Often, lawyers will put off drafting an email because they don’t have all the information needed to complete and send it. What they forget, or never knew to begin with, is that send or delete are not the only options with an incomplete email.
Get started on drafting in Outlook whenever the inspiration strikes you. Then, just click the X in the upper right hand corner to close the email, and Outlook will ask you if you’d like to save the draft. Click Yes, and your partially completed email will be filed in the Drafts folder, waiting on you to come back to finish and send it whenever you’re ready. This is a quick and easy way to capture ideas or information while you have them in mind, and then store them until you’re ready to complete the process. When you are, just go to the Drafts folder, click on the email message, complete it and hit Send.
An added advantage of doing this is that you can store your messages until the end of the day, holding them for revision as more information comes in and putting off having to deal with the response until the next day, when appropriate. If you long for the time when once-daily mail delivery provided more structure and a slower pace to your work day, making non-critical email work more like snail mail is one way to return to yesteryear.
In addition to holding all your drafts and sending them at one time, you can set a specific send time after which individual messages will be delivered. In the message, click Options. Under the Delivery options, select the “Do not deliver before” check box and then click the delivery date and time you want.
If you use Microsoft Exchange Server, you can also delay all your messages for a specified time after you hit Send by setting up a rule. If you are always forgetting to attach the document mentioned in the email, this is a life saver. Type “delay delivery of all messages” into the help search field for full directions on how to set up the rule.
And, until you get used to this new process, it’s a good idea to set a calendar reminder to check your drafts folder each morning before moving on to other work.