A period of email grace

16 August 2013

This morning I made a potentially huge mistake - sending an email way before I intended to. In my pre-coffee haze, rather than hitting the return key for a new line, my little finger decided to find it's way to the Ctrl key. Bam. Shortcut. Email sent.

Fortunately the email was pretty much finished, just needing a sign off and a quick grammar check, that didn't stop me from dispatching a fairly hasty follow-up email though! But what if it had been a really important email, that really hadn't been finished off? Nightmare!

Gmail has been saving me from these kind of mistakes for ages wit the handy 'undo-send' setting. there just doesn't seem to be that obvious method to delay emails from sending in Outlook… But with a little bit of poking you can create a little hack to make it work.

Normally Outlook rules are used to analyse incoming emails and folder them, flag them, etc. Today's discovery was that you can also use rules on outgoing emails too:

  1. Open the 'Rules and Alerts' settings and create a new rule
  2. Select 'Apply rule on messages' under start a blank rule
  3. Ignore the conditions and just hit 'next'
  4. Select the 'defer delivery by (x) minutes' and set (x) to the number of minutes you want the email to wait for. I went for just one minute.
  5. Ignore the exceptions
  6. Give it a name and then click finish

Now whenever emails are sent they cool off in the outbox for a minute before Outlook sends them. Handy!

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