Lazy Mail

Have you ever sent out an email saying:
"Hey, check out the new Britney Spears video <hypothetical link/>! It's HOT HOT HOT!"

Only instead of sending the mail to your buddy Alan, you sent it to the "All Employees" alias?

Then you frantically send out a "Recall" mail, which simply attracts more attention to your original blunder than you would have gotten had you simply done nothing.

My solution (since I'm always sending out Britney Spears videos) is to use an (apparently) little know feature of Outlook.

  1. In Outlook: Tools->Options->Mail Setup Tab
  2. Uncheck the "Send immediately when connected" checkbox.
  3. Click the "Send/Receive" button
  4. Check the checkbox for "Schedule an automatic send/receive every [5] minutes"

Now I have up to 5 minutes to open my outbox and save my career. Sure, I'm not always the first person to chime in on the latest email thread, but 5 minutes won't make that much of a difference.

Besides, if you really need to respond ASAP, you can always click on the Send/Receive button on the Outlook toolbar to send immediately.

Other benefits:

  • Emails come in only once every 5 minutes, so distractions are not constant.
  • While waiting for your answer to a thread to send, someone else might have responded with the same answers. You can delete my thread and save everyone time.

Now if I could only figure out how to get Outlook to fetch my morning toast for me...

Comments (6)
  1. Adi Oltean says:

    Hmmm… this is a great feature. I just enabled it in my Outlook.

    One more advantage is that (probably) you can re-edit the email after you pressed "Send". In other words, some sort of "Send preview…" feature.

  2. RGabo says:

    Well, you would rarely have 5 minutes. It could easily happen that just after you pressed the send button, a send/receive is scheduled and its over.. 🙂 I would rather recommend ‘defer delivery of e-mails’ feature, check it at:

    Although this has drawbacks too..

  3. Dave says:

    Very cool! I knew I wasn’t the first person to run into this issue.

  4. William Lefkovics says:

    How about just not using your corporate email for such silly things? It seems like personal preference, really. For me, I want it out the door right away.

  5. Dave says:

    I guess I was trying to be funny with the whole Britney Spears video thing. Here are some better examples:

    Hitting send before you finished composing your mail

    You and someone else responding to a question at the same time…and your answer was wrong

    Sending *any* mail to the wrong alias, regardless of content.

  6. Matt says:

    Another feature I like is the ability to precompose an email and send it later at some specified date/time. From your message select Message Options and under the Delivery Options is the ‘Do not deliver before …’ option. It’s great for sending out messages with a 4am timestamp to impress your colleagues with how late you work.

    And for William L. and others who would accuse me of being ethically challenged, once again, this is the funny example. Think of your own appropriate ways to use the feature. It was obviously useful enough and requested enough for someone to put it in.

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