AAM: Marking Emails in Mail

by Aaron Wright Apr 16, 2007

I hope everyone has rested well over the weekend and what better way to start a new working week than with a productivity tip?

Mail 2.0 has always been the email client for home users and those who don’t want or need all of the complexities that come with Outlook Express and other email programs, but there are always going to be a couple of features that are either missing or hidden in Mail 2.0 that put off quite a few folks, especially those who have been using Windows software for years.

This week’s question comes from John Trowbridge. John wants to know if it’s possible to mark email messages as Important or Urgent within Mail 2.0 and hopes to go about it without the need of installing third-party plugins.

The answer comes from a veteran AAM and AM reader, WAWA, who’s put in a lot of effort in trying to answer John’s question. WAWA’s answers are broken into a couple of posts, but to get the basics across, you simply need to have the “Flag” column shown within Mail 2.0, where you can then flag or unflag certain messages to grab your attention. To get the flag column up, you need to open Mail 2.0, direct your cursor to View followed by Columns, and then select Flags in the drop-down list. Once done, you need to select the email that is important to you by right clicking or Ctrl+clicking and Mark as Flagged or Unflagged.

Thanks to all the other great questions that were submitted this week. They may not have appeared on AAM yet, but they could within the next couple of weeks, so feel free to keep those questions coming in on our dedicated forums.

Until next week!

Question of the Week

How to mark an email as “Important” or “Urgent?”

By: John Trowbridge

How to mark an email in Mail as “important” or “urgent?” For the life of me I can’t find an answer to this puzzle, trying to make Mail as easy for me/my secretary as Outlook Express…thanks!

Answer of the Week


It seems to me that the categories LOW NORMAL HIGH [PRIORITY] can only be applied to outgoing messages, i.e., the mail you write.

Incoming messages can only be marked as
MARKED—UNMARKED (I don’t know the precise term in English, when I “mark” a message I see a little FLAG, so it could be FLAG—UNFLAGGED.)

To see the flag, you need the column for FLAG checked. Find it in the menubar next to EDIT, probably named VIEW. Find columns, check the obvious item (don’t know the name in English).

You can mark by selecting the message, and work via menu VIEW with the mouse or use the keyboard equivalent mentioned next to the item. You can then sort by FLAG by clicking (once or twice) on its column.

You could also work with colour coding. The first reader can attribute any colour to a message, but let’s say we stick to four. Yellow, Orange, Red, and Green. The four colours would each have to “mean” the same priority for all readers. You can then sort the messages by colour. I just tried it and it works fine.

If you’re clever with this you can mix colours added by rules with colours added by hand and so develop a system that makes sense to your team.

Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forums and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of our regular readers or even a member of our staff.


  • You can view how incoming methods are flagged (whether normal, high or low priority) by selecting the “Show flags” option under the view menu (although you need to do this individually for each “folder” in Mail).

    To set the importance of outgoing emails, select the little down arrow to the left of “Account” in a new email, then choose “Customise”. Check the box beside the exclamation mark and click on “OK” and all future new emails will have a drop down check box allowing you to select the importance of that email.

    oz-nom had this to say on Apr 17, 2007 Posts: 13
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