Use Outlook “Defer” Rule to Avoid Common Emailing Mistakes

By standss Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Emails are a very important part of our lifes now, infact alot of us (including me) spend 90% of the time sending, receiving and reading emails every day in Outlook. The good thing about emails is that it gets the work done much faster (compared to visiting the client or customer personally on the other side of the town).

However we sometimes receive more emails then we can digest leading to frustration and we end up making mistakes that might make us look unprofessional. How many of you have ever:

  1. Sent an email to your full mailing list with embarrassing typo’s
  2. Sent a not-so polite email to one of your most important clients
  3. Sent a email to the wrong person

You can easily prevent this mistakes using Outlook’s “Defer” rule. You can setup a rule to delay the delivery of the email for a few minutes after you click Send to give you a chance to relook and correct any mistakes you have made.

Setup the “Defer” rule

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click the File tab > Manage Rules & Alerts
  • Click New Rule
  • Choose Check messages after sending, and then click Next.
  • Click the Next button again on the “Which conditions do you want to check” screen. This will display a prompt informing you that this rule will apply to every message you send. Click Yes
  • Check the box for “defer delivery by a number of minutes
  • Click on “a number of” and change the defer minutes for example 5 minutes. Click Next
  • On this screen, you can add any exceptions in case you want the emails to be sent out immediately without delay. If there are no exceptions click Next
  • Enter a Name for the Rule and click Finish

In Outlook 2003/2007:

  • On the main menu, click Tools > Rules and Alerts…
  • Click the New Rule… button
  • On the top of the screen, select “Start from a blank rule“, choose Check messages after sending, and then click Next.
  • Click the Next button again on the “Which conditions do you want to check” screen. This will display a prompt informing you that this rule will apply to every message you send. Click Yes
  • Check the box for “defer delivery by a number of minutes
  • Click on “a number of” and change the defer minutes for example 5 minutes. Click Next
  • On this screen, you can add any exceptions in case you want the emails to be sent out immediately without delay. If there are no exceptions click Next
  • Enter a Name for the Rule and click Finish

Now when you send a email, you will notice that it stays in your Outlook for 5 minutes (the time you set in the rule). This gives you a chance to relook the email and correct any mistakes you might find.

Related Posts

How to Avoid Sending Emails to the WRONG person

Common (Costly) Emailing Mistakes in Outlook and How to Prevent Them

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, Sending emails

5 thoughts on “Use Outlook “Defer” Rule to Avoid Common Emailing Mistakes

  1. Love the reminder of this tip for me as well as my clients. It is so true how every now and then you get that panic as you send something out and wish you had stopped for a minute to write it more eloquently, asked another question, or a number of other issues. A good tip for all of us.

  2. This is a great tip – the only downside is getting a message you want to go out now without delay. There should be a way to make an exception for immediate mail sends.

    Suggestions?

  3. Thanks Sanjay, I had looked at Send Guard, but Outlook 2010 is not listed as compatible 🙁 The last product update was well over a year ago.

  4. Hello Mike,

    SendGuard is compatible with Outlook 2010 however only with the 32 bit version at the moment.

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