Add or remove a flag for follow up

Applying a flag to a message or a contact adds a visual reminder to help you remember to follow up on an item in some way. Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 includes several default flags with dates, such as Today, Tomorrow, and Next Week. You can also associate custom dates or reminders with the flagged item for yourself and other people. Flags for messages appear in your e-mail views, and flags for contacts appear in Contact table (table: A view type that displays a list of items (rows) and their attributes (columns). Use this view to display details about items. Table is the default view type for Inbox and Tasks.) views. With a Quick Click flag (Quick Click flag: A default flag that is assigned to an item when you click the Flag Status column in your Inbox or other table view. You set the default time, date, or other criteria for the flag from the Follow Up menu.), you can also assign flags to items with a single click.

A flagged item also appears in the To-Do Bar, the Daily Task List in Calendar, and the Task Module.

What do you want to do?


How do the flag dates on the Follow Up menu work?

The following table describes how the dates work for the flags on the Follow Up menu. However, you can customize the dates for any flag, and setting reminders is optional.

Flag Start date Due date Reminder
Today Current date Current date One hour before the end time of today's work day
Tomorrow Current date plus one day Current date plus one day Start time of current day plus one work day
This Week Current date plus two days, but no later than the last work day of this week Last work day of this week Start time of current day plus two work days
Next Week First work day of next week Last work day of next week Start time of the first work day of next week
No Date No date No date Current date
Custom Current date is displayed; choose a custom date if desired Current date is displayed; choose a custom date if desired Current date is displayed; choose a custom date if desired

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Add a flag to a message

When you add a flag to a message, you see the flagged item in the Inbox or other message lists. You can also see the flagged item in the To-Do Bar, the Daily Task List in Calendar, and the Task list in Tasks. When you flag a message, it is a visible reminder to take action. You can also include a reminder for a flag so that you are prompted at a specific time to take action.

In your flagged messages in the InfoBar (InfoBar: Banner near the top of an open e-mail message, appointment, contact, or task. Tells you if a message has been replied to or forwarded, along with the online status of a contact who is using Instant Messaging, and so on.), you can read the details that are associated with the flag, such as the due date, the type of follow up that is needed, or a reminder.

    Add a flag to a message

Do one of the following:

  • In an open message, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click a flag.
  • In a message list, such as your Inbox, right-click the item, point to Follow Up, and then click a flag on the shortcut menu.

 Tip   You can also assign a flag to a message with one click. For more information, see Add a Quick Click flag.

    Add a flag with a custom date to a message

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In an open message, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Custom.
    • In a message list, such as your Inbox, right-click the item, point to Follow Up, and then click Custom on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Start Date and Due Date boxes, select the dates that you want.

 Note   Flagging an item does not select a reminder for the item. You can select a reminder by clicking Add Reminder on the shortcut menu. For more information, see Add a flag with a custom reminder date.

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Add a flag to a contact

Flagging a contact adds a flag as a visible reminder to take an action related to the contact, such as returning a telephone call. In addition to your Contact views, you see flagged contacts in the To-Do Bar, Daily Task List in Calendar, and task list in Tasks. You can also include a reminder for a flag so that you are prompted at a specific time to take action.

    Add a flag to a contact

Do one of the following:

  • In an open contact, on the Contact tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up, and then click a flag.
  • In Business Cards or Address Cards view, on the toolbar, click Follow Up Button image, and then click a flag.
  • In a table view, such as Phone List, right-click the contact, click Follow Up, and then click a flag.

    Add a flag with a custom date to a contact

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In an open contact, on the Contact tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up, and then click Custom.
    • In Business Cards or Address Cards view, on the toolbar, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Custom.
    • In a table view, such as Phone List, right-click the contact, click Follow Up, and then click Custom on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Start Date and Due Date boxes, select the dates you want.

