Using Message Flags

Another tool for tagging messages is a message flag. A message flag enables you to mark a message as important, either as a reminder for yourself or as a signal to the message's recipient. When you send a message flag, a red flag icon appears in the recipient's message list, and Outlook adds text at the top of the message telling which type of flag you are sending. In addition, you can add a due date to the flag, and that date appears at the top of the message.

The following list outlines the types of flags you can send in Outlook:


No Response Necessary

Do Not Forward


Follow Up


For Your Information

Reply to All



Using these various flags is like sticking a brief note on the message that provides you with a clue as to what type of follow-up might be required by a particular message. Flagged messages show a colored flag (the color depending on the type of the flag) to the right of the message sender and subject when you view the message in your Inbox list or other mail list. To use a message flag, follow these steps:

  1. Open a new message or existing message that you want to flag. In the message window, click Actions , point at Follow Up , and then select Add Reminder . The Flag for Follow Up dialog box appears (see Figure 9.5).

    Figure 9.5. Flag a message to show its importance or as a reminder for your follow-up.


  2. Click the Flag To drop-down arrow and choose the flag type you want to add to the message.

  3. Click the Due By drop-down arrow and use the calendar that appears to enter a date into the text box. Use the Time drop-down box to set a specific time. Assigning a due date and time makes you act on the message as dictated by the flag by a particular date.

  4. Click OK to return to the message window.

Marking messages with the Follow Up flag is a great way to remind yourself that you need to attend to a particular issue. All received messages that you flag can easily be viewed because they are listed in the For Follow Up Folder, which is accessed via the Mail Favorite Folders group . Flagging messages for your e-mail recipients helps them prioritize responses, so you receive the needed reply within a particular time frame.


Flag Existing Messages with Colored Flags Existing messages can be flagged with different colored flags. This allows you to flag an e-mail without actually adding a particular reminder to it. Right-click on any message in any of your mail folders (such as the Inbox or Sent Mail) and point at Follow Up on the shortcut menu that appears. You can quickly add a red, blue, yellow, green, orange, or purple flag. If you want to remove an existing flag from a message, select Clear Flag .

When you double-click a flagged message (the flag appears to the right of the message as an icon when the message appears in the Inbox list) and open it in a message window (see Figure 9.6), the flag type (not the flag itself) appears at the top of the message as a gray banner, just above the From box.

Figure 9.6. To view the type of flag attached, open the message.


Viewing the flag type on the message provides you with a quick reminder as to what your next action should be regarding the particular message.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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