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How to Use Outlook for Approval Tracking

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Tracking projects and approvals through Microsoft Outlook can be cumbersome if the process is not carefully managed. One of the keys to effective approval process management is to have a project plan you follow throughout the process. With such a plan in place, you can use the voting functionality in Outlook to record approvals or rejections without emails piling up in your inbox.

Create your email and attach any necessary documents. Make sure you have the information needed by all parties involved. Sending updates and additional documents later can confuse the process.

Under the Options tab, click "Use Voting Buttons" and select "Approve; Reject." This is how your responders will let you know of their vote. In the email, make sure you direct their attention to the buttons. Also include a clear time window for their responses.

Add the necessary recipients, review your message and send.

When the time window closes, go to the sent message and click on the "Message" tab, then click on "Tracking." This will display the votes by the participants. You can now save this one message as a record of how people voted.