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Software

Two easy ways to track sent email in Outlook

Once you send a message, you tend to forget it, even if you're waiting for feedback from the recipient. Don't let those messages fall through the cracks. Track them using a follow-up flag.

If you're like me, you correspond via email with at least a few people who aren't disciplined when it comes to responding, even when you've asked for additional information. Inevitably, the request falls through the cracks and you just forget about it, until you need the information and realize the person never responded. You could consider an action list, but that's just one more thing to remember — Sent DL email requesting quarterly figures. Follow up in a few days with a phone call because he never remembers. I don't know about you, but I don't find maintaining an action list any easier than remembering sent email requests! Outlook can help, without adding more stress to your day. There are two ways to track requests via email:
  • Flag the sent message: Right-click the sent message, choose Follow Up, and click Add Reminder.
  • Flag a message before sending it: Click the Follow Up button on the toolbar. Choose an appropriate flag or Add Reminder. (In Outlook 2007, click the Message tab and click Follow Up in the Options group.)
Once you've flagged a message, a simple sort makes them easy to track. With just a quick glance, you can determine which recipients you expect to hear from. Flagging a sent email won't help you get a quicker response, but it will keep the message front and center so you don't forget that you're waiting for someone to take action.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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