Arrange your Outlook To-Do bar, Franklin-Covey style

 Quick tip  - I've been a Franklin-Covey user for many years now.  I might not have survived college without it faithfully by my side.  I learned through their training to use the priority method of assigning things based on have to, need to, want to, or whichever terms you would like to apply.  I then go through and assign a number to each of those tasks and work through them in order.  Aaah, chaos controlled...

imageWell it has been driving me crazy that although I could use categories in Outlook or the priority field to group my tasks, I had no way to assign a custom rank.  Neither start date, due date, nor alphabetical order is always the best sorting method.  I prefer to do it the hard way I guess.

With the help of a specialist on my team I found how to add a custom column.  Actually quite easy.  First, collapse any tasks you have in the to-do bar and right-click within the white space and select Properties.  You should have no problem on your own clicking Fields and then creating a new custom property.  I chose to call mine "order"  The tricky part is how to have the column appear in the to-do bar.

Click on Other Settings and then look for the field below.  Uncheck the box to use compact layout and select the radio button for "Always use single-layout".  You will then be able to customize which columns appear on your to-do list.  Unfortunately, if you resize the to-do bar your columns will adjust widths so you may need to break one habit in sacrifice for another.


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Comments (8)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Reducing overhead goes beyond just infrastructure tools, there are also ways to reduce the amount of

  2. I would be happy to help, just let me know what issue you are running in to.

  3. jan says:

    I was excited to see this posting.  I am having difficulting creating the Order field and having it accessbile to fill in.  Can you please help?

  4. paedomorphosis says:

    After trying every task / time-management program on the market, I am now thinking about going back to plain old Outlook, without either the GTD or Franklin-Covey addin. Was just wracking my brain trying to figure out how to be able to edit priority in-cell in the todo bar.

    All I need is different lists (tasks grouped by category), each of which can include 3 priority levels (more than 3 is useless overkill).

  5. hec says:

    I have followed this how to ,,nice   bt i cannot access the order list / drop down to give each task it’s order number ?


  6. mike says:

    Hey Michael you might want to check out I totally love the software I was able to get from there!!

  7. vetty says:

    I have fell in love with my FranklinCovey software! You might like it better. Check it out at

  8. Matiur Rahman says:

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