Top Tip: Delay Your Email

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:

  1. Home tab > Rules > Create Rule
  2. Manage rules and alerts (the New rule shortcut doesn’t make creating outbound rules easy)
  3. Click New rule button
  4. Select Apply rule on messages I send, then click Next
  5. 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)
  6. 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 ūüôā¬†Next
  7. Don’t add any exceptions. Next
  8. Name the rule something like “Delay send for 1 minute“. Tick turn on rule.
  9. Finish.

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

  1. 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!

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