Keeping track of Outlook items, such as contacts and emails, which require a follow-up action can be a time consuming task that can be quite difficult. Fortunately Outlook 2010 has the Follow Up feature that that makes it easy to convert email messages or contacts into to-do or Follow Up items that can include reminders if needed.
The Outlook Follow Up tag feature is used to add an email or a contact to the Task list in Outlook as an item that requires follow-up or as a to-do item. When assigning the Follow Up tag to an item there are several time frame options available that can be used to assign a deadline for the completion of the item. The time frame options include:
- Today the task has a start and due date of today
- Tomorrow the task starts on the current date plus one day and is due on the current date plus one day
- This Week the task has a start date of plus two days and is due on the last day of the current week
- Next Week the task starts on next week on the first work day and is due on the last day of the same week
- No Date the task has no start or end date
- Custom the start and due date are displayed as the current date and custom date can be specified
In addition to be able to customize or select start and due dates a reminder can be set on a Follow Up item to have Outlook display a reminder about the item. Below is the details on when a reminder is displayed for a specific due date time.
- Today reminder is shown an hour before the end of the current work day
- Tomorrow reminder is displayed at the start of the current day plus an additional work day
- This Week the reminder is shown at start of the current day plus two additional work days
- Next Week the reminder is displayed on the first word day of the next week
- No Date no reminder
- Custom the current date is displayed select a custom date if desired
Once an item has been flagged with the Follow Up tag the item will appear in the Outlook To-Do list sorted by the due date and can be accessed by selecting Tasks in the left navigation pane. The To-Do list can also be displayed in the To-Do bar on the right side of the screen by selecting View | To-Do Bar and selecting Task List. This will keep the list visible at all times.
After an item has been completed then the Follow Up flag can be cleared from the item which also removes the item from the to-do list.
The next step is learning how to assign a Follow Up Tag to an Outlook 2010 item. Stayed tuned for the next article which will provides the details for assigning the Follow Up Tag.