Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating Messages
2. Click the triangle beside the Importance box.
A menu of choices drops down.
3. Choose Low, Normal, or High.
Usually Importance is set to Normal, so you don’t have to do anything.
Putting a Low importance on your own messages seems silly, but you
can also assign importance to messages received in your Inbox, to tell
yourself which messages can be dealt with later, if at all.
4. Click the Close button (or press Esc) to close the Properties dialog box.
An even quicker way to set a message’s priority is to use the buttons in the
Ribbon’s Message tab. The button with the red exclamation point marks your
message as High importance. The button with the blue arrow pointing downward
marks your message as a Low importance message. You might wonder why
anyone would mark a message Low importance. After all, if it’s so unimportant,
why send the message in the first place? Apparently, some bosses like their
employees to send in routine reports with a Low importance marking so that
the bosses know to read that stuff after all those exciting new e-mail messages
they get to read every day.
Setting sensitivity
Sensitivity isn’t just something Oprah talks about. You may want your
message to be seen by only one person, or you may want to prevent your
message from being changed by anyone after you send it. Sensitivity settings
enable you to restrict what someone else can do to your message after you
send it and they let you set who that someone else can be — even Oprah.
To set the sensitivity of a message, open the Properties dialog box for a
message just as I describe in the preceding section about setting the Priority
of a message. Click the small arrow next to the word Sensitivity and one of
the levels shown.
Most messages you send will have Normal sensitivity, so that’s what Outlook
uses if you don’t say otherwise. The Personal, Private, and Confidential
settings only notify the people getting the message that they may want to
handle the message differently from a Normal message. (Some organizations
even have special rules for dealing with Confidential messages.) For what it’s
worth, I’ve been using Outlook for the better part of 20 years and I’ve never
once changed a message’s Sensitivity setting in the course of normal business.
Sensitivity means nothing, as a practical matter. Setting the sensitivity of a
message to Private or Confidential doesn’t make it any more private or
confidential than any other message; it just notifies the recipient that the
message contains particularly sensitive information. Many corporations are
very careful about what kind of information can be sent by e-mail outside the
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