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Working with Follow Up Flags in Outlook

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One of Outlook’s most useful and least-understood options is Follow Up, the program’s email reminder tool. If you struggle to remember to answer emails after they’re no longer on the front page of your inbox, this tool is for you.  

Follow Up reminds you about emails on a date of your choosing and adds them to your Outlook task list. When you’ve dealt with the reminder and mark them as completed, they disappear from your task list. It’s simple, quick, efficient, and easy to use.  

Messages you send can be flagged to alert you, or the recipient, that action is required. 

Flag for yourself 

You’re sending a message that requires a response. You want to make sure you don’t forget about the request and you get the information you need. A flag to yourself lets you know that you asked others for a response. By adding a flag, you’ll see a to-do item in Task and the Tasks peek.  

  1. Click Home > Follow Up.
Click "Home," and then click "Follow Up."
  1. Select TodayTomorrowThis WeekNext WeekNo Date, or Custom from the drop-down menu.
The Follow Up menu.

Since the message will be out of sight in your Sent Items folder, we recommend you add a reminder for yourself. Reminders are alert dialogue boxes that appear when follow up is due, just like the ones you see for upcoming meetings or appointments. 

To add a reminder for yourself, click Follow Up > Add Reminder. Enter the date and time for when you want the reminder dialogue box to appear. 

Flag for recipients 

A flag on a message to recipients adds extra emphasis. A flag appears in the message list and text appears above the From line in the message. If the recipient is also using Outlook, an item will be added to his or her to-do list. 

  1. Click New Email > Follow Up
  1. Click Custom from the drop-down menu.
  1. Check the Flag for Recipients box. 
  1. In the Custom dialog box, we recommend changing the default Flag to text to a description or action. 

For added visibility, you can include a reminder. Reminders are alert dialogue boxes that appear when follow up is due, just like you see for a meeting or appointment that’s about to start. 

To add a reminder for recipients, check the Flag for Recipients box, and then enter the date and time you want the reminder dialogue box to appear for the recipients. 


Send an email message with a follow-up reminder 
How to Use the Follow Up Option in Outlook 

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