Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quick Tip: Postdate Emails In Outlook

By Matt:

I often send emails to team members requesting various submissions or details from them by a certain deadline. Invariably I only get a fraction of my desired responses by the due date, so I've taken up the practice of pre-writing reminder emails for the team and postdating them in Outlook to be sent at a later time (e.g. - the day before the deadline).

Here's how it works:

  • Once you send your initial message (a week before the deadline), open the sent email in your Sent Items folder and click 'Reply All'.
  • Draft your reminder message - "Hey guys, just a reminder, all of your submissions are due tomorrow" - and then click 'Options' in the Message window
  • Under Delivery Options click the check-mark for 'Do Not Deliver Before', and then set a date and time for 24 hours prior to your deadline
  • Close the Options box and then 'Send' your message - the message will move to your Outbox and automatically send itself at the time you chose
I love this trick because it takes care of two action items at once, and in fine GTD form is an example of "batching". Make sure you're actually going to be in the office during the time you set for the reminder message as your email will only send when Outlook is running.

8 comments:

Kirsten said...

Hmm, not a bad idea, though I don't usually need to send reminder messages like what you're talking about.

Mark said...

I knew I could probably do this but I wasn't sure how - thanks for the tip!

Peggy Duncan helps you spend less time working. said...

Cute. But this would tick me off because I sent my report in. You're sending a blanket reminder when most of the people may have already sent theirs.

This is what I do: When I'm inside the original message, I flag it with a reminder for the day before (to send a reminder). When the reminder pops up, I click to RESEND the message, but I only send it to the people who haven't submitted anything.

Matt @ Corporate Hack said...

Hey Peggy, welcome to the site - thanks for dropping in and commenting!

You bring up a good point and so I guess there's a judgment call that needs to be made based on the specific office culture. Maybe, in response to what you said, the beginning of the reply message could start with a sincere 'thank-you to those of you who have submitted'... but your example is fine.

TGC said...

I didn't know I had a report due! Crap!

Anonymous said...

Can this be done on a MAC? I can't seem to figure it out and its a feature I used to enjoy using in Outlook when I was on a PC.

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