I received an Email Friday from a friend, I receive a lot of Email so sometimes I don’t get a chance to review non critical business Email until I have some free time. This morning while responding from the message I realized that part of the message involved a timely issue for Friday evening. The title did not indicate it and the message was flagged normally. This incident was a reminder to me of the usefulness and etiquette of the Importance options with Email correspondence. Here is my interpretation of the three options:
I recommend using this flag when sending Emails to people who you know to be very busy that are not time critical. Chances are busy people will respond promptly to all most messages anyway but it is a nice way to say “Hey I know your time is valuable, there is no rush here.”
Not Flagged or Normal Importance
Most Email fits in this category, most people don’t flag messages at all or use the subject line of the Email to indicate the nature of the message.
This option is sometimes over utilized, I’ve seen some Email users that seem to flag a large percentage of their messages as high importance. This is acceptable if it is factual. I recommend using this option for messages where the response required is timely or the information will be considered urgent by the recipient. In conjunction with some carefully crafted subjects you can provide a range of urgency to the recipient.
Here is the location of this tag in Microsoft Outlook 2010:
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