1. Cortana Phone App

The Briefing email helps you stay in control of your calendar and be intentional about your day. Within a few hours of the start of your workday, you'll get an email about any relevant items to help you better prepare for the day ahead, including:

  • Outstanding commitments, requests, and follow-ups to and from other collaborators in email that might have fallen through the cracks

  • Documents related to today’s meetings that you might want to review beforehand

  • Suggested focus time you can schedule to help get independent work done

As of September 2020, the Briefing email is becoming generally available for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users in English. You’ll receive the Briefing email if it is currently enabled for your organization. If you’re not receiving the Briefing email, it might be because you previously unsubscribed, or because your administrator has disabled it for you.

Please contact your admin if you'd like to receive the Briefing email. This email is not controlled with the Cortana app and is unrelated to any Cortana in Windows settings.


Here are some tips on how to take advantage of all that Cortana offers. Download the Cortana app. If you haven't already, download Cortana from iTunes. Enter your Microsoft account information to sign in. If you've previously signed in to Cortana on another device, make sure to use the same Microsoft account.

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Adaptive or HTML version

You’ll get a different version of the Briefing email depending on which version of Outlook you’re using:

  • Adaptive version: If you open the Briefing email in OWA (Outlook Web Access), Outlook mobile (iOS and Android), and Outlook for Windows or Mac desktop, you’ll see the Adaptive version with links to open tasks, upcoming meetings, and related documents, as well as in-line actions to triage tasks and book suggested focus time

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  • HTML version: If you open Briefing in an email app other than Outlook or in OWA on a mobile device, you’ll see the HTML version that links to open tasks, upcoming meetings, and related documents, but will not include in-line actions or suggested focus time

How it works

Briefing emails are personal and private and are only sent to you directly in your mailbox, which cannot be accessed by anybody else in your organization, including your IT admin or your manager. Briefing email data uses Exchange Online email and calendar data and processes and stores any insights or actions inside your Exchange Online mailbox, so data security is built in and enforced by Exchange.

Briefing emails do not include any new personally identifiable information about anybody else in your organization. Your Briefing emails are based on information that you already have access to but can’t quickly aggregate without help. For example, if you want to determine what commitments you made to others, you could manually review each email in your mailbox. The Briefing email helps you avoid this time-consuming process.

The Briefing email looks for actionable tasks in Outlook and includes the top results in the email. If these tasks are related to any upcoming meetings, they’ll be listed in context with the meeting. Meetings will also have links to any attached or potentially related documents.

The Adaptive version of the Briefing email also includes any last-minute options to schedule time to focus on deep work or to make progress on any of the tasks included in the email. Any existing focus time that’s already scheduled is also referenced in this section.

Opt out of the Briefing email

To manage your subscription to the Briefing email, go to https://cortana.office.com.

Cortana Phone App

Learn more