DEFER Outlook Emails till you ACTUALLY need them (no additional software required)

By: standss , Jun 14th, 2013

Your email inbox is where you spend most of your time and it is one busy place to be especially if you are receiving hundreds of emails per day.

Not all emails you receive need immediate actions or responses so you might want to defer it for a later time.

If you just leave the email in your inbox, you are likely to forget because it might just get buried under all the emails that you continue receiving throughout the day.

So how can you ensure that you are reminded to work on an email later when you are ready?

Here are a few ways to automatically get reminded to work on an email that you have received but do not need/want to work on till some date/time in the future.

Option 1: Flag the email with a reminder

This is an OK option if you don’t mind keeping the email in your Inbox (If you want to move the email out of your Inbox, option 2 might be more suited for you).

  • Right click on the email, click Follow-up and then click Add Reminder.

outlook email reminder

  • Enter the relevant information in the screen and click OK.

The problems with this method are:

  • The email actually stays in your Inbox which can be a distraction and affect your productivity.
  • You can’t add any notes to the original email (unless you are using Email Notes for Outlook)

Option 2: Convert the Email to your Calendar or Task List (drag-and-drop)

Many Outlook users do not realize this but you can convert an email to a Task or Calendar by dragging it to the Task or Calendar folder.

A new Task or Calendar Item will be created and opened with the email content in it. You can set the appropriate date to be reminded.

I prefer to drag-and-drop using the right (instead of left) mouse button. This gives 3 options when I drop the email:

  • Copy here as Task with Text
  • Copy here as Task with Attachment
  • Move here as Task with Attachment

I choose either Copy or Move with Attachment options. This way the new Task has the email attached to it. I can simply double-click the attached email to respond.

I hope you find this tip useful in getting more organized.

Do you know of other ways to better manage your emails in Outlook?

Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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