Every now and then it’s healthy to step away from emails, especially over vacations and breaks, etc. Here’s how to tell folks that, while their messages may be important, you won’t be responding to them for a while.
- Open Outlook.
- If you use Outlook 2007, simply click Tools and select Out of Office Assistant
- If you use Outlook 2010, click the File tab. In most cases, the Info tab will be selected by default for you. Click the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) button.
- Click the button next to Send automatic replies.
- Check the box next to Only send during this time range: and set your start and end dates & times.
- You’ll need to designate the message you want to send back to people Inside My Organization as well as Outside My Organization. These can be the same, or you can customize either to your heart’s content. There are even some special Rules you can set up, but for most of us, this will be enough. Click OK or Save, depending on which version you are using.
Now your customized message will be sent automatically to anyone who sends you an email while you’re taking a break. All of your messages will still accumulate in your Inbox during this time, and you can look in on them and reply as you’d like.
Note: If your boss sends you something while you’re away, you are still responsible for checking and replying as usually expected during your vacation or break, depending on your school’s or organization’s usual expectations, etc. Using the Out of Office Assistant feature does not relieve you from whatever normal responsibilities you would otherwise be expected to maintain.