Email. It’s the best and the worst at the same time. While it enables us to keep in constant contact with other (especially coworkers) it’s quite easy for your inbox to become overwhelmed with messages.
It’s so easy to glance at an email and then rush off to another task. This leads to two unfun outcomes. You either forget about the email entirely or by the time you’re ready to go back and fully read that message and provide the requested information, it’s now buried under dozens of new messages. You’re stuck searching through the countless messages that have managed to accumulate in such a short time span instead of working on important tasks.
Thanks to Outlook you can stop searching and save your time by taking advantage of email reminders. Users can “flag” messages to alert recipients that follow-up action is required. In just two clicks, you can set a reminder to come back to an important email task, and you no longer must dig through your inbox.
Reminders for You
You’ve just sent an important email that you absolutely NEED a coworker to answer. To make sure you get your question answered, you can flag this email. This flag lets you know that you asked for a response. Now you have an item added to your to-do list to remind yourself to follow-up if your coworker doesn’t get back to you right away.
- Click Message> Follow Up.
- Click Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, No Date, or Custom.
Because you’ve sent the original message, this flag will appear in your Sent Items folder. You may not remember to check for flags in this folder, so instead, you can set a reminder to follow-up. This reminder will appear as an alert (just like appointment reminders) that will appear when it’s time to follow up.
To enable this personal reminder click Follow Up > Add Reminder. Here you enter the date and time you’d like to receive an alert on.
Reminders for Them
If you’re sending an email you don’t want the recipient to forget; you can add a flag for a gentle reminder of how important their response is. A flag will appear in the message list, and text will appear above the From line of the sent message. Recipients that use Outlook as well (if the recipient is your coworker than that’s a given) will have an item added to their to-do list.
- Click Message> Follow Up
- Click Custom
- Check the Flag for Recipients
- In the Custom dialog box, you can now change the default Flag to text to a description that relates to the task at hand. For example, you can put Send XYZ brief to Melissa. This text will now appear above the From line in the recipient’s inbox.
Like items in your Sent Items folder, you can include a reminder alert for added visibility. This will give the recipient an alert when follow up is due.
To enable this reminder, check the Flag for Recipients box, and enter the deadlines fate and time. Your recipient will now get an alert to remind them that you’re expecting a response.
Now instead of letting emails to-dos get forgotten about, you now know how to flag and set reminders, so you never forget to follow up to a crucial email again.