By Marion Rhodes

With the holidays coming up, I was wondering how I could set up an automatic out-of-office reply for my business email account, which is linked to my Gmail account. The provider I use for my business email doesn’t offer an auto-response function, and although Gmail has an option to schedule a vacation responder, the auto reply will affect all accounts that are accessed via Gmail. I didn’t want personal emails to trigger an out-of-office reply, so I did some research on Google. Turns out, there is a simple, three-step procedure to set selective auto responses in Gmail.

Step 1.
In your Gmail settings, go to Labs and enable the “Canned Responses” feature.

Step 2.
Open a window to compose a new message and write your out-of-office reply. Then click on “More options” on the bottom right corner, select “Canned Responses” and save as “New Canned Response” (or overwrite an existing response if you wish). The response will be saved in your Drafts folder, where you can edit it any time.

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Step 3.
Now go to your Gmail filters in Settings and click on “Create a filter” on the bottom. In the “To” box, type your business email address, then select “Create a filter with this search.” The following box will pop up:

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Choose “Send canned response” and select the draft you saved, then click on “Create filter.” That’s it! From now on – and I mean it, as soon as you create this filter! – every email that comes into your designated account will receive an immediate reply with your canned response. All you need to do now is remember to turn off the response upon your return, because you can’t specify a time limit.

In this spirit: Happy Holidays, and enjoy your time off!


About the author - Marion Rhodes

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