Outlook's Out of Office Assistant
Using Outlook 2003
If you're not going to check email while you're out of the office, use the Out of Office Assistant to manage your Inbox by automatically responding to incoming mail. You can also create rules to automatically manage incoming messages by telling Microsoft Outlook what action to take with them. For example, you can create rules to automatically move or copy messages to other folders, to delete messages, or to send custom reply messages.
Setting an Auto-Reply
From the Tools menu, select Out of Office Assistant.
The Out of Office Assistant command does not appear unless you are using an Exchange Server email account and you are in the Mail view.
Click I am currently Out of the Office.
Type the message that you want to send to others while you are out in the AutoReply only once to each sender with the following text box.
Adding a Rule
You may also add a rule or rules. (A rule is one or more automatic actions taken on email messages and meeting requests that meet certain conditions. They may also include exceptions to the conditions).
NOTE: Forwarding rules may only be used to forward email messages to other BC Exchange accounts.
Rules are applied in the order they appear, going from top to bottom in the list of rules in the Out of Office Assistant dialog box.
If you select more than one condition in the Edit Rule dialog box, the rule will be applied only to messages that meet all of the conditions. For example, if you specify John Doe as the sender (condition) and "Weekly Meeting" (condition) in the Subject box, the rule applies only to messages that meet both conditions.
If you set multiple criteria for one condition, the rule will be applied to messages that meet any one of the multiple criteria for that condition. For example, if you specify "John Doe;Tom Smith" in the From box, the rule applies to messages from either.
Under "When a message arrives that meets the following conditions," specify the conditions of the rule that the message must meet for the action to occur, click Add Rule.
To specify more conditions, click Advanced, select the options that you want, and then click OK.
To specify that this rule must be the last one applied, select the Do not process subsequent rules option.
Under Perform these actions, select the options that you want. You can select more than one option.