New Year’s resolutions tend to be pretty typical. Lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, stress less, sleep more, work more, work less, take up a hobby, give up a bad habit… the list goes on.
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Be different and do something for your email inbox that you’ll thank yourself for all year long.
How many times have you hit “send” on an email only to realize you forgot to attach what you said you were attaching? How often have you sent an email only to catch a typo as its on its way out of your inbox? A message sent to the wrong person (e.g. a complaint about your boss sent directly to your boss) could be more damaging to your health than eating potato chips on the couch. You could lose your job over that slip of the keyboard.
So, do yourself a favor for 2017 and set up the “Undo Send” option in your email! The way it works is to offer up a prompt with an “undo send” option after you hit send on an email. You can set the amount of time you have to undo your action (between 5-30 seconds), and voila! You have the email safeguard you’ve always needed.
This service is currently available for Gmail and Outlook. If you don’t use either, you may want to consider switching email providers, if only for the ability to send regret-free emails in the future!
How To Enable The “Undo Send” Option In Your Email
Google makes it simple to undo sent messages, even after you sent the message. All you have to do is:
1. Click on the settings wheel in the top right of your Gmail account and click on “Settings.” If you are on a mobile device or tablet, make sure it’s in desktop mode.
2. In the General tab, scroll down until you see the “Undo Send” section.
3. Check the box next to “Enable Undo Send.”
4. Below that, you can set how long you want Gmail to wait until they send the email in the “Send cancellation period” section.
5. Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
Now, once you’ve sent a terrible email, there’s a message that says “Your message has been sent,” along with the option to Undo or View message. Click Undo, and your life is saved.
Up Next: How to set this up in Outlook.
Here’s how to undo all of your sent messages from Outlook, courtesy of PC Mag:
1. Go to File > Manage Rules & Alerts > New Rule.
2. Look under Start from a Blank Rule. Choose “Apply rule on messages I send.” Leave the other checkboxes blank.
3. Under the list of actions, choose “defer delivery by a number of minutes.” Once chosen, you can defer delivery up to 120 minutes, but most prefer you defer after one or two minutes. Select the number of minutes in the “a number of” section.
4. Keep clicking on Next to save and name the rule. Ideas for naming this rule could include:
- New Year’s Resolution
- Life Saver
- The Buffer Zone
- Reason Why I Still Have a Job
5. Before exiting, make sure you select the checkbox for “Turn this rule on.”
Once you’ve sent each message, they will be stored in the Outbox for the amount of time you specified earlier. PC Mag suggests you to work on all email messages in Work Offline mode to ensure you’re really writing what you want to be writing before you send. Note: The Undo Send option is available only for Outlook for Windows 2016, 2013 and 2010.
If you use the web-based Outlook platform for your email, setting up the Undo Send option is even easier.
1. Click on the Settings wheel in the upper right-hand corner of the main email inbox.
2. Enter “undo send” in the search bar, and click on the option when it’s pulled up.
3. Select the “Let me cancel messages I’ve sent for:” option and then select the amount of time in the dropdown below (between 5-30 seconds).
4. Hit “Save” to ensure your changes are saved.
5. You guessed it… relax.
Now, if only they could roll out this service for text messages, we’d be all set with electronic communication safeguards!