While you can certainly use Microsoft Forms to collect information and put it into a spreadsheet easily, sometimes you just need a simple yes/no or single selection. And Outlook lets you do that with VOTING BUTTONS.

The process is very (very) easy. Start by creating a new email.

 On the OPTIONS ribbon, click on Use Voting Buttons.

Use an existing Yes/No option or choose Custom. If you choose Custom, all you need to do is separate your options with semi-colons. No spaces before or after the semi-colon (although your option can include spaces).

When your recipients get the email, there is a small note that “This message includes voting buttons. Click here to vote.” I find that many people will ignore it so I include a note in my email that they need to click and vote.

When replies come back to you, you can get a summary by clicking on any blue response line in the email reply and choosing View Voting Responses.

You can also get a summary by going to your Sent folder and click on the message you sent, open it and choose TRACKING.

The restrictions are that (a) it can only be one simple question with a set number of discrete options and (b) your recipients need to be using Desktop Outlook. It’s a real shame that the mobile Outlook app doesn’t allow voting since most of my colleagues use it regularly.

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