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There have been dozens of comments recently on my previous post about Changing the default reminder time in Outlook 2007. The comments are not about the default reminder time for appointments… but rather the default reminder time for follow up flags. The concern being that it is really strange that the default is 4pm and it seems there is no easy way to change that to something more acceptable (like 8am).
I would like to discuss this a little to hopefully help everyone out. Whilst on the surface it might look annoying (especially for those how have just moved to Outlook 2007)… there is actually a good reason why the default reminder is 4pm.
First lets talk about Outlook 2003
In Outlook 2003, a follow up flag is a follow up flag. You set a time and a date for the reminder and that is that.
In Outlook 2007 however, there are different types of follow up flags. There is a “Today” follow up flag, a “Tomorrow” follow up flag, a “This Week”, a “Next Week” and a “Custom”. Obviously, if you use a “Today” follow up flag (which is the default), it will remind you today. If you set a “Tomorrow” follow up flag, it will remind you tomorrow.
The “Today” flag is designed to remind you about things that you need to finish before you go home from work today… hence why it the default is for it to remind you 1 hour before the end of your work day (which would be 4pm in most cases).
As the “Tomorrow” flag is designed to remind you about things to do tomorrow, it will remind you by default at the start of the next work day (8am in most cases).
So say you want to have your default reminder first thing tomorrow morning? Then it is easy to change the default flag that is set. Simply right click on where you currently set your flag, and then in the pop up menu click on “Set Quick Click”. Change the default to “Tomorrow” and your default reminders will now be 8am on the next business day.
Hope that helps clear up some of the confusion around follow up flags. I can understand why it would be confusion coming from Outlook 2003, however with the new flexibility to set different types of flags, Outlook 2007 gives you a lot more control over when you get your reminders.
’till next time!
PS. If you want to learn more about the default times, you can look at this Office Online help page – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA012317831033.aspx