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How to set up your Outlook out-of-office notifications

If you're going to be out of work or away from home for a few days, either on planned leave or a nice holiday abroad, it's a good idea to make sure that your Outlook out-of-office notifications are active in case someone is trying to get in touch with you.

What are the benefits?

There are plenty of reasons why you should set up your Outlook out-of-office notifications before heading off anywhere. The main one is so that anyone who tries to email you knows that there may be a delay in your responses. If you use Outlook for business, then it is essential that you add all the relevant alternative contact information where possible.

What you should have in your automatic out-of-office reply

The best thing about Outlook out-of-office notifications is that you can set your email up to automatically send a predetermined response to anyone who emails you. The generally accepted format of these emails is as follows;

Thank you for getting in touch. I will be out of the office from XX:XX on Xday the Xth of X until XX:XX on Xday the Xth of X. If you require urgent assistance, please contact X at emailaddress.com or by phone XXX-XXX-XXX.

I will respond to your mail on my return.

How to set up your Outlook out-of-office notifications

Fortunately, Microsoft has made it very easy to set up these auto replies. First you need to create a new email which contains the out of office message similar to the one above. Instead of sending it, you want to save it to a location you can easily remember. We recommend creating a folder called "Out of Office mail" in My Documents and saving it there for easy reference.

Next comes the techy part. Follow this link support.microsoft.com/kb/290846 and make sure to complete each step for the version of Outlook you have. Once that's done you're ready to go!

The best thing about Outlook out-of-office notifications is that they will immediately let the person getting in touch with you know that you will be unable to respond immediately. The fact that you can give alternative contact information is particularly helpful, especially if you work in a fast moving industry.

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