Tip of the week # 503
3 January 2017

Schedule your e-mail message to be sent at your preferred date and time (Microsoft Outlook) *

Happy new year to all of you! Hope you had a relaxing break and didn't return to an overstuffed inbox. Speaking of which ...

If you want people to read and answer your e-mail message, apparently sending it on a Tuesday morning is the best time. After all, everyone finds a lot of messages on Monday morning and most people have mentally switched off by Friday afternoon. But what if you don't have time to send your message on a Tuesday morning? Well, you can easily schedule a date and time at which your message should be delivered.

Here's how:

  1. Create your e-mail message as normal. (CTRL + N springs to mind.)
  2. Click on the Delay delivery button in the More Options group on the Options tab.
  3. Select the Do not deliver before check box.
  4. Press TAB and type your preferred delivery date. For example, tomorrow, next week, next Tuesday, 5/1 ... in short: no need to use the drop-down arrows.
  5. Press TAB and type your preferred delivery time. For example, 10AM or 3PM. (Or use the drop-down arrows if you prefer.)
  6. Click the Close button.
  7. Click the Send button.

Your message remains in the Outbox folder until the specified delivery time. When closing down Outlook, it will remind you that there are unsent messages. Treat this as a prompt not to close down Outlook as the scheduled message might not be sent. (If you work somewhere where they run a program named Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 you do not need to keep Outlook open and you can log off or shut down as normal. Please note there might be issues if they are running version 2010 or earlier.)

By the way, if you want you can set up a rule that will delay the delivery of all your e-mail messages - by up to 120 minutes. This might be particularly helpful if you often wished you hadn't sent it. Perhaps you suddenly remembered something you needed to change. Or perhaps a related e-mail came in. Maybe you often forget to add the attachment you mention in your e-mail? Anyway, I'll use that as input for a future tip.

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.