TOTW: Control yourself (and your emails)


Date: 28 September 2012

This week's Friday tip is about a couple of overlooked features in Outlook 2010 that could save your bacon. Please note that some of these features may only work if Outlook is connected to a Microsoft Exchange server.

When editing a message in Outlook, have a look under the File > Info menu. The first option, 'Restrict permissions to this item' allows you to control whether the email you send can be forwarded to other recipients. This is handy for anything confidential, including HR and salary related emails. 

The second option of interest is the message delivery report. If the message you're looking at has already been sent, selecting this option will take you to a web based service that shows you if the email was delivered or not. Sometimes this might prove useful with clients that aren't receiving your emails but don't check their spam folders.

Next we have 'message resend and recall'. As the name suggests, this allows you to resend or recall emails. Resending an email this way is different from just sending it again, as it will delete your previous email from the recipient's inbox, and replace it with this updated version. Very useful for correcting mistakes you noticed after the email was sent. Recalling an email works in a similar way, where the email is removed from the recipients inbox. (Note: you can only recall an email if the recipient has not already read it, but I suppose in that case it's too late anyway.)

The last button on the info page brings up properties of the message. Here you can control any flags, such as 'high importance' or 'sensitive', as well as controlling message expiry date (if desired). This will notify the recipient that the message is out of date if they read it after the date you specify.

Bonus tip: Many of these features can be added to your Outlook ribbon toolbar, by right-clicking on it and selecting 'Customise the ribbon'.

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