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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Typed today, sent tomorrow...

A wise person once said, "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today." It makes sense, doesn't it? Even if a task doesn't need to be done until next Wednesday, something might come up that day to prevent you from completing it, so if you're not busy now, just do it! But there can be drawbacks...

If you're like me, you probably have occasional "catch-up" days, where you do follow-ups, respond to non-urgent emails, and the like. I usually do this on Saturdays, but what often happens is I am greeted Monday with a barrage of replies, so I don't feel any farther ahead than I was. But remember - just because you write the email today, doesn't mean you have to send it today!

One option is to save the email as a draft instead of sending it. This is a good thing to do when you've written an important message, as it gives you an opportunity to step away from it and read it with fresh eyes before sending it. However, as it does necessitate the extra step of going back to your Drafts folder and sending it, you probably don't want to do this with 20 or 30 emails, especially since you'll still probably end up sending them all at once and receiving many replies at the same time.

Fortunately, we Outlook users have an amazing tool right at our fingertips! Once your email is ready to go, before pressing the Send button, click on Options, then Delay Delivery (or Do not deliver before, depending on your version of Outlook). You can then select the date and time you want your message to go out. Using this feature will allow you to stagger the times, and even the days that your emails go out.

Other times this tip might be valuable include:

  • You're working during the evening or on the weekend and you don't want your message to get buried in the large volume of emails your recipient is likely to receive overnight or over the course of the weekend, so you delay delivery until after 10:00 am
  • Your client has a habit of calling you outside of your regular office hours, so you'd rather she not know when you are working outside those hours
  • Your friend is apt to pick up the phone and call you if he knows you're at your desk

If you can think of other uses for this application, please share them in the Comments section below.

It's important to note that your message will only go out at the scheduled time if Outlook is open and you are connected to the Internet. If you schedule a message to go out at midnight tonight but turn your computer off, it won't go out until the next time you are online.

posted on: 11/27/2008 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Discuss This Post

by Tina Chase - [email protected] on 11/27/2008 1:41:00 PM:

Too funny Janet! I also tend to catch up at odd hours but don't want my clients to think I am available, so I admit I have scheduled messages to go out at a later date/time.

by Janet on 11/27/2008 2:57:58 PM:

Tina, I should have known you'd be in the know! This is one of those features I tend to forget about, but am starting to use more often.

by Kathy Stinson on 12/2/2008 7:21:57 AM:

I KNEW you weren't at your desk in the middle of the night, despite what your blog posting notices in my Inbox in the morning might suggest. Now I know how you did that! (Such a clever VA I have.)

by Kathy Stinson on 12/2/2008 7:25:16 AM:

But is it right that the trick just works for Outlook and not Outlook Express? I have a "Send Immediately" box to click (or not) in my Options, but not the kind of delay option you've described.

by Janet on 12/2/2008 11:51:01 AM:

Kathy - I may be clever, but I don't use Outlook for my blog posting notices - Feedburner looks after that! And you're right, Outlook Express doesn't have that option - I guess Microsoft reserves it for "paying" customers.

by Marcia Francois on 12/12/2008 2:15:58 PM:

I love this feature! I always use it on a Friday night but also during the week for non-urgent messages :)

by Janet on 12/15/2008 4:15:02 PM:

Marcia, I received your comment in my inbox and I knew it was yours before I even checked! :o)

by Tailynn on 1/9/2012 2:01:04 AM:

Umm, are you relaly just giving this info out for nothing?

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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