Emails That Require Actions

When receiving emails, there are times when you want to perform some action based on an email. You want to remember to do something based on it but you have the danger of forgetting as the email slowly slides down your inbox list.

Outlook to To Do

If you are using Office 365 or Microsoft 365, there is a really clever trick that allows you to turn an Outlook email into a Microsoft To Do item with just one mouse click. It’s so simple and a great way to quickly and easily remember all the items that you need to act upon based on email.

Set up Flagged Emails in To Do

Before you can use this functionality, you need to make sure that Outlook and To Do are able to talk to each other. To do this, follow these steps:

Open the To Do application in a browser and click on the settings icon. This is the cog shaped icon in the top right-hand corner of the browser window.

Microsoft To Do settings icon.

A pane will open from the right-hand side of the browser window. In this pane, click on the words “To Do Settings”.

To Do Settings text circled in Microsoft To Do.

The settings window for To Do will open. Scroll down this window until you see a section called “Connected apps”.

The connected apps section highlighted in To Do settings.

Underneath this heading, click the toggle to the on position for “Flagged email”.

The flagged email toggle set to the on position in To Do settings.

Close the settings window by clicking on the “X” icon in the top-right hand corner.

The close window icon highlighted for To Do settings.

Notice that there is now a “Flagged email” list displayed on the left-hand side of the To Do window.

The flagged email list highlighted in To Do.

Outlook and To Do are now ready to talk to each other.

Flagging an Email from Outlook to To Do

Now that the setup has been done, go into Outlook and view an email that you want to flag for action. My example here is a training email from Microsoft about Azure functionality that I want to follow up on.

An email highlighted in Outlook.

If you hover your mouse over the email, click on the flag icon that appears.

The flag icon highlighted for an individual email in Outlook.

The flag icon will change colour and above the contents of the email, a banner will appear to remind you that this email has been flagged.

Flag follow up banner highlighted for an email in Outlook.

Now go into the To Do app and you will see that the email you just flagged is displayed in the “Flagged email” list.

A flagged email displayed in the To Do "flagged email" list.

Once you have actioned and finished the task, click on the circle icon next to the task in To Do.

The complete circle icon highlighted for a To Do item.

This signifies that the task is complete and it will no longer be displayed in To Do.

The flagged email list in To Do with no items visible.

If you now go back to the email in Outlook, you will see that the flag icon has changed to a small tick icon.

A flagged item that has been completed in To Do showing as complete in Outlook.

This is a reminder that you had flagged this email previously and the task has been completed which is really useful to know.

That’s it! With just one mouse click, you turned an email into an easy to find item in To Do. It’s really helpful functionality and so simple to use!

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