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Email hacks: delay send rule

By Jody Bruner

June 11, 2020

Email Writing

Email hacks: delay send rule - woman-working-on-laptop-and-phone
Email hacks: delay send rule - wave-lime-green-1260x540-1
Email hacks: delay send rule - wave-lime-green-1260x540-1

For many of us, working from home means more email than ever. I find the more emails I write and send, the more opportunities to get myself in trouble by being impatient and overly hasty. These two hacks help me slow myself down, so I’m not sending emails too quickly or at inappropriate times.   

Create a Defer Send rule in MS Outlook (Office 365) 

I send emails too quickly in my haste to knock them off my to-do list. Many times I’ve wished I could recall or edit an email just after it’s been sent. So my genius tech guy created this rule for me. It creates a 5minute delay for every email I send. If I’m in a hurry to get something out, I can override it. It has saved me a few times!  

Here’s a snapshot of the rule, with detailed instructions below.

Email hacks: delay send rule - rules-and-alerts-menu
  1. From the File menu, select Manage Rules and Alerts. 
  2. Click New Rule. The Rules Wizard window will open. 
  3. Under Step 1, select Apply rule on messages I send. Under Step 2 at the bottom of the Rules Wizard window, the description “Apply this rule after I send the message” appears. 
  4. Click the Next button. 
  5. Select through the specified account. Under Step 2, the description “through the specified account and on this computer only” appears.  
  6. Click the link on the word specified and click the OK button to accept your email address. Your email address replaces the word “specified. 
  7. Click the Next button. 
  8. Select defer delivery by a number of minutes. Under Step 2, “defer delivery by a number of minutes” appears.  
  9. Click the link on the phrase a number of, enter the number of minutes you want to defer, and click the OK button. 
  10. Click the Next button. 
  11. Select except if it is marked as important. Under Step 2, the description “except if it is marked as importance” appears.  
  12. Click the link on the word importance and select High from the dropdown. Then click the OK button. 
  13. Click the Next button.
  14. Under Step 1, replace your email address with a name for the rule, such as “Defer Send 5 minutes”. 
  15. Select Turn on this rule, then click the Finish button. 

Your Defer Send rule is now activeYou can de-activate it any time by de-selecting it in the Manage Rules and Alerts screen.

Delay Delivery Option 

I often work at odd hourson evenings, weekends. But I don’t expect anyone else to do the same. So instead of sending emails after hours, I schedule delivery for a specific day and time. 

This one is easy: when you’re ready to send your email, find the Options tab and choose Delay Delivery. Then just select the date and time of day you want your message sent. It sits in your Outbox till it’s ready to go.  

Email hacks: delay send rule - properties-menu

What are your favorite email hacks?  


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