priority and sensitivity in outlook

Setting priority and sensitivity in outlook 2016

Imagine you’re in the middle of a high tension project and you need to communicate something of critical urgency with your team. You could simply send a plain email and hope they don’t ignore it. However, wouldn’t you rather show them the importance and urgency of reading said message immediately it hits their inbox? Setting the importance level to high tells your co-workers that they need to stop Facebooking and read your email immediately.

Prioritizing messages

Outlook 2016 provides three importance levels: Low, Normal and High. To set the priority level for an email, follow these steps:

  1. While typing out your message, click the small arrow besides Tags on the Message tab ribbon
  2. A dialogue box labelled Properties will open up, with various drop down menu option
  3. Next to the Importance box, click the small downward-facing triangle. A drop down menu will present the three priority levels. Select your preferred one
  4. Usually emails importance is set at normal. You will hardly ever finding yourself needing to set importance at Low, especially if the email is outgoing. However, you can choose this option for emails in your inbox that you want to deal with later
  5. To close the dialogue box, press the Esc button or click the close button.

 

Quicker way to set messages priority

A quicker way to set your email’s importance level is to use the buttons on the Message tab ribbon. The red exclamation mark prioritizes your message as High priority, while the blue arrow pointing downwards assigns Low importance to your message.

Setting sensitivity

Some messages require special handling due to their nature. For example if you are a government employee sending out classified documents for your boss to approve, you may want to mark your mail as Confidential. Besides Normal, you can mark your message as Personal, Private or Confidential.

The steps to marking your message’s sensitivity level are the same as the ones mentioned above for setting priority.

Click the arrow next to Sensitivity to select your preferred setting.
Just so you know, unless you work in a highly secretive organization, you’ll hardly ever need to change your message sensitivity level. After all, setting the sensitivity level doesn’t actually come with any restrictions for the recipient. All it does is notify them that the nature of the message content might be Personal, Private or Confidential. For your mind’s ease, lease check with your systems administrator to see if your emails are actually secure.