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Add a Quick Click flag

When you click the Flag Status column next to an item, you select the Quick Click flag. By default, the Quick Click flag is set for Today, but you can assign another date from the menu or create a customized Quick Click flag as the default. With just a single click in your Inbox or other table (table: A view type that displays a list of items (rows) and their attributes (columns). Use this view to display details about items. Table is the default view type for Inbox and Tasks.) view, you can assign your default flag to a message or contact.

If you want to change the default from Today to another date, first choose the new default flag date. Then you can quickly assign that flag to messages and contacts. The flag appears in the Flag Status column and also in the item itself.

Use a single click to set a Quick Click flag for Today

Include a Quick Click flag

  1. On the toolbar, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Set Quick Click Flag.
  2. In Set Quick Click, in the list, select a flag.

 Note   If you change the Quick Click flag, previously flagged items are not changed.

Assign a Quick Click flag to a message

  • In your Inbox, next to a message, click the Flag Status column. This adds the flag that you selected as your Quick Click flag to the column.

 Note   You can assign a Quick Click flag to multiple messages at the same time. Select the messages, and then click the Flag Status column next to one of the messages.

Assign a Quick Click flag to a contact

  • In Contacts, in a table view such as By Follow Up Flag, next to a contact, click the Flag Status column. This adds the flag that you selected as your Quick Click flag to the column.

 Note   You can assign a Quick Click flag to multiple messages at the same time. Select the messages, and then click the Flag Status column next to one of the messages.

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Add a flag with a reminder

If you want to be reminded to take action on a flagged item, you can add a reminder. For example, you can add a reminder for a message so that you remember to reply by a certain time, or you can add a reminder for a contact to remember to return a telephone call.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In an open message, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image.
    • In an open contact, on the Contacts tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image.

 Tip   You can also add a flag with a custom reminder to an item in a table view. In your Inbox or a list of contacts, select an item and then click Follow Up Button image on the the toolbar to open the Follow Up menu.

  1. On the Follow Up menu, click Add Reminder.
  2. In the Reminder list, click the arrow, and then select the date when you want to be reminded.
  3. In the next list, click the arrow, and then select the time of day to be reminded.

 Tip   You can also select other information for the item in the Start date, Due date, and Flag to boxes. In the Flag to list, you can select other text, such as Review or Reply to all, to reinforce what the reminder is for. This text appears in the InfoBar in the message. You can also type your own text into the Flag to box.

  1. To change the default reminder sound, click Button Image, and then browse to a sound file. If the Play this sound check box is cleared, select it.

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Add a flag to a message sent to someone else

If you want to encourage people to reply to a message or you want to request other actions from them, you can send them a flagged message. You can add text that is specific to your request that appears in the InfoBar in the messages that you send, as well as the flag indicator. You can choose from several options in a list or type your own text. The default is Follow Up.

  1. In a new message, on the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image.
  2. On the Follow Up menu, click Flag for Recipients.

To include a reminder for yourself and other people, click Custom Date, and then select the Flag for Recipients box.

  1. In the Flag to list, select an action, or type your own text. What you select or type here appears in the InfoBar in the message that the recipient receives.
  2. If you do not want to send a reminder with the message, clear the Reminder box.
  3. If you want to send a reminder with the message, in the Flag for Recipients section, select a date and time from the lists. This time and date also appear in the InfoBar.

 Tip   To include a flag and reminder for yourself and other people, select the Flag for Me check box, and type the information for the flag. To set a reminder for yourself, select the Reminder box, and then select the date and time.

After your flagged messages are sent, you can track the recipients. If you are using a Microsoft Exchange account, you can even find and track the responses that you receive. For more information, see Find flagged messages.

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Remove a flag

To remove a flag, you can either mark the item complete, as in a task you have performed, or you can clear the flag.

Mark Complete     The item remains marked with a follow-up flag. However, the item is now displayed with a strikethrough. In your Inbox, a check mark replaces the flag. If the To-Do Bar or Tasks list is configured to show all tasks and to-do items, regardless of whether they are complete, you still see the message until you delete it from your e-mail folders. By default, the To-do bar doesn't show the completed tasks. However, you can set up a view to show the completed tasks. For more information, see Track your to-do and task items.

