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  • An Outlook 2007 question on To-Do Bar in Calendar View

    I just went through GTD and Outlook 2007 whitepaper, and I got some doubts on to-do bar in calendar view.

    The whitepaper recommends putting day-specific actions on calendar, as all-day items.

    But, how do I know which actions are to be put into calendar? The to-do bar is of no help, as the items are arranged by categories.
    Wouldn’t it be simplier to have To-Do Bar items arranged by due date and grouped “today”, “tomorrow” and so on?


    Heck, lots of questions to ask when working your way into effective GTD workflow.. 

    Thanks for your help in advance.

  • #2
    You can arrange the To-Do Bar however you like. I have mine organised in exactly the way you say with tasks for today and tomorrow listed. Just right-click on the text that say "arranged by" and click Custom.

    Bryn

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    • #3
      The To-Do bar provides a view of Tasks, the Outlook component which contains your primary action lists. It allows you to see your action lists next to your calendar in the same view. It's not meant to show you the "tasks" that are due today (though you can filter the view to do so).

      I personally don't like the To-Do bar because it does not function as intended. The "Complete" check box does not work in that view; I have to right-click and choose "Mark Complete". Instead, I keep three Outlook windows open at all times: e-mail, tasks, and calendar and Alt+Tab between them as needed.

      Here's what goes on a calendar:
      • Time-specific actions go on the calendar as an appointment.
      • Day-specific actions that *must* happen on a particular day go on the calendar as an "all day event".
      • Day-specific reminders go on the calendar as an "all day event" (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, deadline reminders, etc).

      ...AND THAT'S ALL!

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      • #4
        One More on Calendar

        One more thing goes on my calendar. Time or day specific things that I may or may not go to because I haven't decided yet. So a dinner event that looks interesting but I am not sure I can attend will get blocked out in my calendar so as the time gets closer and I review the future calendar dates at WR I can decide whether to attend or not. SImilarly anything that is a possibility but has a restricted time/date also goes on my calendar in the future for review.

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        • #5
          ok gentlemen,
          but how do you pull the items you put into the calendar out of your task lits? How you do know the due dates?

          Do you alt-tab to task view, and ctrl-c/copy the task item, and go back to calendar and paste it? Or do you just pull it straight from to-do bar? If so, how do you know where specific item belongs to?

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          • #6
            I had to interpret your question a little; I hope that I did so correctly.

            If I put an action on my calendar for a specific day, that day IS the due date. It can only happen on THAT day, and if it doesn't get done on that day it dies. I do not copy it to my action lists. When deciding how to spend my time I look at my calendar first, then the categorized action lists.

            If you need to transfer something from your calendar to tasks, use "Move to Folder" or click and drag the calendar item to the Tasks shortcut on the navigation pane (left side).

            I can understand why you'd want to move the calendar entries to tasks. You can't check off items or group them context (at least not without altering Outlook views). But that's not a good practice. You don't want to mix those actions with others that don't have to happen today.

            As you examine your calendared actions decide if you have context time and energy to do any of them and delete day specific actions from the calendar as you finish them.

            WHOA! IDEA FLASH!

            Your post you got me thinking about this a little and I did find a way to break my calendar up by context on the Palm. I synch a Palm Tungsten E2 with Outlook. You can assign categories to calendar items just like tasks, and you can filter your calendar view by category on the Palm. So that's one way to keep the context list feel on your calendar...if you use a Palm.

            You did me a service; I thank you. I hope I was able to return the favor.

            -Luke

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