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Create a Mail Filter to Track Sent Messages You Want to Follow Up On

posted Jan 18, 2012, 1:57 AM by Francois Tricot   [ updated Jan 18, 2012, 2:03 AM ]
It's pretty frustrating when you email someone about something, they forget to respond, and by the time you remember you wanted to follow up with them, the original message is buried in your sent items folder. Instead of wasting time digging through it to find the original email, this suggestion from GTD Times gives you a folder full of your must-follow-up on messages that you can review easily, at a glance.

You configure a mailfilter to send messages that you've BCC'd yourself on to a specific folder with a name like "Waiting for Response" or "Follow Up Later," or in the GTD Times' example, "Waiting for Support."

You'll have to remember that every time you send a note you expect a response on—or that you send to someone with a history of not responding to your emails - you'll have to BCC yourself, but as soon as the note lands in your inbox again, it's filtered and filed away. Then you can always check in on your special filter or folder to see what you're waiting on others to get back to you on.

It's a one-time trick that can save you time later when you know you emailed someone asking for something, but just can't seem to find the original message you sent.

First run the search query "from:me bcc:me label:inbox". You can do it just by clicking on this link:

Then create a filter from this search query :

  • Click the arrow on the right of the search input box

  • You get this result. Click the 'Create filter with this search' link, down the pop-up

  • You get this warning. Click OK

  • Click 'Skip the inbox (Archive it)'
  • Click 'Apply the label'. Choose to create a label ('New label...'), named 'Waiting for answer' or anything else you like
  • Then click on 'Create filter' button

You are done.
Now, everytime you want to check if people answered your emails, add yourself in the bcc: field when you send an email and think to regularly check emails in the 'Waiting for answer' label. If there are some with answers, you can remove them from the label by clicking on the cross next to the label name.