Tag Archives: Email

Getting The "Message" Out

In my never-ending quest for easy and quick ways to maneuver around Microsoft Outlook, I came across these two gems from Heinz Tschabitscher.  He writes a weekly column on Microsoft Outlook for About.com.   Normally, I read his tips and sock them away for a later date for my own personal use; however, I felt these two tips were worth sharing. 

I don’t know about you, but one of my pet peeves is getting an email with misspellings.  It drives me bananas and if I have to forward that same email on….what’s a girl to do?  Fortunately, I have found the answer, thanks to Heinz Tschabitscher:

  • Double-click on the message that needs to be edited so it opens up fully in its own window
  • From the toolbar, click on “Other Actions”, then “Edit Message”
  • Next, make all the changes you want or need within the body of the email as well as the subject line (if necessary)
  • Finally, press the “Control” key and the “S” key (to save it)

Now you can forward the email with confidence!

Now, have you ever received an email or a forwarded email with another email sent as an attachment?  I have and I’ve always wanted to know how to do that.  Not only because the email looks “cleaner”, but because it makes more sense, organizationally, as well.  Let me explain.  I am all about simplifying things and that extends to emails, too.  When I receive an email that has several forwards to it, I usually end up deleting it.  I don’t have the time, nor do I have the patience to read clear down to the bottom of the email to see what was so important.  However, if someone was to attach the original email and then send it on its merry way, I bet, it would get read and answered more quickly.  The message is considerably shorter and therefore, would seem at least to me, of more significance.  So, I went on a hunt and found out how this “cleaner” way to forward an email can be accomplished:

  • From the menu, click on “Tools”, then “Options”
  • Select the “Preferences” tab
  • Next, click on “Email Options”
  • Under “When forwarding a message” make sure to select “Attach original message”
  • Then, click “OK” and then once more
  • Next, highlight any messages you want to forward and click “Forward”
  • Finally, address and send the email with the original messages as attachments and include any comments in the body of your email

These two tips were definitely “AH HA” moments for me and I have been utilizing them ever since.  I hope they are as helpful for you.

Out of Office Etiquette

Spring break is here for most of us and summer vacation is fast approaching.  So I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about Out of Office notifications.

As virtual assistants, we are fortunate in that we can be flexible with are schedules.  However, we still need to be responsible business owners and inform our clients when we will be unavailable for a length of time.  This is just good business etiquette.  No one wants to feel ignored and that includes our clients.  So when you know you will be taking a vacation or going out of town for a long weekend, have the courtesy to create an Out of Office reply/notification within your email system. 

For your convenience, I have listed the steps below to create an Out of Office notification for Outlook and for Gmail.

Outlook 2007

  • Start a new email message
  • Type the “Subject” and create a message for your out of office reply
    • Make sure to include some sort of indication as to when the person emailing you can expect to receive an actual response back.
  • Next, click on the “Office” button, click the “Save As” option and choose the “Outlook Template” option under the “Save As Type:”
  • Then click “Save”
  • Next, select “Tools/Rules and Alerts” from main window
  • Click “New Rule” and select the “Start from a Blank Rule” option
  • Select “Check Messages When They Arrive”
  • Then click “Next”
  • Under “Step 1: Select Condition”, click “Where My Name is in the ‘To’ Box”
    • As a suggestion, you may want to leave all other boxes unchecked to the out of office reply will alert all incoming email
  • Then click “Next”
  • Under “Step 1: Select Action”, click “Reply Using A Specific Template”
  • Under “Step 2: Edit the Rule Description”, click “Specific Template” (it should be underlined)
  • Under “Look In”, select “User Templates In File System”, highlight the template you just created and click “Open”
  • Then click “Next”
  • Under “Step 1: Select Exception”, click on “Except if it is an Out of Office Message”
  • Then click “Next”
  • Finally, under “Specify a Name for this Rule” type in a particular name for this rule, click “Finish” and click “OK”


  • Click on “Settings” at the top right corner of your screen
  • Scroll down to middle of page to find “Vacation Responder” and click “Vacation Responder On”
  • Next, choose the dates you want the responder to start and stop
  • Then, type a message in the “Subject” and create your “Message”
  • Then click “Save Changes”

Now, relax and enjoy your well-deserved time off!

Free E-mail for Business

Email is the single most important tool that you will use in your new virtual office. You will use it for communication, record keeping and scheduling. The biggest and best free e-mail providers are yahoo, hotmail, and google’s gmail. Even if you already have an e-mail address, you really should set up a separate e-mail address account for your work at home. You are less likely to miss important messages from clients when they are not mixed in the same inbox as your friend’s forwards and your J Crew e-subscription right? You should look for e-mail that is free (at first of course, later if you have extra money you can spend whatever you want on e-mail. Heck, maybe you’ll be able to pay someone else to deal with your e-mail for you!) Ok, back to reality. Look for a service that gives you lots of space, and a free calendar to keep track of appointments and remind you to send your clients updates etc.