In this video, staff author Jess Stratton shows users how to use follow-up flags, clear flags, and even add reminder alarms and get visual notification of flags. She'll also talk about color classification of emails through 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 has two benefits, a visual reminder and a pop up reminder. Follow up flags are most useful for actionable items. Let's take this email. This one does have an actionable item, somebody's asking me if I can take on the role of event committee.
So I need to reply with an answer. To set a follow up item very quickly, with the email selected in the view I can hover my mouse over this flag icon and click it. A few things happen. The flag becomes permanent in the email even after I deselect it, you can still see that it's colored in red. Second when I click inside the email I can see 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.
Let's click view, click to do bar, and then turn on tasks. Here are my follow up flags. Now I wanted to show you this because if you've connected your Gmail account to Outlook, you may notice a bunch of follow up flags such as these here that you know you didn't set. This is because Gmail has the ability to mark certain emails as being important, and Outlook will interpret that as a follow up flag.
So all of these are from Gmail emails that have been marked as important. The Outlook ones are down here. I can close out of this by clicking the X on the top right hand side. When I'm finished with the task, I can click the flag again in the email and it will mark it as complete. We can also add a reminder instead of a flag. Let's take this email. This is an email of Jenny asking me to check out Simon's work as a possible photographer for TechFest.
Instead of just clicking the flag icon to set a flag, I wanna add a reminder. To do that I'm going to change back to the home ribbon tab, I'll click follow up and now I'll choose add reminder. I can add this as a follow up, although in the pull down I have some more options. You can set a due date and even set a reminder time that you want the alarm to go off.
I'll click okay and the email now has both a follow up flag and an alarm bell icon. This will let you visually know that there's an alarm on that reminder. The alarm is going to pop up in Outlook. What happens when there's no action item required but you do want a visual means to file or classify that email? You can assign it to a color category. Right above the follow up flag there's an option to categorize your emails and we've been seeing this a lot throughout this course.
The first thing you might wanna do is give your categories meaningful names. Outlook defaults to just calling them color categories and that might work for you as long as you can keep them straight. To rename them click all categories. You can rename them by selecting the color category, clicking once inside or clicking rename on the right and typing the new name. Hit the enter key and it's been renamed, you can move onto the next one and keep going.
These are things that should be meaningful to you. You can also change the color of existing categories by selecting it and choosing a new color on the right hand side. Finally, you can click new to create a new category if you run out of the default ones. I'll click okay on this. Now that we've renamed our categories, we can start visually categorizing our email. This is a TechFest email, so I can choose categorize and select TechFest. It now has a red bar on it and I can see at the top that it's been categorized with TechFest.
I'll set a few more categories. I've done that and now I can show you that I can change the view at the top of the inbox. Remember it defaults to by date, but I'm going to choose by categories. This way I can collapse all my categories and only see the certain ones that I want to look at.
I'll change this back to by date. And something else I can do is click filter email on the top of the screen, which we've already done. I can now choose to filter my mail by any of these categories. Here I'm only looking at the emails that I've categorized as TechFest. I'll click the X to close out of this and get back to my entire inbox. So remember a follow up is for an actionable item. You can set a follow up at any time by clicking the flag icon.
A category is for visual classification, and categories can be assigned to anything including contacts and calendar items.
- Connecting your email account to Outlook
- Reading mail
- Searching for mail
- Organizing mail with flags, folders, and rules
- Creating and sending new email
- Creating new contacts
- Adding delegates
- Creating meetings and appointments in the Outlook calendar
- Creating tasks
- Backing up Outlook data
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 11/09/2018. What changed?
A: A new video was added that covers the simplified ribbon in Office 365.