How do I set email priority on AOL?

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How can I mark the priority level of the email on AOL? I don’t find any option there.
R. Santos

At the time of writing, AOL does not allow you to mark a priority level to an email. It’s the same with Yahoo. However, this can easily be done in email programs such as Outlook, Apple Mail and even the now discontinued Outlook Express. So what can you do?

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Though it’s unfortunate that these popular email services don’t offer a basic feature, I’ve come up with a simple and elegant solution. Though it won’t mark the email the message as priority in the strict sense, it will surely grab the attention of the recipient.

Add symbols in email subject to make them stand out

The workaround involves embedding a symbol in the email subject line, ideally as the very first character. There are hundreds of symbols that you can choose from, but in this particular case, I suggest one of the following:

Exclamation red
Green check
Exclamation gray
Inverted exclamation
Double exclamation
  1. Click on the symbol button.
  2. A pop-up will appear with the symbol in a text field already selected. On Windows, use Control-C shortcut to copy the symbol to the clipboard. People working on a Mac, use Command-C.
  3. Close the pop-up. It’s no longer required.
  4. Move to the email subject line and use Control-V (or Command-V in Mac) to paste the symbol.

The coloured ones would be great to make your message stand out from the rest. Take a look at the image below – its a screenshot of an inbox. Don’t you think the email with the symbol in the subject line gets your attention?

Screenshot of inbox with symbols in email subject line

As evident from the image above, you can also put attention grabbing words like [URGENT], typically enclosed in the square brackets. Symbols can also be used in the display name of the email address.

That’s it! Now that you know a workaround of marking an email as priority in AOL, please remember not to fill the subject with symbols. That would just be an overkill. Keep it simple!

NOTE #1: Popular clients let you set three levels of priority to an email address – Low, Normal and High.

NOTE #2: Emoji and similar fonts are responsible for these symbols. If these are not installed on the recipient’s computer, the symbols will not be displayed.

NOTE #3: A similar method is used to include heart symbols in an email message subject.

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