Better (and multiple) out of office responders using rules in outlook

Email is my basic form of communication. The trouble starts when I am out of station. I usually travel to those places where they don’t even have cyber cafes. Only way to contact me is on my mobile.
When I setup my auto – holiday responder it becomes very difficult what to disclose and what not. My default auto responder will may contain”Who can be contacted instead of me for official purposes? And his minimal contact details. If it is very important how can they contact me?”
But auto responder shares the information with entire world. I don’t want to share mine or colleague’s details with who ever mails me. So instead of setting auto responder; I use rules where I can share different level of details with different people.

Follow the steps below to setup responder rules

  1. Goto -> tools -> Rules and Alerts
  2. Choose new Rules
  3. Start from a blank rule
  4. Check messages when they arrive

Then choose one of the following depending on whom do you want to setup. You can setup more than one out of office responder by having more rules.

Reply to email distribution list (like your team)

Reply to your contact list (like friends, colleagues etc)
Reply to specific domain email ids (like your company ids or your client ids)


Each of the above rule takes email template. You can have different template for each contact type.You can enable/disable the rules in the rules wizard when required. Hence you don’t have to follow this process everytime. You just need to enable the rule when you are out.Disable them once you are back.

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2 Responses

  1. Andy Cunningham says:

    This is great, but doesn’t this then send a message on EVERY contact, not just the first one?

  2. Thejesh GN says:

    No.You are not replying to the “address book” you are replying to the person only.

    The drawback is that it sends the reply msg everythime a mail is received but the default responder sends once per contact

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