Addendum to How to show tasks from some folders and not others in the To-Do Bar – a how-to guide

Andrew Coates was kind enough to point out that there is another way to hide a folder that is much, much simpler. Thanks Andrew!

If you have one particular folder that you want to hide, for example, a task folder of Christmas presents for your family (not exactly tasks, but tasks are a convenient place to keep such lists), you can exclude that folder by customizing the view. Here are the steps:

  1. Click on the “Arrange By:” header in the To-Do Bar and select “Custom…”

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

  3. Click on the Advanced tab.

  4. Under “Fields” select “All Task Fields” and then “In Folder”

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

  6. In the value field, type the name of the folder you want to exclude and then click “Add to List” (Ok, Ok)

It may seem appealing to do the reverse and list only the folders that you want to include, but each folder in the mail hierarchy would need to be included for flagged mail to appear in the To-Do Bar, so excluding is actually better.

Mischa may still want to go the “Categories” route since he has so many folders he wants to exclude.  For those of you with only one or two folders that you want to exclude, this way is much simpler. Thanks Andrew!

I would also like to thank Brandon Bloom for his VBA script (commented below)


Comments (5)

  1. MSDN Archive says:

    One other thought: you could just have one criteria line checking that "In Folder" doesn’t contain some simple text, like "Ignore" and then rename all the folders you want ignored in the To-Do Bar to have the text "Ignore" in them.

  2. mmacbeth says:

    Excellent suggestion! -Melissa

  3. Adam says:

    OT: Melissa do you know if Outlook 07 will have any support for Exchange 2003’s "push" notification? Currently this is used by Windows Mobile devices so they get new messages instantly. With Outlook, the best way to work is in Cached mode (online is really slow), but with Cached mode there is a delay in terms of receiving new messages.

  4. mmacbeth says:

    Here is Dan Costenaro’s (an Outlook PM’s) response to Adam’s question above:

    Outlook doesn’t use the same push technology as Mobile devices, but does actually have a few different ways to receive notifications of mail as soon as the server knows it’s present. That being said, the time it takes for a new mail to appear (or any change) in your view depends on several networking constraints. Outlook registers for UDP notifications on the Exchange server, which is blocked by default in Windows XP SP2. However, if you add Outlook to the exception list in the Windows Firewall, then you’ll get notifications immediately from the Exchange server when you have new mail, as long as you’re running on a corporate network and not using Outlook Anywhere (RPC/HTTP). If you have a firewall that blocks UDPs, Outlook 2003 and 2007 fall back to a polling mechanism. The polling interval is set by the Exchange server, and by default is 60 seconds. This is your experience using Outlook Anywhere as well, because UDP registration is not performed in this connection mode. Outlook 2003 in Cached Exchange mode also introduces a 30 second delay before downloading new mail from the server in order to reduce the number of network round trips Outlook performs to download new mails. For instance, if you received two mails within 30 seconds, it would be more efficient to only go to the server once instead of twice. This is all documented much better in the Cached Exchange whitepaper: In reality, since Outlook 2003 has released, we’ve learned that this delay isn’t as necessary as we had thought (most of the time), and we’ve optimized the Outlook 2007 algorithm so that the majority of the new mail operations you experience will have no noticeable delay in Cached Exchange. Also, Outlook 2007 when running against Exchange "12" will be able to use asynchronous remote procedure calls (the same technology we use to talk to Exchange for all other mailbox operations) so that instant change notifications can also be received through firewalls, and when running Outlook Anywhere.

    So in short, although we don’t have the same mechanism, if you have the latest bits of Outlook and Exchange, it will work well all the time, and if you don’t have the latest bits, you can adjust the delay timings at the small sacrifice of some server scalability (your mileage will vary) and you can add Outlook to the list of unblocked applications in the Windows Firewall to get more instantaneous mail notifications.

  5. AdamB says:

    Thanks Melissa and Dan! That was great information. I look forward to seeing the 07 optimization in my mailbox.

    A followup:

    Are there any plans to support cached mode when running in Terminal Services? Currently Outlook has to run in Online mode when running under TS (i.e., a TS running in application mode and users are connecting in to check email) which again is fairly slow if your exchange server is offsite.