Zapproved Outlook Add-In Turns Emails into Smart Proposals

Windows only: Previously reviewed approval/consensus-helper Zapproved is out with an Outlook 2007 plug-in that turns your standard email drafts into approval requests through the Zapproved system.

As noted before, Zapproved offers a free account that lets you send up to five proposals per month to multiple recipients for approval. They can be as simple as asking your boss for the go-ahead to expense a chair, or team-wide approval of a logo, and the status of each proposal can be tracked at the Zapproved site.

Once you’ve got your account, grab the Outlook add-in and install it. If you don’t have the .NET 3.5 SP 1 Framework installed, it might be a good chunk of minutes (and one restart) until you’re good to go. The add-on also works only for Outlook 2007 at the moment, but the Zapproved team is working on a 2003-compatible edition.

Once you’re up and running, your new email composing windows get a Zapproved button in the upper-left (which can be moved or shrunk). Click the icon to turn a standard email into a Zapproved approval request instead, and you might just save yourself a lot of cross-message confusion. Zapproved takes the text of the email you’re writing and translates it to its system—see the cross-over chart at right for details. Two tiny buttons let you set due dates or project tags on a Zapproved message, and you can save a proposal as a draft for later review.

Zapproved’s Outlook Add-in is free, and requires a Zapproved account. If you’re interested in a premium Zapproved account without restrictions—and soon to host a dedicated iPhone app—enter the coupon code LIFEHACKER while signing up, and you’ll get a decent discount; a $12/month Premium account, for instance, goes down to $6/month.