Using a flag & categories to better manage your emails in Outlook on the web

In the 10+ years that I have been training people in email tools, I’ve discovered that many people use the same system to ‘manage’ their email. They open their inbox and take a look at their unread mail. They open a message and decide that it is something they need to action or follow up. But they don’t have time to do it right now. So they mark it as unread again so they don’t forget to do it. And then they repeat this process for a whole lot of other emails too. They then go off to a meeting, or perhaps to lunch, and come back to even more new, unread mail plus all the unread mail that they have already actually read but need to follow up. Is it any wonder their brains feel overloaded and their inboxes are out of control?!

If this sounds like your story of email management, you need a better way! In Outlook on the web, using a flag or categories is a much better way to tag messages that require follow up or action, meaning that your unread items can stay purely as emails you have not actually read yet! In this blog post, I’ll show how to use them as part of your email management routines.

Note: These same strategies can be applied to the Outlook desktop application on Windows and Mac too.

[bctt tweet=”Is your email ‘management’ system to mark messages as unread? Here’s a much better alternative in #microsoft #outlook on the web #office365″ username=”samvardanega”]

 

Flag

The Flag in Outlook on the web offers a very simple system for tagging emails. You put a flag on an email, then you view all the flagged items together. If you’re a Gmail user too, this is similar to using the ‘star’ feature. The idea is that instead of marking emails as unread when they require action, you would put a flag on them.

To add a flag to an email
There are numerous ways to add a flag in Outlook on the web, choose the one that works for you:

  • Hover over the email and click the Flag icon on the quick actions menu that appears next to the sender name.
  • Right-click the email and choose Flag.
  • Open the email, click the three dots button at the top and choose Flag.

To view all flagged emails together
Click on the Filter button at the top of the inbox, then choose Flagged.

This system is simple for sure. However, I personally struggle with it because I have to remember to use the flagged filter to see all my flagged emails. Also, the little flag icon doesn’t stand out very much in my email list, so I can easily pass over emails that are flagged. If you’ve got similar concerns, read on to learn how categories can help!

[bctt tweet=”Use a flag in #microsoft #outlook on the web for a simple way to identify emails you need to action #office365″ username=”samvardanega”]

 

Categories

Outlook on the web includes six default categories: Blue, Green, Purple, Yellow, Orange and Red. You can use these categories as a really effective alternative to marking emails as unread when they require action.

You can view or apply categories by opening an email and clicking the Categorise button.

When you apply a category to an email, it is displayed as a little label next to the email subject. This is very similar to how labels are displayed in Gmail, and is much easier to see than the little flag!

[bctt tweet=”Use custom categories in #microsoft #outlook on the web as a much more effective alternative to marking emails as unread when they need action #office365″ username=”samvardanega”]

 

Customising categories
The real power of categories for email management is when you create your own custom categories with meaningful names!

1. Click on the Categories button, then choose Manage categories.

2. Click the Create category button to add a new category. I’m personally a fan of some of the action-orientated wording suggested in the Getting Things Done methodology – words like ‘Follow up’, ‘Action’, ‘Waiting for’ etc.
Tip: ‘Waiting for’ is a great category to use for emails that you are waiting for other people to action or reply to.

3. Once you have created your new category, click on the label icon to choose a colour.
Tip: You may like to delete the existing standard categories if you want to use the same colour for your custom categories.

Viewing all emails in a category
There are a couple of different ways to view all the emails in a category, choose the one that works for you:

  • Click the category label on any email and it will open a list of all emails tagged with that category.
  • Type category:”category name” in the search box. Once you have used this once, it will likely pop up in your history when you click in the search box.
  • Too hard? Read on to find out how to make your categories even easier to use!

Adding a category to your Favourites list for easy access

If you want to make it even easier to see and use your categories, you can add the category as an item in your Favourites list. This list sits right at the top of Outlook on the web. There are two ways to add a category to your Favourites list:

If you have already created the category
Click the Add favourite link at the button of the Favourites list. Start typing the name of the category then choose it from the options that appear.

While you are creating the category
Click the little star icon on the right hand side of the category name.

After you’ve added the category to the Favourites list, you can right-click it and choose Move up the list to move it to a higher position where it is easier to see and remember to use.

 

So there you have two options that can help you break free of the ‘mark unread’ cycle! If you are an Outlook desktop user, you may also like to check out our articles on how to organise your folders in Outlook for  Outlook for Windows and Outlook for Mac.


Related Post

3 Ways Microsoft Forms Can Save You Time

Want to spend more time living and less time working? There is nothing more valuable to a teacher than time so here are 3 ways where you can use Microsoft Forms to save some. Self-marking quizzes  The number 1 stop for checking student knowledge and understanding. Creating a self-marking quiz is great as not only

VIEW POST

Popular Post

3 Ways Microsoft Forms Can Save You Time

Want to spend more time living and less time working? There is nothing more valuable to a teacher than time so here are 3 ways where you can use Microsoft Forms to save some. Self-marking quizzes  The number 1 stop for checking student knowledge and understanding. Creating a self-marking quiz is great as not only

VIEW POST

Great Ways to Use Nearpod at the Start of the Year

Nearpod Orientation  A great starting point for Nearpod in the classroom is to allow students to get hands on with the tool. This can be done as a whole class session or independently. I recommend this lesson being completed live in the whole class or within small group sessions. There are many pre-made orientation lessons

VIEW POST

Here’s What
Our Clients Say

How well do you use the
Apple Apps Google Workspace Microsoft 365
tools in your workplace?

Find out if you’re working with the tools OR if you’ve got the
tools working for you.

Download your skills checklist to see how you score...

Country:

Choose Industry:

Which Skills Checklist?

