Monday, April 15, 2019

Outlook: delay sending out emails

After you click the Send button to send the email, you may sometimes realize there were some mistakes in the email or you have forgot to mention something. However, there is no way of un-send the email.

In Outlook, we can set a rule to delay every email a little so that we have some cool down period before the email actually leaves the outbox. Here are the steps of setting up the rule:
  1. Click on the Rules button of the Toolbar and select Manage Rules & Alerts...
  2. In the Rules and Alerts dialogue, on E-mail Rules tab, click on the New Rule... button.
  3. In the Rules Wizard dialogue, select Apply rule on messages I send in the Start from a blank rule box. Click on the Next button.
  4. Skip the Select conditions step and click on the Next button.
  5. Check defer delivery by a number of minutes in the Select action(s) box. In the Step 2 box below, click on the a number of link. Input 1 minute as the value. (It is a pity that we cannot set a value less than 1 minute.) Click on the Next button.
  6. Skip the Select exception(s) step and click on the Next button.
  7. Give the this rule a name and check the Turn on this rule checkbox. Click on the Finish button.
Now every email you send will be delayed for 1 minute.

There may be some emails that are not that important so you can send it immediately worry-free. We can add an exception for those emails in the above "delay" rule:
  1. In the Rules and Alerts dialogue, select the rule we have just created and click on the Change Rule button and select Edit Rule Settings....
  2. Click on the Next buttons twice until we get to the Select exceptions(s) step. Check except if assigned to category category box
  3. In the Step 2 box below, click on the category link.
  4. In the Color Categories dialogue, create a new category, e.g. Send Immediately, and select it (check its checkbox).
  5. Back to the Rules Wizard dialogue. Click on the Finish button.
Now in the Rule description box of the Rules and Alerts dialogue, the description of the new rule should look like this:
    Apply this rule after I send the message
    defer delivery by 1 minute
    except if assigned to Send Immediately category

From now on, all your out going emails will be sitting in the Outbox for 1 minute before it is actually sent out. You will get a chance to edit it after you click on the Send button. To do that, drag the email from the Outbox to the Drafts and then edit it.

If you try to send an email immediately, in the new email window click on the Tags arrow (in the Toolbar) to open the Properties dialogue. At the bottom of the dialogue, click on the Categories button and select our newly defined Send Immediately category. Click the Close button. The email was given the Send Immediately property and will be sent immediately when you click on the Send button.

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