Flag a message as important

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

Need to keep track of an important message? Or do you want to make sure that e-mail recipients immediately understand that your message is urgent and needs attention? Outlook provides a couple of ways to do this.

The importantButton image indicator is available to you on the message's toolbar and is a fast way to let recipients know that you have sent them an important message.

A message flagButton image can mark that message and make it easy to scan the Inbox and find it again, either as a reminder for you or to catch a recipient's attention.

 Tip   To easily find all the flagged items in your Inbox, in the Navigation Pane, under Favorite Folders, click the For Follow Up Search Folder. You can also create a Search Folder to hold all items marked important. For more information, see Find all my important mail.

Follow Up menu Flagging a message is easy, and you have six colors to choose from. You can designate one color to indicate important messages in your Inbox. You can even set a reminder with the flag — to remind you to reply to or act on the message.

ShowFlag a message as important for recipients

  1. In the message, click Button image on the toolbar.
  2. In the Flag to list, select the text you want, or type your own text, such as Important.
  3. In the Due by boxes, select a date and time, if needed.
  4. Click OK.

 Tip   To quickly display the Flag for Follow Up dialog box without opening the message, select the message, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+G.

ShowFlag a message as important for yourself

  • Right-click the message that you want to flag, point to Follow Up, and then click the color flag you want to use to indicate important.

You can do more to customize flags to keep track of your messages.

ShowSet a reminder to reply to or act on a message

  1. In your Inbox, right-click the message that you want to set the reminder for, point to Follow Up on the shortcut menu, and then click Add Reminder.
  2. In the Flag to list, select the text you want, such as Reply, or type your own text, such as Important.
  3. In the Due by boxes, click the date and time when you must reply by.
  4. In the Flag color list, click a flag color, and then click OK.

Flag for Follow Up dialog box

ShowName your colored Quick Flags

To help you keep track of what each colored flag means, you might find it useful to add a text label to the colored Quick Flags that you use. To name your Quick Flags, just add them to an existing or custom toolbar, and then label each flag. You can name each flag anything you want. Adding a name to a Quick Flag does not apply a category or add functionality to a flag. Instead, it is a way for you to remember what each flag color means to you.

Custom Flags toolbar

  1. In Outlook, right-click any toolbar, and then click Customize.
  2. On the Toolbars tab, click New, and then, after you name the toolbar, drag that toolbar to where you want it to be.
  3. In the Customize dialog box, on the Commands tab, under Categories, click Actions, and then, under Commands, drag a flag, such as the red flag, to the new toolbar.
  4. Right-click the flag on the new toolbar, and then click Image and Text on the shortcut menu.
  5. Right-click the flag again, and then, in the Name box, type a name for the flag — for example, Urgent. If you want to use a keyboard shortcut for the Quick Flag, type &Urgent, which enables you to activate the flag by pressing ALT+U.

 Note   Make sure that you put the ampersand (&) before a letter that is not being used as a keyboard shortcut by another button on any toolbar in Outlook. For example, Call Bac&k enables you to activate the flag by pressing ALT+K as long as no other buttons use ALT+K as a keyboard shortcut.

  1. After you have added all of the flags that you want to the toolbar, click Close in the Customize dialog box.
  2. To mark your messages with a flag, click the message in the message list, and then click the flag button on the toolbar that you created.

 Note   When you switch to Calendar, Contacts, or Tasks, the quick flag toolbar is empty because flagging does not apply to these areas.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003