Read twice, send once… Delaying outgoing mail with rules.

Measure twice, cut once…

“Keep it as long as you can, as long as you can”, the 6 Ps* – whichever adage you use to prevent making a mistake there’ll always be that time when you let one little thing slip. Maybe it’s accidentally hitting send on a email to your boss telling them what you really think of them, or sending sensitive information out to the wrong people. Chances are it has happened to all of us at one point or another. The good news is it doesn’t have to happen again!

In Microsoft Outlook you can set up some simple rules to delay the delivery of a message so that you always have a safety window to go back and check or edit a message before it actually goes! Personally, I have my Outlook client set to delay by 1 minute, and it has never let me down! This is especially useful if you forgot to attach something, missed off a recipient or made a spelling mistake.

You can find out more about how to configure this for your version of Outlook here:

Total Recall

Of course, sometimes even a delay isn’t enough – but there is one feature up our sleeve that might be able to help. The recall feature of Microsoft Outlook tries to stop delivery and, optionally, replace an email message that you have already sent to another Microsoft Exchange Server user within your institution. While not 100% guaranteed to stop a message being read, if you’re an Exchange user (if you’re using Outlook Live as part of Live@edu, or Exchange Online as part of Office 365, then that’s you!) you can always try it as a last resort.

As above, you can find out more information about the message recall feature here:

Now you should have all the safeguards in place to ensure that you always say what you mean to say, and to whoever you mean to say it!

*Proper Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance

How do you do it?

Ever fallen foul of the send button? Do you have a different technique for delaying and avoiding embarrassment? Let us know in the comments!

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