Auto Reply for the Holidays


How can I minimize e-mails while I'm away on holiday?


This question was answered on December 1, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

First of all, in Outlook Express, hit Create Mail just like you would if you were starting a new e-mail Go ahead and type the message you would like to appear and then go to File, Save As Give your auto reply a file name, make sure you know where you saved it and then click Save You can now close that window.

Note: Make sure you save your reply in a filename.txt format so that just the text comes up in your auto message.

Now, you can make a new rule for your message, so you know it will go exactly where you want it to Go to Tools, Message Rules and choose Mail Click on New and in the first box, you're going to choose the last option that says "For all messages" In the second box, choose "Reply With Message" and in the third box, click on the link that says "Message".

A new menu will appear and you can go and browse to find your saved auto reply message Select your file and then click Open In the fourth box there, you'll want to name your rule "Auto Reply" and then click OK Another window will pop up just confirming your rule and you can just click Apply Now.

Next, a screen will come up asking you where you want to place your selected rule Make sure the Inbox is selected as the folder you want and then click Apply Now again, then Close Then one more click on OK and you'll be good to go.

Now, for the other e-mail programs.

For Yahoo! mail, go to your main mail page and choose Options, Vacation Response You can set the dates you're going to be gone and then type your message Once you're done, just click Turn Auto-Response On.

For AOL, this is called an away message, but it has the same general meaning Log in to AOL and choose the Settings tab in your mailbox window Click on the Away Message (E-mail) link and then turn on your away message You can either pick "I am unavailable to read your message at this time" or you can pick a time for when you will return Click OK when you're done.

To create an auto reply in Gmail, log in to your account and click on the Settings link Under the General tab, make sure the Vacation Responder is checked to be on Next, type in what you want to say in your auto reply and click Save Changes

Now, make sure you don't forget to turn these message filters off when you return from your vacation It's not hard to turn them off Just go back in to each program like you did when you were creating the reply and reverse everything you did For most of them, you just have to click one box that says something like "Responder off." It's all fairly simple to do and it's a great way to ensure that your e-mail friends know where you're at and why you're not responding to them like you normally do No harm in that Give it a shot and have a wonderful holiday season!

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Posted by Chad of Data Doctors on December 1, 2006