In this video, Jess Stratton shows users how to use follow up flags, clear flags, and even add reminder alarms and get visual notification of flags. She also talks about color classification of emails through the use of Categories.
- [Instructor] It's easy to get an email that requires an action on our part, and then completely forget to do that action. For this case, Outlook gives us something called the follow up flag. It can give you two benefits. The first is a visual reminder. The second is that we can put an actual pop-up reminder on the flag. This way, we'll never forget to handle an email. Follow up flags are most useful for actionable items. Let's take this email that does have an actionable item in it. To set a follow up flag quickly, I'm going to click the flag icon in the inbox email itself.
A few things happen. The first thing is that the flag becomes permanent in the email, even after I deselect it. Second, when I click inside the email, I can see at the top that it has a follow up on it. I can see all of my emails with follow ups on the right-hand side by turning on the To Do pane. I can do that by changing to the View ribbon tab, clicking To Do Bar, and setting it to Tasks. Here's my follow up flag down at the bottom. If you've connected your Gmail account to Outlook like we've done, you may notice a bunch of follow up flags that you know you didn't set.
This is because Gmail has the ability to mark certain emails as being important, and Outlook interprets that as a follow up flag. So any email that you see in here is most likely from your Gmail account and it's been marked as important. When I'm finished with this task, I can click on the flag again in the email, and it will mark it as complete. You'll notice that it's disappeared from the To Do Bar. We can also add a reminder instead of a flag. Let's take a look at this email.
I'm going to change back to the Home ribbon tab, and this time I'll select Follow Up from the Home ribbon tab and choose Add Reminder. I'm going to flag this one as a follow up, through from the drop-down there's a lot of options, such as to call, to forward, to read, and review. You can set a due date, and a time that you want the reminder alarm to go off. Click OK, and your email will now have a follow up flag and an alarm bell icon, letting you know that there's an alarm on that reminder.
I'm going to close out of this To Do Bar by clicking the X on the top right-hand side. What happens when there's no email action required, but you do want a visual means to file or classify that email? You don't have to clutter up tasks and follow up items when you can assign it to a color category. The first thing you might want to do is give color categories meaningful names. On the Home ribbon, click Categorize, and then choose All Categories. These are the default categories that Outlook gives us.
We can rename them by selecting the color category and choosing Rename. I'm going to call this one TechFest. Hit the Enter key, and the category has been renamed. You can move to the next one, select Rename again, and so on. These are things that should be meaningful to you. You can also change the color of existing categories by clicking the drop-down next to Color, and choosing something that you like. Finally, you can click New to create a new category if you run out of the default ones.
I'll click OK. Now that we've renamed our categories, we can start visually categorizing our email. Here's a TechFest email. I can right-click on the email, hover my mouse over Categorize, and choose the TechFest category. I can do that for any TechFest email I have. I could also go through and rename anything that matches up to any of the categories that I've created. I can see the category in the email itself because of the big color bar that appears at the top of the email, and I can also get a visual clue in the folder itself by the icon.
I'll set a few more categories because I want to show you that I can now change the view at the top of the inbox. Remember, it defaults to By Date, but I'm going to click now and choose Categories. This way, I can collapse all the categories and see all of my emails in one place. Everything at the top will be uncategorized or I can change the sort order and put all my categorized icons at the top of the list. To get back to the regular way of looking at mail, you can click the down arrow next to By Categories, and change it to the default By Date.
Remember a follow up flag is for an actionable item. A category is for visual classification. And categories can be assigned to anything, contacts, calendar items, and mail items.
- Accessing the keyboard shortcuts
- Using @mentions
- Reading and searching mail
- Organizing mail
- Processing messages with mail rules
- Using the new Focused Inbox feature
- Creating and formatting new messages
- Recalling and resending messages
- Creating new contacts
- Working with the calendar
- Creating tasks and notes
- Working with Outlook data