Outlook Rules That Rule: Automatically flag messages for follow-up

Last week I wrote a post about email subject lines . One of the tips was to use a word to indicate to your co-workers that you needed them to do something with the information in the email, such as ‘Action.’

If you have established this shorthand within your team, you can easily use Outlook rules to mark these important mails for follow up. Here’s how, using ‘AR’ (short for Action required).

Go into Tools, Rules and Alerts and click New Rule. Select this rule template under Stay Organized: Flag messages from someone for follow-up:


Click Next and then add any people or distribution lists that may send you "action required" mails. You'll probably want to select with specific words in the subject and where my name is in the To box to ensure only action required mails directed at you are flagged:


Now click Finish. As long as your designated coworkers follow the protocol and only include people with action items on the To: line (all others should be cc:'d!), the system will work.