Using automatic replies (formerly Out of Office Assistant)
Video: Using automatic replies (formerly Out of Office Assistant)In this course, we have looked at a number of different tools you can use to effectively manage your e-mail in Outlook 2010. But one way to manage your e-mail is actually to manage the e-mail that you are receiving before it's even sent. By letting folks know when you will be out of the office, you can prevent that group of angry e-mail messages that says, "Why haven't you gotten back to me?" So let's go ahead and take a look at how we can set what's called Automatic Replies in this version of Outlook, and was formerly called Out of Office.
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In Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management, author Gini Courter demonstrates techniques to streamline the Outlook mailbox workflow. The course covers strategies for customizing views, adding filters, utilizing flags, and creating and organizing folders. The course also shows how to automate tasks as well as make effective use of QuickSteps to process email, and more.
- Viewing messages by conversation
- Tagging messages with flags and categories
- Understanding flags and the To Do list
- Sorting and filtering email
- Creating a search folder
- Creating QuickSteps and email rules
- Using automatic replies
Using automatic replies (formerly Out of Office Assistant)
In this course, we have looked at a number of different tools you can use to effectively manage your e-mail in Outlook 2010. But one way to manage your e-mail is actually to manage the e-mail that you are receiving before it's even sent. By letting folks know when you will be out of the office, you can prevent that group of angry e-mail messages that says, "Why haven't you gotten back to me?" So let's go ahead and take a look at how we can set what's called Automatic Replies in this version of Outlook, and was formerly called Out of Office.
Click the File tab and choose Automatic Replies to tell Outlook how you would like it to behave when you are out of the office. Now previously, you had to wait until the moment you were leaving the office to set up Out of Office, but you don't have to in office 2010. As a matter of fact, you can set this up well in advance of the time you depart. The important thing to remember is you can't set up Automatic Replies after you are out of the office. You must be connected to your Exchange server to set up Automatic Replies. There are two possibilities for Automatic Replies.
Once you enable the Send Automatic Replies option button, you can send automatic replies inside and outside of your organization. So let's set up the message that we would send to folks inside of our company. I am going to note that I will be out of the office from a particular time, and that I will have limited access to e-mail. I will respond to your e-mail when I return and the date that I will return. So first, I am going to say I will be gone from August 2nd, and I am going to choose a time really early in the morning on August 2nd.
If I choose August 2nd at 8 AM, if I have people corresponding to me from Europe or from time zones that are earlier than mine, I might actually have mail that comes in that doesn't receive a reply before I have left. So I am gone on the 2nd, I am going to choose midnight on the 2nd. As a matter of fact, I might even back it up a couple of days and say you know actually I am leaving the office on Friday the 30th, and I am going to be out of here 5 PM. Even though my vacation day doesn't really start until Monday, I am not going to reply to anybody after Friday on the week before.
My last day that I will be on vacation is the 6th, but I actually won't be back in the office until Monday morning, which is the 9th, and I will be there at 8 o'clock in the morning. So that's the time period that I won't be receiving or sending e-mail. I have got that set up, along with my message, and if I just click OK, I will be fine right now. But this is only sending messages to my coworkers. I can also click outside my organization and enter a message that I would like to have sent outside, and that message might have a little less information, or it might have more information.
It might say, I will respond to e-mail when I return. In my absence please e-mail Kyle at twotressoliveoil.com for contract questions, for example. Now one thing that you need to know is that, by default, Exchange server, which is the sever for Outlook, actually doesn't send out of office messages outside of your organization.
So before you assume this is going to work, you need to talk to the folks in your IS or IT department and say, hey, how have you got Exchange set up to send out of office replies when I am not here, specifically if I get something from a client outside of our network - will they get my out of office reply? So make sure this is actually going to be sent, because if it is not sent based on the policies on your server, you will not know that it wasn't sent. Find out ahead of time, but this is set up for organizations that allow you to send outside your firewall in your absence.
With all of this set up, I could actually just click OK right now, and when I leave the office, walk out the door on the 30th, I can feel very confident that people inside of my organization will receive my out of office reply, one per sender, and that if I have checked with my IT department, and they have configured Exchange server to send outside of our network, that people from outside will also receive this information. However, I have one other thing that I need to manage. I know that I am going to be receiving a contract from Jeff at Hansel and Petal.
It hasn't arrived yet. It is likely to arrive while I am gone, and needs to be turned around in my absence. So what I'd like to do, I have tried to reach Jeff, but I just want to make sure that its going to be handled, so I am going to click on Rules, and I am going to add one rule. We already know how to add rules. This is a different dialog box than we see normally with Rules. It is made particularly for the Automatic Reply section, but it works in exactly the same way. I can say that when an e-mail arrives from email@example.com, that I would like to do something specific with it.
I would like to forward it, and we are going to go ahead and forward it to Kirk, so that he can handle it. So you could think of this as an exception, one rule that says what I'd like to do is look for a particular e-mail from someone or with a particular subject and to do something very specific with it. If I want, I can turn this rule off later, or if I get e-mails all the time in my absence from Jeff, I might simply want to leave this all the time for when I am out of the office. So one rule, that's an exception, two settings for how I want my e-mail handled.
I am already to go on vacation, I am going to click OK, knowing that when I am out of the office my Automatic Replies will manage all of my e-mail correspondence.
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