How to Send Reminders & Tasks in Outlook

By Nick Peers

If you are about to send an important email using Microsoft Outlook 2013, add a reminder to yourself to make sure you don't forget to check for a response. Furthermore, you can send a reminder in the email to ensure the recipient doesn't forget to respond. Tasks allow you to organize the things you have to do. If you are part of a team, you can send tasks to other people. Outlook 2013 can send reminders and tasks by default; you don't need to install any add-ons.

Creating and Sending Reminders

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Outlook 2013 and click the "New Email" button to create a new email. Compose your email, click "Follow Up" in the Tags group on the Message tab and select "Add Reminder." The Custom window appears.

Step 2

Check the "Flag for Me" box to create a reminder for yourself. Select the type of flag from the "Flag to" box. You can choose a "Follow up," "For Your Information," "Forward," "No Response Necessary," "Read," "Reply," "Reply to All" or "Review" flag. Select the start date for the flag from the "Start date" box and the due date from the "Due date" box. The flags enable people to quickly locate important emails; emails can be sorted by flag status. Check the "Reminder" box and select a date and time for the reminder from the two drop-down boxes.

Step 3

Check the "Flag for Recipients" box and then the "Reminder" box to flag the email for the recipients and also add a reminder for them. Select the type of flag from the "Flag to" box and then set the date and time for the reminder using the two drop-down boxes. Click "OK" to add the reminders to the email and then click "Send" to send the message.

Creating and Sending Tasks

Step 1

Click "Tasks" in the lower left corner of the Outlook 2013 window and then click "Tasks" to see all your tasks. Tasks can be sorted by subject, due date, category or flag.

Step 2

Click the "New Task" button in the New group on the Home tab to create a new task, then click the "Assign Task" button in the Manage Task group on the Task tab.

Step 3

Type the name or email address of the person to whom you want to assign the task in the "To" box. Type a meaningful name for the task in the "Subject" box.

Step 4

Select the start date and due date for the task from the "Start date" and "Due date" boxes. Select a priority for the task from the "Priority" list. You can choose a "High," "Normal" or "Low" priority.

Step 5

Select the status of the task from the "Status" box. You can choose a "Not Started," "In Progress," "Completed," "Waiting on someone else" or "Deferred" status.

Step 6

Check the "Keep an updated copy of this task on my task list" if you want to add the task to your Task list and update it automatically. Check the "Send me a status report when this task is complete" box if you want to be notified when the recipient completes the task.

Step 7

Click the "Send" button to send the task to the recipient. Click the "Save and Close" button to save the task in your Tasks list and close the Task window.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can have reminders for both yourself and the recipients in the same email if the "Flag for Me" and "Flag for Recipients" boxes are both checked.
  • To remove reminders and flags, open the email, click "Follow Up" and then select "Add Reminder." Uncheck the "Flag for Me" and "Flag for Recipients" boxes to remove the flags and reminders. To remove just the reminders, uncheck the "Reminder" boxes. Note that you can't have a reminder without a flag.
  • If you want to send an existing task, open it and then click "Assign Task." You can edit the task before sending it.
  • You can repeat a task by clicking the "Recurrence" button in the Recurrence group and choosing the appropriate recurrence options.
  • Recurring tasks remain in your Tasks list, but never update. However, you can receive a status report for each completed occurrence if you check the "Send me a status report when this task is complete" box.
  • Be careful when sending reminders with your emails. Some people might get upset when the reminder goes off, especially if they are at work. To work around this potential problem, flag the email for the recipient without checking the "Reminder" box.
  • You can't assign a task to several people. However, you can divide your task into several smaller tasks and assign each one to a different person.