Outlook Productivity Tips: Quick Access Tool Bar

Quick Access Tool Bar

The Quick Access Tool Bar (Above the Ribbon)

There is a little known feature in Outlook 2010 that packs a big punch in terms of productivity – the Quick Access Tool Bar.

Located at the top of Outlook, this menu is very unassuming. In fact, it appears only as a small black arrow with a line above it, but if you put your mouse cursor over top and hover, you will see that the label Customize the Quick Access Tool Bar appears.

The Quick Access Tool Bar allows you to pin frequently used items to the top of Outlook, so that you don’t have to spend time searching for these items in the Ribbon.  In fact, once you setup your Quick Access Tool Bar, you can even minimize and hid the Ribbon, if you no longer wish to look at it.

To setup your Quick Access Tool Bar, click on the black down arrow at the top of Outlook. From here you have two options, you can either click on any of the items shown on the list, to make them appear on your Quick Access Tool Bar, or you can customize and specify the exact buttons you want by selecting More Commands.

It is recommended that you select the items you want on your Quick Access Tool Bar from the More Commands menu, because you have a wider selection of buttons and options to choose from under this menu. This menu also allows you to easily customize the order of your icons.

You can add items from the menu one of two ways. You can either click on the item you want, and then click the add button, or you can double click on the item. You will know you have added it correctly when the item you want appears in the right side column titled Customize Quick Access Tool Bar.

To customize the order of your icons, select the item you want to move up or down on the right hand side, then click the up or down arrows, located at the far right of the screen, in the middle.

Once the Quick Access Tool Bar is setup the way you like it, click on OK, and you’ll see all your icons at the top.

If you would like to minimize the Ribbon, you may do so by clicking on the Minimize Ribbon button, which is a small gray up arrow located on the far right of Outlook, just above the Ribbon (and next to the blue help button). When you hover over the arrow, the screen tip will say Minimize Ribbon.

By setting up your Quick Access Tool Bar with your most frequently used Outlook commands, you avoid wasting time looking under various tabs in the Ribbon searching for what you need. This trick not only saves you time, but can alleviate frustration and aggravation too.  Try it today.

Do you love using the Quick Access Tool Bar? Leave us a comment telling us what commands you like to pin to your bar.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who is interested in helping you find smarter ways to use Outlook. Email: julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

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