Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding flags and the To Do list

From: Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management

Video: Understanding flags and the To Do list

If you used Office 2003, or an earlier version of Office, you might be used to flags in Outlook that are basically color flags that allow you to categorize something. As we saw in the last video, that's not the use of flags in Outlook 2010. In Outlook 2010, flags are used not for filtering and sorting based on a group; flags are used to pin a time to the Calendar to say that you are going to do something on a particular day or in a particular range of days. So if I simply click and attach a flag to something, three things happen all at the same time.

Understanding flags and the To Do list

If you used Office 2003, or an earlier version of Office, you might be used to flags in Outlook that are basically color flags that allow you to categorize something. As we saw in the last video, that's not the use of flags in Outlook 2010. In Outlook 2010, flags are used not for filtering and sorting based on a group; flags are used to pin a time to the Calendar to say that you are going to do something on a particular day or in a particular range of days. So if I simply click and attach a flag to something, three things happen all at the same time.

One is that if we open this item, you will see that it's flagged for follow-up here in the banner at the top. The second thing is this item is added to my To Do List. We can see the To Do List down here at the bottom of the To Do bar, and here is the missing check, the flagged message from Greg. If I go to my Tasks list, I'll also see that that missing check item is here, waiting for action. Let's return back to mail and take a look at how we actually flag this item. I clicked once to flag it, but that applies a default flag.

If I right-click, I'll see a whole list of the different time flags that I can attach to an item here my Inbox or to a contact. These are also the same timeframes that I can assign to a task. First, I could say I'm going to do something today, and I can click Today, or I can right-click, and I can say I'm going to do it Tomorrow, This Week, in other words pin the date to this Friday, Next Week, the next Friday. I want to do something about this, but I have no idea when, which is simply a way to being denial about the task you are never going to actually do, or Custom, which opens a dialog box and lets me attach a start date and a due date and a reminder to this item, if I want to be very explicit about a particular day on which it needs to be begun or completed.

The flag that appears when I click once is called the Quick Click Flag, and if I right-click, I get to set that. By default, it's today. However, I can decide that tomorrow would make more sense. In my office, when I receive an e-mail, the odds are pretty good I'm not going to finish it today. I'm going to respond to that e-mail, if it takes any time at all, and it's worth flagging, tomorrow or sometime later this week. So I could choose Tomorrow or This Week as my Quick Click. It's the flag that I'd apply most often.

I'm going to go ahead and choose Tomorrow and say OK, so that when I click once, I'm saying that's for tomorrow. I can always right-click and choose any other timeframe that I wish. Remember that each of these items are being added down here to my To Do List and also on the Tasks list to my To Do List. We need to look at one other attribute that's very different in Outlook 2007 and 2010, and in prior versions. Before I could use flags in this way to automatically say this is actually a task, there was no real relationship between e-mail and the items on my Task list, but now they're actually the same.

If I've flagged an item, I have actually added it here to the To Do List. If you look at the icon, you'll notice that we have different items here. We have, for example, this item that was created here as a task. It has the familiar task item, but there items are e-mail items, all of them. So if, for example, I finish this task, I should mark it as complete. If I click again, it will be marked as complete, or I could have right-clicked and chosen Mark Complete, and the item is still on my list, but it's crossed off.

Some people, when they complete a task, what they do is they hit Delete, and if I do that, I'm doing something very different, because this task doesn't actually live here. It's an e-mail that's flagged. So I see a message box that says, if you delete this missing check task, you're also deleting the missing check e-mail message. Do you want to continue? I've been working in versions of Outlook that behave this way with flags now for four years, and I've never told it not to show me this message again, because I never want to accidentally delete an e-mail when I believe that I am simply deleting the task.

So I'm going to cancel this. I'm going to say, no, I actually don't want to do that. I have done what I need to do. I've checked this off. There is one more place that we can actually see this task list. If I go to my Calendar and the view that I'm working in is the Day, Work Week or Week view, I'll see my tasks reflected in the Task Pane at the bottom of my Calendar. Now the ads are pretty good that when you first opened Outlook, you wanted more room for you calendar, more room for hours, so you might have gone in and dragged this down to get rid of it. But I would encourage you to actually open this view back up and show it, because it's a very, very useful feature.

I can look at any particular day and see not just my appointments, but also see the tasks that I have assigned to that day. Not only that - if I mark a task as Done, for example, let's say that the designs are complete, and I've opened that e-mail, and I've marked it as Done. That would be one choice of how to do that. Let's just get rid of that Message Box. So I've gone in, and I've looked at this task, and I've marked it as complete. Notice that it no longer appears on a Thursday where it was originally; it now appears on Wednesday, which is the day that I actually completed it.

So I can retrospectively look back and see all the tasks that I completed on every workday. This gives me a calendar that actually reflects all of my work, both appointments and meetings, and any tasks that I completed during the day, all in one spot. If you're not used to using flags in Outlook 2010, I would encourage you to begin using flags. By using them, it helps you become more efficient, because you can look at all of the work that lays ahead of you and all of your work retrospectively to be able to make best decisions on how you can be effective in your work using Outlook 2010.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management
Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management

25 video lessons · 13639 viewers

Gini Courter
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.