How to be more efficient within Microsoft Project 2016

/, PM Tools, Project Reporting, Tom's Tech Talk/How to be more efficient within Microsoft Project 2016

How to be more efficient within Microsoft Project 2016

There are many things we could talk about when it comes to using Microsoft Project more efficiently. For anyone that has attended a Projility Project Manager training class, the first thing that you learned was how to adjust the Quick Access Toolbar. This toolbar can make your life easier and more productive – with just a few minor adjustments.

What is the Quick Access toolbar? It allows a user to add buttons that they frequently use from the ‘ribbon’ interface to the top left side of the screen – so that they are convenient and easily accessible.

Here is what the Quick Access Toolbar looks like:

Microsoft Project Tips

What do we recommend you add to the Quick Access Toolbar?

First of all we recommend that you add anything that you find yourself using on a daily basis or that you’re constantly searching for in the ‘ribbon’ interface.

During training classes, we typically recommend adding the following, at a minimum, but you may add or remove according to your individual preferences:

Scroll to Task:

The ‘Scroll to Task’ button allows a user to select a task; once you click the ‘Scroll to Task’ button the Gantt Chart will automatically scroll to the selected task and bring it into view. However, this button is normally located in the ‘Editing’ section of the ‘Task’ ribbon. It takes a lot of clicks to reach this button, even though it is generally used all the time. Because of this, the ‘Scroll to Task” button is our first recommended addition to the Quick Access toolbar. If you also use it frequently, try placing the button on the far right-hand side of the toolbar for even quicker access.

Cleanup Cache:

When using Microsoft PPM, it is necessary to clean out your Cache from time to time. Unless you have done this a few times, cleaning out your cache can be a difficult process to remember. Just to bring up the cleanup cache options, you need to click: File > Options > save Tab > cleanup Cache. Instead of memorizing the proper steps, we recommend incorporating the ‘Cleanup Cache’ button into your toolbar. It will make the process simple and easy.


When using Microsoft PPM, it is very important to publish your updates once you have made significant changes – such as adjusting durations of assigning resources – so that these changes are reflected within Project Web App. In an attempt to encourage this behavior, we recommend that the ‘Publish’ button be added to the toolbar, too. To get into the habit of using the button, try placing it next to the ‘Save’ button so that after your “save” completes, you can then click ‘Publish.’

How to modify the Quick access Toolbar:

To add items to your Quick Access toolbar, you can right click on any button in the ‘ribbon’ and click ‘Add to quick access toolbar.’

Microsoft Project Tips

Alternatively, you can click on the Quick Access toolbar drop-down and select ‘More Commands…’

Microsoft Project Tips

From this menu, you can select any command – even those commands not found in the ‘ribbon,’ such as ‘Cleanup Cache.’ Note: you will need to select ‘All commands’ to find the ‘Cleanup Cache’ button because it is not listed in the ‘Popular Commands.’

Below you can see the modifications that we made to our quick access toolbar:

Microsoft Project Tips

Thank you very much for reading! We hope that this blog and its accompanying graphics can help you to become an even better Microsoft Project user.

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.

By |2018-06-06T11:19:05+00:00January 6th, 2017|Microsoft Project Tips, PM Tools, Project Reporting, Tom's Tech Talk|

About the Author:

Tom Henry
Tom Henry has been involved with Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) since graduating from Bournemouth University in the UK. Working first in London and then moving to the US, Tom has seen how project managers interact with Microsoft Project and Project Online from using different methodologies such as Prince 2 in the UK to PMI in the USA. Tom has also worked with Agile teams looking to utilize Microsoft Project to manage projects using Scrum, Kanban, and other iterative methods. Tom prides himself on being able to understand his clients’ needs and to translate those needs into simplified PPM solutions.

About Projility

PROJILITY is a Microsoft PPM and CRM services leader and product innovator. Our Hammerhead products have helped organizations around the world save hundreds of thousands on Microsoft Project Server training, customization, and support costs.

Contact Us

2 Wisconsin Circle,Suite 700
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: 703.448.6777
Fax: 703.842.8478