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Nov 092014

Many times when I’ve used Outlook I have used the follow-up flag to remind me about the item that I’m looking at.  Sometimes I use it just so that I can see it in a pile of things within my mailbox, other times I use the Outlook search folder and look at the things that I’ve marked for follow-up and then I process them.


But what happens when the item gets archived?

Well, the best way to consider this situation is that archiving effectively creates a freeze-frame of the item.  If the item was archived with a flag set then the archived item will always have a flag set. If the item was archived without the flag set, then yes, it can be set later, but if you restore the original item, it won’t have a flag.

It’s fairly logical, but it does sometimes lead to confusion when a user clears the flag on an archived item, then at some point later then double click on the archived mail to view, and they see the reminder again (even though they’ve cleared it)

As I said the way to remember things is that the archived item is a snapshot or freeze-frame of the item AT THAT PARTICULAR point.

If you use flags, how do you find using them when archived messages are involved? Let me know in the comments.

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  2 Responses to “Archiving emails and the follow-up flag”

  1. Is there an appropriate recommendation for clearing flags of an archived item? I know the item says – don’t move, copy, or delete, but there is an option to save in new location, then delete the archived one.

    Are there unforeseen issues with this?

    • Well sometimes you’re not allowed to delete the archived one, even just the shortcut? But.. in my mind the issue starts before this with the archiving policy. I would see if there is a way to adapt the archiving policy so that ‘active’ tasks/items with flags on them, don’t get archived in the first place.

      For example have a policy that archives stuff older than 6 months only, and don’t involve quotas. Or if you have to involve quotas use age-and-quota and make sure you don’t archive anything younger than 6 months. That might work better?

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