How to Delay or Schedule e-mails with Microsoft Outlook

Ever had a stroppy e-mail that really makes you annoyed? Feel like giving the sender a piece of your mind, setting him straight, or telling that arrogant her where to get off?

Yes – we’ve all been there – but the advice would be… don’t ever EVER respond to an e-mail when you are angry – you’ll live to regret it! Get up from your desk and go for a walk. Ignore that e-mail. Don’t reply for an hour or two, preferably even more! Chances are your response after a cooling off period will be a lot more calculated and considered in nature than an immediate knee jerk emotional response.

Great advice, I’m sure you’ll agree, but how many times have you fired off that e-mail response in anger – only to regret it instantly?

Yes, Outlook has the Recall feature – but let’s be honest, it simply doesn’t work and just alerts the potential sender to the fact that you regret ever sending the e-mail, so they take a greater interest in it’s contents…

However, Outlook has a feature that enables you to delay or schedule sending messages. There are full details at the Microsoft Office online web-site, but in a nutshell:-

  1. After composing the message, on the Options tab, in the More Options group, click Delay Delivery.
  2. Click Message Options.
  3. Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box, and then click the delivery date and time that you want.

After you click Send, the message remains in the Outboxfolder until the delivery time you’ve specified – so if you regret calling the bosses wife a horrible name, you may be relieved to find the e-mail you wrote said expletives in has not yet been delivered.

If you’ve got a real anger management issue, the article also details a method of delaying all e-mails– so you’ll have time to reflect on sending all messages before they are delivered.

Personally, I never reply to e-mails in anger – instead I pick the ‘phone up and scream at people, or run round to their offices in a rage and punch them in the nose for their troubles.

Sadly there’s no electronic remedy for this erratic behaviour – I’ll just have to continue to take my strong medication… šŸ™‚


  • Tim2008-11-18 12:57:21

    You are so right! I'm sure we all learn this the hard way - I know I did. What I tend to do is write that angry email, it feels really good to get the words down in writing, cathartic. But then, at the last moment, I don't send it. I click "Save" instead of Send. Then I go to bed for a good nights sleep. In the morning, nine times out of ten I will move that email to to Deleted Items. But it felt good writing it!

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