Following Up On YOUR Sent Emails!

By: standss , Oct 26th, 2010

How often do you find yourself rushing around in a panic… trying to get some important task completed… maybe you forgot to do something you had promised someone else in an email… or maybe someone else did not do something you had emailed them about (if only you had followed up!).

Do you find yourself forgetting to take actions or follow-up on emails that you have sent out?

The result of missing these actions can be annoying or it can be catastrophic (I know I am overstating things but I HAD to use the word catastrophic after I thought of it).

  • You could miss out on an important opportunity
  • You could end up having to put in extra unplanned hours to get a task completed at the last minute
  • You could end up missing out on important personal or family time because you had to do the missed work at the last minute
  • You could end up looking unprofessional because you missed an important action

There is a FREE and EASY solution that already
Create a Task or Appointment from the Sent Emails
(It did NOT work well for me but you may be more disciplined)

The solution is easy… simply create a task or appointment in your Outlook Calendar for each email you need to follow up on.  You can modify the task/appointment so that it reminds you at the appropriate time.

Use this simple technique so that a copy of your email is attached to the Task or Appointment.

Every time you send out an email that requires further action or follow-up, go to the Sent Items folder and drag-and-drop the email from the Sent Items folder to either your Task List or your Calendar.

This will automatically create either a new Appointment or a new Task for you that you can then modify with due dates etc!

If you drag & drop using the right mouse button (instead of the left), you will also get options to attach the email to the newly created appointment/task.

Just getting the associated actions in your Calendar or Task List could be all the help you needed. But…

Unfortunately this did NOT work for me?

Why? Every time I send out an email I have to remember to go to the Sent Items folder (after waiting for the email to be sent)… It’s just too easy to forget… and it takes too much (unnecessary) discipline.

I had the team build some functionality into our QuickFile PRO application an year ago to help me out but even that wasn’t good enough… It did what was needed but it still needed too many clicks… what can I say… my mother was right… I AM LAZY!

But laziness isn’t a bad thing really… especially if you have a great programming team. So I’ve had them redesign one of the screens in QuickFile PRO for me.

I have been testing the new screen for the last 4 weeks and it works great.

It prompts me automatically every time I send out an email and…
I can file, create a task and/or an appointment all from
one screen.

We will release the new version at the end of the week.

This will be a FREE update for existing users and we’ll do a special discount for new users. I’ll tell you more about it when everything is ready.

In the meantime, try the free drag-and-drop approach to see if it works for you. Just moving those emails to your Task list or Calendar could have a great effect on your productivity.

Till later… when I show you our great new screen… Have a Great Outlook.

4 Replies to “Following Up On YOUR Sent Emails!”

  1. I had a different approach with Outlook 2007. I created a rule that would flag every sent email as a task and at the end of the day I would go through my task list and clear those that did not require further actions.
    With Outlook 2010 I have a slightly different approach: I use the conversation view and after replying or forwarding a message I will waiting a few seconds to appear in the conversation and then I flag it directly in the Inbox, if it needs further actions or follow-ups. At the end of the day I again go through my task list and clear any that has been solved.
    When it is a new mail O try to remember to flag it while I compose it.

  2. I would LOVE this in a one-screen task! I am disciplined and have QuickFile, but that did not give me reminders. I had to read all the emails again to see what needed to be addressed. Now an appointment/task with a comment will do the trick in speedy fashion. Way to go!! and thanks!

  3. I’m so looking forward to the update! I just don’t have the time (and yes, I know I should make the time) to drag and drop everything that needs to be followed up on. This sounds like a much more efficient way to handle it. I’ll be eagerly be looking forward to the release.

  4. Here is another idea I use instead of a reminder. I write the follow-up email immediately and delay it, making a note of the date to be sent on the top of the client notes field.

    If they contact before that date, I’ll be in the record so I just delete the outbound mail before it is sent.

    Otherwise, the follow-up is already scheduled to be delivered no reminders necessary.

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