Outlook Add-In: Waiting For

Outlook is a great tool for tracking your own follow-ups on emails, but I found that it lacks the capability to track when you are waiting for others to respond to your emails.

So, over the holidays, I have written a little Outlook add-in that does this for me: it adds two icon buttons to the message window, one button to mark the message as "Waiting for", the other to remove the mark. Internally, I use the mileage field to store this information.

Then I set up a search folder to look for emails with the mileage field set in my Sent Items. This of course also requires that you have Outlook save a copy of all sent messages.

Now when I send a message to someone and I want to track it, I mark it as "Waiting for". Then I continue checking the messages in my search folder, and once I got the required response I use the second button to remove it from my "Wating for" list.

A nice goodie is also that you can use the same procedure to mark incoming emails when somebody tells you that he/she will do something for you and you want to track that this actually happens.

With this add-in, my Outlook is now fully equipped to follow the "Getting Things Done" (GTD) guidelines.

You'll need .NET 2.0 to run this. The setup is available for download here. If you'd like to have the source, please let me know.


The options dialog is extended so you can provide your own dignature to go into the mileage field, which is used to mark the emails as "Waiting for". This way, if someone else uses the same approach, you will only see your own marks (provided that nobody else uses the same signature as you):

The Message window has two new buttons (to the far right in the picture, but you can move them wherever you want them):

Finally, you here is my configuration for the search folder:

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