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I'm an account manager for an automotive supplier. As just about everyone else I use email as my daily primary tool to conduct business. I'm sending out emails to various personnel within our organization for quotes, customer issues, complaints, needed information, etc.

And a majority of them go unanswered and I have to follow up multiple times. And often - I don't even get an acknowledgement of the email or request.

My boss is constantly on my back because I don't have answers despite my multiple emails, calls, etc to the people I need information from. I'm juggling dozens of tasks every day and there are times I forget to follow up a 3rd or 4th time.

Unfortunately other departments are not held to the same follow up standard required from my boss. Coincidentally we use Outlook as our primary email.

I'm not sending emails for the sake of sending emails. And when I want to go to someone's boss for not responding - my boss tells me not to.

  • Are there better tools in Outlook or elsewhere that I could use to help me stay on top of my emails and lack of responses?

  • Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can better stay on top of those who don't answer?

Adding a due date with reminder would be perfect. I'd like something that's easy and quick to use as I manage hundreds of emails daily.

marked as duplicate by Dukeling, David K, mcknz, Mister Positive, Chris E Aug 4 '17 at 19:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Have you tried to CC your boss on the emails? So then at least he is aware that you are following up? As for email management, I use the "Task" option. There's a little flag next to each email that you can click to remind you to follow up. – Michael Aug 4 '17 at 15:07
  • @MichaelC. That is the answer sir. – Mister Positive Aug 4 '17 at 15:08
  • If people aren't responding to an email, then pick up the phone and call them! – David K Aug 4 '17 at 15:18
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    Is it a company standard that all communication be done through EMail? Just because that works best for you, doesn't mean it works best for them. Doesn't look like you are in a position to mandate the mode of communication for them. You may need to adjust to their jobs and communications styles. – cdkMoose Aug 4 '17 at 16:48
  • Are you able to meet with these people in person? – Acumen Simulator Aug 4 '17 at 19:05
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Have you tried to CC your boss on the emails? So then at least he is aware that you are following up? As for email management, I use the "Task" option. There's a little flag next to each email that you can click to remind you to follow up.

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Perhaps you can use the “Inbox Zero” strategy: I store all sent emails in the inbox. If something is taken care of, I put it into the archive. This way I always see the emails with outstanding replies. If something does not require a reply, I archive the sent email right away.

Then also I sort emails from old to new and start working at the top. This way I go through the oldest emails first and regularly glance over the outstanding emails. Occasionally I just send a reminder when I think the other person will not answer any more.

There are more details in my email management article.

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My strategy is to call every time I send an email. Usually I will send the email then immediately call them. Then if I have not heard from them in 2 days I'll forward the email again and add "Any update on this?" and call as well. If I haven't heard from them by the next day, I'll visit them personally. If I can't visit them personally I usually call their manager stating that I was not able to get ahold of them and ask if there is someone better suited to answer my question.

I like to visit them personally; so they know that these questions will not just go away if they ignore them.

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    Isn't the point of email to allow the other party to respond when they have a free moment? If you call right away, you only have the email for the evidence? – Martin Ueding Aug 4 '17 at 20:02
  • Call in case they need any clarification on what you're asking. The email is what they actually work off of. – Acumen Simulator Aug 4 '17 at 20:14

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