Desktask: display your Outlook tasks and calendar items on the desktop


Desktask is a freeware companion to Outlook that displays Tasks and Calendar events for the entire week on your desktop.

Desktask will periodically access Outlook and refresh its displayed data according to a user-defined time period.

If you use Outlook (as I have to do for work) you might have wished that there was a way to display Outlook information on your desktop without needing to open your Outlook to find out.

With Desktask your wish has been granted. Here are more notes on this program:

  • Information provided: displays tasks and calendar events for the week but not email. The user has the option to display such information as start and end (due date) times, icons for priority items, sort by date, display completed tasks, etc.
  • Interactivity: aside from the visual display of your information, Desktask can be used to click on items to open them in Outlook (if this is selected in the program options). It is not designed for two-way interaction with Outlook from the desktop (as is the case with a program like Outlook on the Desktop for example).
  • Tweaking the display: you can drag and drop to place exactly where you like your information to be displayed. You can also decide on whether you want current/past items only or future items as well. Desktask also can provide text color coding for past and future dates (e.g. green=future date, red=past date; see screenshot above). Other visual tweaks include justification, shadows, font and background colors, transparency, etc.
  • Memory use: a “bargain”, if you will, at just 7 megs in memory.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • Email: no not email on the desktop, but since the program is periodically accessing Outlook anyway it would be worthwhile to add new email notifications as balloons or popup messages.
  • Ability to password-access Outlook: my Outlook requires password authentication every time I use it in order to open, access the MS Exchange server and download email. Although I was prompted to enter the password manually when Desktask attempted to access Outlook, it would be far better if Desktask could pass the login info itself in the background. Moreover, it may have been the case at least once that this authentication requirement tripped up Desktask and caused it to go into a “trance” if you will (or something else may have caused this). I know that the vast majority of Outlook users will not face this situation though.
  • Wrap text: a really long item in my tasks list extended for the entire length of my desktop; instead, it would be better if item text would “wrap” to the next line after surpassing a certain length.

The verdict: a very nice and well made program that can be extremely useful for Outlook users (and who knows, might become a whole lot better if the author were to implement my wish list suggestions above). Worth mentioning is that Desktask is now compatible with both Vista and Outlook 2007.

Version Tested: 1.0 SR1

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista (since ver. 1 SR1) ; requires MS Outlook 2000, XP, 2003, 2007 Beta 2.

Go to program page to download the latest version (approx 570K).