Synchronize Outlook Reminders – A “Hack” that works

I’ve been searching for quite some time for a way to synchronize Microsoft Outlook reminders with no luck – and then I figured it out!

Outlook Reminders

Outlook reminders are the popup messages that remind you of everything from upcoming appointments to past due tasks or flagged emails.

Outlook Reminders

Typically if you aren’t ready to deal with a reminder yet, you can snooze the reminder.  And when you are done, simply dismiss it.

This approach works great on a single system.  However, if you are like me and work across multiple systems using Microsoft Exchange from Office 365 to synch the data, you will have noticed that your reminder snoozes & dismissals DON’T synch up!

Snoozing & Dismissing Reminders Don’t Synchronize

For whatever reason, snoozing & dismissing Outlook reminders do not synchronize across multiple devices on Microsoft Exchange.  Even if you dismiss something on your desktop Outlook you will have to dismiss it once again on your laptop Outlook.

If you don’t use your laptop for a while, you will find yourself wading through a whole lot of reminders on your next use!

How to synch snooze & dismiss across your Outlooks – A hack

The trick is in performing an action that actually does synch across your devices.  Perhaps it’s not really a “hack”, but by following these steps you’ll be successful:

  1. For any item: Once you are done with it, don’t dismiss it; delete it.

Or, for flagged items (emails & tasks), again when done, don’t dismiss; mark as done.

  1. If you want to keep a calendar item but you’re done with it, set the reminder to none.
  2. Instead of snoozing, reset the reminder.

This is extra work, so the real trick is to get familiar with keyboard shortcuts to get these tasks done quickly.  Here are the routines I regularly do to get my reminder synching happening ALMOST as fast as it should be if reminders really synched!

Synchronizing Outlook dismissals for calendar items, tasks and flagged emails

Don’t dismiss; delete the item. Or, for tasks and flagged items, mark as done.

To mark done, you can do it directly from the reminders popup. Simply [Right Click] and MARK DONE (or by keyboard, <Option>-M).

Or, to delete or look at the item first:

Mouse Keyboard
[Right Click], select OPEN <Option> then O
To delete, choose MESSAGE then delete

Or, to mark complete, choose MESSAGE then outlook-message-followup then MARK COMPLETE.

To delete:<Ctrl>-DOr <Alt>-H, then D


Or to mark complete: <Alt>-H, W, then M

Synchronizing Outlook Calendar dismissals without deleting

If you don’t want to delete your calendar item but would like to dismiss the reminder: Don’t choose dismiss, instead set the reminder to none.

Mouse Keyboard
[Right Click], OPEN <Option>-O
APPOINTMENT, Outlook appointment reminder <Alt>-H, RE
Set to NONE. Type N, <Enter>
Close and save <Esc> twice, Y for YES

Synchronizing Outlook snoozes for tasks and flagged emails

Don’t snooze, instead change the reminder date.

This one I find the most valuable and with a bit of keyboard practice you will find it just about as fast as simply hitting snooze.

Mouse Keyboard
[Right Click], select OPEN <Option> then O
Choose MESSAGE then  then ADD REMINDER. <Alt>-H, W, then R
Change the START DATE.  If you aren’t using separate DUE DATE and REMINDER DATES, they will change to match the START DATE.If desired, also change the DUE DATE and REMINDER. <Tab> to START DATE.Type a new start date. Use abbreviations like: Wed, Next Wed, Next Month.<Tab>


Give it a try and let us know what you think!