 

Nice Move Allstar!
You're about to get
awesome value in your
inbox that's going to make
life that little bit easier & sweeter!

 

Are you at a beginner, intermediate, or advance level?

This skill checklist will help you find out.

We will only send you awesome stuff!
Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Using Technology Better Privacy Commitment

Introduction

We hold the privacy of your personal information in the highest regard.

Using Technology Better regards customer privacy as an important part of our relationship with our customers. The following privacy policy applies to all Using Technology Better users, and conforms to Internet privacy standards.

This policy will be continuously assessed against new technologies, business practices and our customers’ needs.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact the support team on our Contact Us Page.

Collection of Information

In order to use the Using Technology Better website, we may require information from you in order to provide the best service possible.

All correspondence may also be collected and stored, particularly in regard to sales, support and accounts, including Email.

Any information collected by Using Technology Better is collected via correspondence from you or your company. This may be via the telephone, Email, mail, fax or directly through our website.

Visitors and customers of japan.usingtechnologybetter.com will have their information shared back to DAIWABO INFORMATION SYSTEM CO., LTD. and DIS Service & Solution Co., Ltd.

Use of Collection Information

Any details collected from Using Technology Better customers is required in order to provide you with our

products and/or services, and a high level of customer service.

Correspondence is recorded in order to provide service references, and to assist in our staff development.

Web Site Use Information

Similar to other commercial Web sites, our Web sites utilize a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and web server log files to collect information about how our Web site is used.

Information gathered through cookies and Web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our Web site, and the Web sites visited just before and just after our Web site.

Storage of Collected Information

The security of your personal information is important to us. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) on our website, we encrypt that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

When Credit Card details are collected, we simply pass them on in order to be processed as required. We never permanently store complete Credit Card details.

We follow generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it.

If you have any questions about security on our Website, you can email us at <ContactEmail>.

Access to Collected Information

If your personally identifiable information changes, or if you no longer desire our service, you may correct, update, delete or deactivate it by emailing us at <ContactEmail>.

Orders

If you purchase a product or service from us, we may request certain personally identifiable information from you.

You may be required to provide contact information such as:

Name

Email

Postal address

Your school or organisation

Financial information (such as credit card number, expiration date, name on card, card billing address).

We use this information for billing purposes and to fill your orders. If we have trouble processing an order, we will use this information to contact you.

Communications

Using Technology Better uses personally identifiable information for essential communications, such as

Emails

Accounts information

Critical service details.

We may also use this information for other purposes, including some promotional Emails.

If at any time a customer wishes not to receive such correspondence, they can request to be removed from any mailing lists by contacting support.

You will be notified when your personal information is collected by any third party that is not our agent/service provider, so you can make an informed choice as to whether or not to share your information with that party.

Third Parties

Using Technology Better may at its discretion use other third parties to provide essential services on our site or for our business processes.

We may share your details as necessary for the third party to provide that service.

These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose.

Using Technology Better does not share any information with third parties for any unknown or unrelated uses.

What Are Cookies?

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit a Web site, that site’s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies.

Each Web site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a Web site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

Browsers are usually set to accept cookies. However, if you would prefer not to receive cookies, you may alter the configuration of your browser to refuse cookies.

If you choose to have your browser refuse cookies, it is possible that some areas of our site will not function as effectively when viewed by the users.

A cookie cannot retrieve any other data from your hard drive or pass on computer viruses.

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies?

As you visit and browse our Web site, the site uses cookies to differentiate you from other users. In some cases, we also use cookies to prevent you from having to log in more than is necessary for security.

Cookies, in conjunction with our Web server’s log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people visiting our Web site and which parts of the site are most popular. This helps us gather feedback to constantly improve our Web site and better serve our clients.

Cookies do not allow us to gather any personal information about you and we do not intentionally store any personal information that your browser provided to us in your cookies.

Legal

We reserve the right to disclose your personally identifiable information as required by law and when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights and/or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order, or legal process served on our Website.

Links

Links on the Using Technology Better site to external entities are not covered within this policy. The terms and conditions set out in this privacy statement only cover the domain name of usingtechnologybetter.com

Changes to Privacy Policy

If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes to this privacy statement, and other places we deem appropriate so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

We reserve the right to modify this privacy statement at any time, so please review it periodically. If we make material changes to this policy, we will not use the personal information you have submitted to us under this Privacy Policy in a manner that is materially inconsistent with this Privacy Policy, without your prior consent

Delivery Policy

Most goods are digitally delivered instantly via email.  Our services may be delivered either via an online medium or live in person.

For our online delivery see below.  For services delivered live onsite, please refer to our speaker agreement form which is emailed to you on confirmation of booking.

Refund Policy

We do not offer refunds or returns unless we cannot supply goods or services or the goods or services are not delivered as promised.

Australian law is the governing body for all work, goods and services supplied by Using Technology Better.

Marketing Release

Using Technology Better (UTB) may film, record, and photograph me (the results of which are the “Recordings”). UTB may also incorporate into any production(s) any separate content (e.g., quotes, testimonials, biographical information, profiles, photos, videos, sound recordings, artwork, etc.) I provide to UTB or approve in writing (“Materials”).

1.License

I grant to UTB an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license to, in its sole discretion, (i) edit, translate, and modify the Recordings and the Materials, (ii) attribute the Recordings and Materials to me by my name, age, and city and state of residence, (iii) incorporate the Recordings and the Materials into content to promote UTB, its programs, or products (“Content”), and (iv) publicly use, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works from, and perform/display the Content, and any excerpts thereof, in any language.

2. No Compensation.

I grant this permission without any financial or other obligation of any nature.

 

For any issues or concerns please contact us