Using Outlook Today to Simplify Your Day

Outlook Today is an alternate way to look at your Outlook data. Sometimes you want to deal with your life by category: all your messages or tasks or appointments at once. The normal Outlook folders are ideal for working this way.

At other times, you really only want to know what you have to deal with today. In Outlook 2007, this function is provided by the To-Do Bar. In Outlook 2003, Outlook Today is the way to go. (Outlook Today is still available in Outlook 2007 if you want to use it.)

Outlook Today is a "show me what I have to deal with today" view. It simplifies your life by letting you easily concentrate on what needs to get done today.

An Outlook Today view of my day.

Note: If you don't want the full Outlook Today view, but just want to tell Outlook which folder to display when it starts up, you can do that here

The easiest way to open Outlook Today is by clicking Mailbox or Personal Folders in the Navigation pane.

The details of what appears here depend on how Outlook Today is set up. You have access to a subset of the features of each folder that is visible here. You can do things like view each appointment you have, mark tasks complete, or jump to a mail folder. Click around on the items that are visible to see what capabilities you have.

Note: You can customize Outlook Today fairly extensively. All the Outlook Today styles have a Customize Outlook Today link that takes you to a customization view. The details are beyond this Outlook tip. For instructions, search for Outlook Today in help, or read pages 254-256 of my book, "How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office Outlook 2003" or pages 264-269 of "How to Do Everything with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007"

If you like Outlook Today, you can make it your Outlook start page.

Making Outlook Today the Default View

Follow these steps to make Outlook Today the default starting view for Outlook:

  1. Open the Outlook Today view and click Customize Outlook Today. This opens the Customize Outlook Today view.

  2. Set the When Starting, Go Directly to Outlook Today check box.

  3. Click Save Changes. The next time you start Outlook, it will open to the Outlook Today view.

That's enough information to get you started with Outlook Today.

From here you can: