To-Do Bar by category, start date, due date, just click on “Arrange by:” and select the appropriate arrangement: your filter will persist. If you want this same filtered view in the Tasks module, you will need to repeat step 5. The Daily Task List in the Calendar cannot have its view filtered by category, so in this case, you may want to minimize it – unless, of course, you want to see tasks with due dates and start dates from other folders in the Daily Task List.