Home > Support > Hints and Tips > Tip of the Week

Weekly Computer Tip # 126
9 September 2005

Start each week with a free tip

To subscribe, please type your email address in the box below:

Gathering information using voting buttons (Microsoft Outlook)

This week's tip is a day early as I'll be on my way to show-case my pilot course in Singapore later this afternoon. (Pilot as in prototype, and not pilot as in somebody who is licensed to operate an aircraft, just in case you were thinking I'm heading for a career change.) ...

Microsoft Outlook has an interesting feature called "Voting" that allows you to gather information from colleagues concerning a multiple-choice question. Voting buttons work in all versions of Outlook, but is available only when your company uses Microsoft Exchange Server. With stores stocking up for Christmas and having been sent my first gift catalogue, let's use the example of asking colleagues what to eat for their upcoming Christmas lunch.

Here's how:

  1. Create a message as normal.
  2. Click the Options button on the toolbar.
  3. Select the Use Voting Buttons check box. (This automatically displays three choices: Approve/Reject or Yes/No or Yes/No/Maybe. However, you are not limited to these selections.)
  4. Overwrite the predefined options with any text you want to appear as voting buttons, separating each of your options by a semicolon. (For example: Turkey; Salmon; Vegetarian option.) Each of these options will be the title of a voting button on the message received.
  5. Click the Close button.
  6. Complete the message as normal and click the Send button.

The message that the recipient gets will contain voting buttons and a yellow banner that reads Please respond using the buttons above. However, if the recipient reads the message in the Preview pane, they will have no idea that it contains voting buttons. Which is why you most probably want to add a statement asking recipients to reply to the message using the voting buttons, as described in step 6.

As the sender of the message, you get an email indicating the response, but you can also track all responses as follows:

7. Open the original message with the vote in it. (This message is usually located in the Sent Items folder.)
8. Click the Tracking tab, which will display something along the lines of Reply Totals: Turkey 5: Salmon 3: Vegetarian option 2.)

Until next week. (By which time it will only be 100 days till Christmas.)

Email this page to a friend

Enter recipient's email address in the box below:

PS I’m committed to sharing the best of what I know with others so please don’t keep me a secret. If you enjoyed today’s tip, please forward it to anyone you feel may benefit. Alternatively, feel free to reprint it (with full copyright and subscription information) in your newsletters and message boards.

Home   Training   Support   Clients   Contact Details   News   Disclaimer  

© Roem Ltd. All Rights Reserved
September 2005