Send and Track

How often have you sent an e-mail to someone and thought to yourself I better follow up with them in a few days to make sure that they do X or thought I just made a promise to do some work, I better remind myself to do it. Well now you can do just that! No more ccing yourself so that you can flag it in your Inbox! No more dragging the mail out of Sent-Items just so that you can set a reminder! In Outlook12, you can flag and/or set a reminder on a mail message for yourself when sending, thus making the mail appear in the To-Do Bar, etc. after the message has been sent. In addition, if you want to send a flag to the recipient of your mail, you can, but that is a separate option setting a flag on a mail is now primarily for the sender.

Flagging an e-mail on send

When you receive a response to an e-mail that you have flagged for yourself, be it one that you flagged when you sent it or one that you received and then flagged, you will see an infobar in the received mail.

Received response to a flagged message

From the infobar, you can open the original message, thereby giving you an opportunity to mark the original complete (or check that the response that you received was the one that you were looking for), or you can find all related messages which gives you the full thread of e-mails.

Watch out: your boss will love this feature and use it all the time (mine does)!

Side note: reminders now fire from all folders not just the Inbox. So you can flag e-mail and set a reminder, then file it, and the reminder will still fire.

Comments (22)

  1. Jake says:


    I "discovered" these features in the beta. They, along with the Task Bar, have changed my life.

    I don’t know why people are are getting all crazy about Subtasks– this isn’t Microsoft Project. Heck, I don’t even use tasks really, just flag stuff & add reminders! It’s totally amazing lifechanging awesome kickass you guys are great keep it up.

    – J

    PS. Outgoing flags are awesome. Now everyone replies to my email because they know I’ll badger them about it "This Week". Kthxbye.

  2. Nas Hashmi says:

    i use gmail a whole lot. they have this very simple feature, "star it". it is so simple that if there is any mail that i simply need to get back to later, it is in the starred section. this allows me to use it often because of the so few options it has.

    however, if they were going to build on it, only those who have been using for a long time will like it. the new comers will be left out.

  3. John says:

    I’ve never been this excited about an Outlook release. Finally, some people are thinking about making a true "productivity app" and not just an email client with tasks/calendaring tacked on as afterthoughts.

    I had decided a while ago that I would move away from Outlook (and the proprietary PST format) but This may keep me on the MS wagon a little longer!

  4. Melissa,

    Will this feature be available through emails sent/received using IMAP accounts, or just on emails from exchange accounts?

    Could you let us know which of the functionality you mention in this blog (flagging, above post, etc.) is available with IMAP accounts?

    Thanks for the updates!

  5. Mark says:

    I do not see the infobar on emails that I send and flag when I get a response. This would be wonderful if I could get it working….

  6. Calendar says:

    Do calendar reminders also fire from all folders now too?

  7. mmacbeth says:

    There is currently a bug in Beta1 that the infobar on e-mails that you send only appears when you select Custom… or Flag for Recipients… Regardless of the infobar message, (or lack of it!), the message will appear in the To-Do Bar after it has been sent.

    Calendar reminders will also fire from all folders.


  8. Simon Jones says:


    Jensen Harris has recently written about Time Zones and that stirred me to respond. I’m copying my comments to you as you seem to be the person who writes about Tasks & Time Management.

    Jensen wrote about how you can show two time zones side by side in the calendar but what about people who need to coordinate appointments in three time-zones?

    Also, if I’m in London and setting up an appointment for next week when I am in Seattle, I have to manually calculate the GMT time and enter that.

    You should be able to specify the time zone for appointments, EG 16:00 PST, 19:30 CET, etc.

    Yes, I can show the PST times beside the GMT ones and select the correct PST times before I create the appointment but that is forcing me into a counterintuitive way of working.

    You should also be able to specify "no time zone" so an appointment floats at, say, 16:00 wherever you are in the world.

    Outlook should default to the current time zone but make intelligent guesses from what it finds in the location field.

    If I enter an appointment for 16:00, location = "Seattle" I’d expect Outlook to know that that should be PST (or PDT depending on the date).

    I know that none of these changes are trivial, involving Exchange and Windows Mobile as well as Outlook but this assumption that "all times are entered and displayed as ‘local’" is not ‘real-world’ and should have been fixed years ago.

    What do you think?

  9. Brandon Bloom says:

    I just wanted to agree with Simon Jones completely. I too am a fan of Jensen Harris’ blog and made my way here because of it.

    Time Zone support in Outlook needs to be improved. If I have a plane flight appointment that begins in NY and ends in WA, I shouldn’t have to do some math (however simple) to figure out what times to enter into Outlook.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It is unfathomable that Outlook has gone through this many revisions without better time zone support. Is it really that unusual that people who travel use Outlook? Why is it so hard to put a time zone drop-down list right next to the appointment time so that we can select which time zone the appointment starts and ends in? Showing two time zones is insufficient. I need at least three: the one I am in now, the one where my flight leaves from, and the one where my flight arrives from. I figured I spend about 100 hours a year just scheduling flights in Outlook because of its horrible time zone support. It is extremely disappointing that Outlook 12 does not appear to fix this issue but instead focuses on a bunch of glitz that few people will need.

  11. mmacbeth says:

    Thanks for all of the feedback about time zones. We are working on some improvements in that area that I cannot disclose until we get closer to releasing them to the public. Time zones are an area that we know we need to improve on and we are working in it! Hopefully what we have in the works will help to ease your pain.


  12. Bill Clark says:

    Hallelujah.  I’ve only recently been moved over to Outlook/Exchange after years on Lotus Notes Mail.  I never in a million years thought I’d find myself fondly nostalgic for Notes (a mail client I’ve cordially hated for all the years I was compelled to use it) but timezone handling in Outlook has pushed me in that direction.  In Notes Calendar, one simply specifies the time zone of the event…period.  It defaults (of course) to the current zone.  That only leaves the (I agree, desirable) feature of *independently* assigning the zone of the start and end times, useful for flights.  And the capability to specify "no timezone" for an event (something Notes did not have, but my Palm DateBk5 program does).

  13. Please, please, please add me to the list of people begging for better timezone support!

    It bugged me when I was travelling around Europe a lot. It bugged me when I was working in the US and it bugs me now I’m in Australia.

    Does no-one on the Exchange/Outlook team travel for business?

    Do they never have to schedule a meeting with someone outside their own office!

    It (apart from improved Entourage like live searching) is the one area that I hope the next release of Outlook can get working (actually, I might go fire up my Powerbook and see if the Mactopia team have already got it working!)

  14. It’s a silly thing but neither Outlook on my PC nor on my PDA allow me to set appointments in different timezones. Now usually it’s no big deal because the whole world revolves around me, but sometimes Sydney and Brisbane are on different timezones o

  15. mmacbeth says:

    OffBeatMammal, Bill Clark, and friends,

    Your wish has been granted. There is now time zone support in Outlook. Check out Beta2.


  16. Now that Beta2 is out, it seems like high time I explain how I use the new time management system in…

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