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Quick poll-taking with Outlook

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in Office Technology

Need to poll the ranks? If you’re an Outlook (2003) user, you can send an e-mail message with voting buttons to make things easier.

That’s what Wanda Horton of AFLAC does when she has a question with a predetermined set of responses. It helps her poll and track responses from employees quickly.

Here’s how she does it:

Click “Options” in the message. Under “Voting and Tracking” options, select the “Use voting buttons” check box. In the box, click the voting button names you want to use.

To create your own voting button names, type any text you want, such as “Marriott conference room,” “Ted’s house” and “Starbucks.” Separate the button names with semicolons.

Select the “Save sent message to” check box under “Delivery” options, and select the folder to save the responses into. Click “Close.”

Add your polling question. Example: “What’s your preference for the location of our next off-site meeting?”

Add a personal message. Example: “Please reply using voting buttons.”


Track responses through the e-mail messages you receive as each person votes.

Horton often exports the responses into an Excel spreadsheet, so she can continue to track information. For the example above, she also might collect information about what staffers are bringing to the meeting, what they need, what time they prefer or how much time they’ll need for their department reports.


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