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Weekly Computer Tip # 103
5 March 2005

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This tip first appeared in the Cambridge Evening News

Setting a follow-up reminder for an email message (Microsoft Outlook)

When you receive an email message you might not want to take immediate action, but you want to make sure you won't forget it either. Or perhaps you've sent a message to one of your contacts and you want to remind yourself to follow it up in, say, a week's time. Well, instead of creating a task or reminder from scratch and copying and pasting the text from the email message (or - heaven forbid - scribbling it in your filofax! ;-) you can use Outlook's so-called AutoCreate feature to quickly create a reminder.

Here's how:

  1. Point to the message you want to remind yourself about.
  2. Press and hold down the left mouse button and drag the message to the Tasks folder.

    The entire message automatically appears in the Task window and the subject has already been entered. Next, you will specify the date you want to be reminded.

  3. Expand the Due Date box and click on the date on which you want to be reminded. Notice a default Reminder is set.
  4. While you're thinking about it, add any other relevant information about the reminder.
  5. Click on the Save and Close button.

That's it! You've turned your email message into a task. The email message itself can now be filed away. Great for those of us who like to keep our inbox empty and our filing system immaculate. (My halo is choking me.)

The reminder, displaying the entire email message along with any additional information you entered, will appear on the Due Date specified. To view your to-do list simply click on the Tasks folder. Click on the Due Date column heading at the top of the column to sort the tasks by due date and double-click on the task to open and/or modify it.

By the way, now that you know how easy it is to use AutoCreate, see what other kinds of items you can create from existing items, such as an email message into a contact or a contact into a meeting.

Finally, thanks to all of you who expressed interest in the new one day (hands off) Mastering Microsoft Access seminar. Details will go up on my website soon, but in the meantime why not make a date in your diary ... Thursday, 29 September.

Until next week.

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March 2005