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Setting reminders - Outlook 2010

Setting reminders in your calendar:

If you have been sent an appointment (meeting) for your calendar then you may already be aware of receiving reminders. Have you thought about utilising the reminder facility for your own work?

You can set appointments in your own calendar

  • You can block out sections of your day and mark them 'Free/Tentative/Busy/Out of Office'.
    • This will give others a better idea of your availability for meetings etc.
    • This will also give you a reminder before the start time of the 'block' of work you have scheduled in the calendar.
  • You could set a tiny block of time (e.g. 1 min) and mark it 'Free', detailing in the body of the appointment what you want to be reminded of.

If you don't want others to see appointments made for yourself - mark them as 'Private' (option found in the ribbon/toolbar of the appointment window).

You could also set reminders on your received emails to help you schedule when to deal with them. For instance if you get a large number of emails, you can mark those to deal with today and those to deal with tomorrow, next week, or mark some with specific deadlines. The emails are then flagged and when you have dealt with them you can either Mark Complete or Clear flag from the email.

Follow up iconAdding a reminder to an email received:

Open any email received and look at the ribbon (toolbar) and single click on Follow Up to bring up a drop-down menu (see screenshot).

Majority of the options are self-explanatory, there are two that are customisable.

  • Custom windowCustom... -
    1. Single click on the triangle to the right to show the drop-down menu for Flag to: (see screenshot).
    2. You can now choose various options to identify what to do with this email. Two most useful ones are: 'For Your Information' if you want to keep an email for reference flagged so it's easier to find and 'Follow up' where you can set specific dates to help keep you on track with dealing with the task required.
    3. To Do barWith any Flag to: option you choose, you can either leave or set Start and/or Due dates. The 'To Do' bar will list all the items that you have flagged and will be listed in date order to the Due date set (see screenshot). Therefore if you set a Start date that occurs before the Due date, then it is advisable to set a Reminder too which is identical to the Start date.
    4. If you tick the box for a Reminder: (regardless of what option above has been chosen), you can set a date and time for the reminder to appear. Please note the reminder will only appear when your mailbox is open, as it does not come in the form of a fresh email but will pop up a reminder screen listing the reminder(s) as the date/time occurs and you will be able to double-click on any of those listed to view the original email/appointment.
  • Add Reminder... -
    1. This will automatically tick the Reminder: box and you can set both a date and time for your reminder. You can also change any of the higher options as by default it will select Flag to: as 'Follow Up' and suggest some Start/Due dates.
Reminders window:

Reminder window in OutlookAll appointments and any emails that have set reminders will appear in a reminders window once the date/time has been reached (see example screenshot).

You can highlight and open any of the listed items to help you decide which action (below) you wish to take.

  • It is possible to Dismiss the reminder all together - it will not remove the flag from the item, but you will not get any further reminders for the item(s) you dismiss. Clicking on the Dismiss All button will do this to all listed reminders.
  • It is possible to Snooze the reminder - if you want to get another reminder for the highlighted item in a few minutes, hours or days. Unless you want a reminder in 5 minutes do not click on the Snooze button! Highlight the item before selecting the snooze time by clicking on the triangle to the left of the Snooze button to get the drop-down menu. Once a new snooze time has been chosen the item will disappear from the reminder window until that time period has been reached.
  • If you close the window without choosing any options to dismiss or snooze, then all items listed will automatically be snoozed for the default 5 minutes before re-appearing.

Using reminders you will see the importance of putting useful and informative text in the Subject field of all emails and appointments.

Reminders will only be sent to the owner of the account. So if you have set up delegate access to a resource account which has items containing reminders, none of the people with delegate access will receive the reminder. However a person will get the reminder if they are logged into the resource account directly with its' own password at the time of the reminder being sent.

See also Setting tasks for more options.