Friday, November 26, 2010

No more Oops! moments

How many times have you pressed the send button in your email program to realise that you had sent it to the wrong person, or that you had forgotten the attachment or yet again that maybe you should not have said what you just said... It happens to me all the time. For some reason pressing the send button usually refreshes my memory and makes me remember me of things that I should have said or... not said. Unfortunately, it's usually too late. But it does not have to be this way. Here are a few options available to you:
  • If you are using Microsoft Exchange you can recall the message. However, keep in mind that the recall button available in Outlook only works if your mail server is Microsoft Exchange and if your recipient is using the same server. In other words if you send the email to someone outside the organization, it will not work. In that case it can actually be worse than not doing anything as the recipient will receive a second email saying: Joe Blog would like to recall this message... Probably not what you wanted. And even if you recall an internal message, the original message will still be visible to the recipient up to the moment the recall is sent.
  • If you are using Gmail, you have a better option: the undo button. You can set it up in Gmail Labs and what it does is wait for a few seconds before sending the email. During that time an undo button is visible and if you click it, the mail never leaves. That's the best solution.
  • If Outlook is your mail client, a similar option is available but it's not as straightforward to setup as the Gmail one. You must create a rule (in the tools menu) to defer delivery by say 2 minutes for all outgoing messages. Now every mail will be buffered for 2 minutes once you click the send button. And if you have second thoughts after you have hit that button, you can just go into the Outbox folder and reopen the email and amend you message accordingly or just delete it.
  • And if none of this applies to you, you have one last option: unplug your ethernet cable or disable your WIFI as soon as you have hit the send button. While this brute force approach is less elegant than the previous ones, it does work as well.

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