5. Setting Flags and Categories

OWA allows you to set a Flag and/or a Category for each message. Flags can help you keep track of items that need to be followed up on or before a specific date, by providing a visual indication, and, if specified, a pop-up reminder. A flag has a Start Date, Due Date, and may have a Reminder Date. Categories are coloured markers which can be applied to messages, contacts, calendar items etc. This allows you to easily differentiate between items which fall into separate groups, such as work versus personal, or department versus college. It is particularly useful for adding a visual indicator for particular types of item in your calendar so that they stand out, such as birthdays, or important appointments. Items may have more than one category assigned. There are six built-in categories named after their associated colours, and you can add more categories of your choice. Built-in categories cannot be renamed using OWA, you will need to use the full version of Outlook if you wish to rename them.

5.1. Setting Flags

You can set the default flag (follow-up starts today, due today, with no reminder) by clicking on the small flag symbol next to the date of receipt, in your message list (see Figure 14, Set default flag).

In your message list there is a small flag symbol next to each item. Click on
              this to set the default flag.
Figure 14. Set default flag

This simply gives you a visual indication that the message requires further action (follow-up).

Right-click on the flag icon to set advanced flag options
Figure 15. Set advanced flag

For more advanced options, right-click on the flag symbol (Figure 15, Set advanced flag), and choose Set Date and Reminder....

You can choose the date and time when Outlook should remind you about the
              item
Figure 16. Set follow-up reminder

This allows you to set a start and/or finish date for following up on the item, and a reminder date (see Figure 16, Set follow-up reminder).

A pop-up window reminds you about the item, at the specified time. You can
              click Snooze to postpone the reminder until later.
Figure 17. Follow-up reminder

When the reminder date/time is reached, you will receive a pop-up message to remind you about the related item, e.g. see Figure 17, Follow-up reminder. You can dismiss the reminder, or click Snooze to be reminded again later.

5.2. Setting Categories

You can apply an existing category to a message by clicking the small bar beneath the flag icon in your message list:

Shows a message list and category menu.
Figure 18. Set Category

Clicking the category icon brings up a list of possible categories, you can select one or more by clicking them, or clear categories by clicking Clear Categories. For more advanced options, including creating a new category, changing the colour of a category, or deleting a category, click Manage Categories....

You can also apply categories to contacts, calendar items, and tasks. In each case, open the item and look for the Categories Icon on the toolbar menu:

A toolbar icon with blue, red and green vertical bars.
Figure 19. Categories Icon

Up: Contents Previous: 4. Sorting messages Next: 6. Searching for messages