Bugs in your mail client (and you yourself) can cause messages to be sent unfinished, without attachments, or with tone and content you regret immediately on clicking send. A simple rule that delays sending of your mail by only one minute can help avoid all these email faux pas.
Here’s how to fix Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016:
- Home tab > Rules > Create Rule
- Manage rules and alerts (the New rule shortcut doesn’t make creating outbound rules easy)
- Click New rule button
- Select Apply rule on messages I send, then click Next
- On the conditions page, make sure nothing is ticked to apply to all messages then click Next (accept the prompt warning this applies to all messages)
- On the actions page, untick everything, except Defer delivery to a number of minutes (second for last option). 1 min is the minimum – this should be enough to catch the accidental sends and the ones you immediately regret 🙂 Next
- Don’t add any exceptions. Next
- Name the rule something like “Delay send for 1 minute“. Tick turn on rule.
Initially you may find waiting a minute to see your message leave your outbox stressful. Relax. Remember – you used to have to wait for a courier even for the most urgent messages. If it’s REALLY urgent, why are you sending an email? Get on the phone.
You can set exceptions in step 7 to ignore this rule, for example if the message is set as high importance. This can be useful in cases where you really can’t wait a minute!
One thought on “Top Tip: Delay Your Email”
An extra tip. Really important messages you are anxious about, you might not want to wait even 1 minute to see them go. So set up an exception to the rule for messages marked as important. Then mark important messages as … well, important.
Just remember why you set this up, and don’t go annoying all your correspondees with hundreds of important messages!