Clear Flag     The flag is removed from the item, and there is no record of it ever appearing in views, such as the To-Do Bar and Tasks.

If you want to keep a record of completed items, select Mark Complete. However, after you delete it, the item completely disappears from all views.

There are several ways to remove a flag from an item, including marking it complete:



Remove a flag from a message

Remove a flag from a message in the Inbox or other message list

  • Next to the message, right-click the flag in the Flag Status column, and then click Clear Flag on the shortcut menu.

Remove a flag from an open message

  • On the Message tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Clear Flag.

Remove a flag from a message in the Tasks List, To-Do Bar, or Calendar Daily Task List

  • Right-click the item, click Follow Up, and then click Clear Flag on the shortcut menu.

This removes the message from your Tasks List, To-Do Bar, and Calendar Daily Task List, but does not delete the message itself. The message remains in your Inbox and any assigned folders.

Remove a flag from a contact

Remove a flag from a contact in a table view, Address Cards view, or Business Cards view

  • Select the contact, and on the toolbar, click Follow UpButton image, and then Click Clear Flag.

Remove a flag from an open contact

  • On the Contacts tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Clear Flag.

Remove a flag from a contact in the Tasks List, To-Do Bar, or Calendar Daily Task List

  • Right-click the item, click Follow Up, and then click Clear Flag on the shortcut menu.

This removes the contact from your Tasks List, To-Do Bar, and Calendar Daily Task List, but does not delete the contact itself.

Mark a message flag complete

Mark a message complete in the Inbox or other message list

  • Next to the message, click the Flag Status column.

The flag becomes a check mark.

Mark an open message complete

  • On the Message tab, in theOptions group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Mark Complete.

The date that the item was marked complete is displayed in the InfoBar.

Mark a message complete in the Tasks List, To-Do Bar, or Calendar Daily Task List

  • Right-click the item, click Follow Up, and then click Mark Complete on the shortcut menu.

The flag becomes a check mark where it is listed. The items listed in your Tasks List, To-Do Bar, and Calendar Daily Task List are displayed with a strikethrough.

Mark a contact flag complete

Mark a contact complete in a table, Address Cards view, or Business Cards view

  1. Select the contact.
  2. On the toolbar, click Follow UpButton image, and then click Mark Complete.

Mark an open contact complete

  • On the Contacts tab, in the Options group, click Follow Up Button image, and then click Mark Complete.

The date that the item was marked complete is displayed in the InfoBar.

Mark a contact complete in the Tasks List, To-Do Bar, or Calendar Daily Task List

  • Right-click the item, click Follow Up, and then click Mark Complete.

The flag becomes a check mark in table views. The items listed in your Tasks List, To-Do Bar, and Calendar Daily Task List are displayed with a strikethrough.

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Use a rule to add a flag automatically

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  2. Click New Rule.
  3. Under Step 1: Select a template, click Flag messages from someone for follow-up.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard.

If you want to run a newly created rule on messages that are already in the Inbox, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "Inbox" check box on the last page in the Rules Wizard.

To apply this rule to all your accounts and each Inbox folder, select the Create this rule on all accounts check box on the last page in the Rules Wizard.

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Automatically remove flags on messages sent to you

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  2. Click New Rule.
  3. Under Start from a Blank Rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
  4. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select flagged for action.
  5. Select action, and then select the flag that you want.

To clear all flags, click Any.

  1. Click OK, and then click Next.
  2. Under Step 1: Select action(s), click Clear the Message Flag, and then click Next.
  3. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard.

If you want to run a newly created rule on messages that are already in the Inbox, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "Inbox" check box on the last page in the Rules Wizard.

To apply this rule to all your accounts and each Inbox folder, select the Create this rule on all accounts check box on the last page in the Rules Wizard.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007