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The Living in Outlook series is about sharing tips and workflows around real-world scenarios. We’ll start the conversation with a topic – you can add to it by posting your tips and workflows in the comments!
I use Outlook to help me organize both my work and personal lives. Sometimes I need to get a consensus from my friends or coworkers regarding a decision that we should make. These can range from t-shirt sizes to favorite meeting times to which soccer game we should go see!
Voting buttons are a great way to quickly and easily get answers for any question you may have. In the example below I’ll show you how I picked the best day to go see a Seattle Sounders FC soccer game with my coworkers.
Creating a message with voting options
1. Launch a new e-mail window
2. Choose template choices or create your own
While there are 3 default options that work for a variety of questions, using a custom set of voting answers will be more appropriate for choosing a date for a soccer game. Click the Custom… entry item to enter your own.
3. Add your custom choices
In this dialog you need to type your choices into the textbox by separating them with a semicolon (;).
For this example I wanted my coworkers to choose from the 3 available game dates of May 30th, June 13th and June 17th which appear as “May 30th; June 13th; June 17th" in the Message Options dialog.
Then when you are finished click the Close button.
5. Confirm your choices
6. Send your e-mail
Now that you have confirmed your choices, fill in the rest of your e-mail (recipients, subject, body, etc.) and send the message!
7. Check the responses
8. Check the results
We hope that you find using Voting buttons useful and as always, feel free to post a comment and tell us how you use Voting Buttons.
Outlook Program Manager
More info on voting buttons:
Create polls in email messages and review the results
This only appears to work if you are on the same Exchange server. Correct?
Voting buttons are great, and use them often. One behavior I have noticed is--and I would call it a bug--if you move the message and responses to another folder then Outlook 2007 doesn't track the responses any more in the original message. So to workaround this I don't move the original message or responses until everyone has voted. Users should bare that in mind to fully leverage voting buttons. (If your interested in reproducing the "bug" my system is Outlook 2007 SP2 running on Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit. My organization also uses Exchange Server 2003, but I assume it's a Outlook issue and not Exchange.) Regards, Rick
Scott: No, you do not need to be on the same Exchange server for voting buttons to work correctly.
Since this blog seems to be moderated: If you'd like to reach me about the comment I just posted as "Michael", the email address in my profile will suffice.
Hello, So we don't need to be on the same Exchange server, but do all the recipients should use Outlook 2003 / 2007? Or can we send to recipients that uses webmail for example? Thank you in advance,
Is there a way to set it up so someone can choose two options? I.e. someone has to go to 2 of 4 meetings and they can indicate the two they want to go to?
Voting buttons created with Outlook 2010 are not showing up on Outlook 2007. Works fine on all w/ Outlook 2010, but none w/ Outlook 2007, any ideas? Much appreciation for any feedback.
Is there a possibility to view comments to a response (in one overview)?
If I have a yes/no voting I'd like to have a comment when "no" is chosen. This should be listed in the voting responses overview as well or it should be possible to jump from a voting response to the comment. Until now I couldn't find any way to get this.
I do not see the Blue Message Barfor the summary of voting responses. I do get the responses but there is no option for seeing a tally of the votes.
Hi all: wondering why in Outlook 2010 my voting process won't show me the results. Could it be that sending out the email under a bcc (to protect the people being polled) has set off in the wrong direction for gathering the results? thanks, heather
My ofc is partially converted to 2010 from 2003. Users on 2010 aren't seeing a complete list in tracking which also shows who HAS NOT YET RESPONDED [unlike 2003 users].
Any suggestions for seeing whether an email addressee has not yet replied to your voting email?
We use Outlook Voting Buttons at work, however, anyone voting from their BlackBerry will not have their vote counted. Any idea how to set that up so their votes count? Thank you.
Does anyone know if there is a limit on the number of voting answers that can be entered in the custom slot? I would like to use this option for voting for employee of the month and each time I enter all 43 employees name, for some reason they don't show up when I try to view my options.