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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle Apps
If there's one thing that computers are better at than humans, it's remembering things. Take for example the typical "Out Of Office" email reply -- you go on vacation and set a rule in Mail.app to automatically respond of your absence to any email with a certain criteria. Then you come back and a day or two later and have to remember to turn the notification back off again.

Well if You use iCal, your Mac most likely already knows when you're leaving and coming back, so let's simply tie that information with Mail.app. Here's how:
  1. Open Automator and from the Automator library add a Run AppleScript action.
  2. Replace the code with the following, putting in the name of your Out of Office rule:
    set myRule to "Name of my Out of Office rule"
    tell application "Mail"
      set enabled of rule myRule to not enabled of rule myRule
    end tell
    
  3. Choose File -> Save As Plug-In, give it a name (like "Toggle Out-Of-Office"), and set the Plug-in for pop-up to iCal Alarm. Save.
iCal will open with a new event which you can simply delete. Then just create events on the start and end dates of your vacation (if you haven't already) and set your newly-created script as the alarm (which you'll find in the alarm "Open file" dropdown menu).

The reply will now activate when you leave, and deactivate when you return. Just make sure your rule is Inactive before you go!

[robg adds: If you'd rather not leave your machine on the whole time you're gone, just use the Energy Saver System Preferences panel to set a sleep and wake time each day. Leave Mail running, and it will check your mail when the machine awakes. Energy Saver will then put the machine back to sleep again later -- just leave enough time for Mail to finish downloading.]
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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle | 4 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle
Authored by: sjmills on Nov 10, '06 09:40:09AM
And if you belong to any mailing lists, do not send automated replies to them or you'll be ridiculed and hopefully kicked off the list.

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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle
Authored by: bkemper on Nov 10, '06 12:00:34PM

Make sure when you set up your rule that you are only sending auto replies to senders who are in your address book or who are previous recipients, otherwise you may be confirming your address to spammers who make it through your spam filter.



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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle
Authored by: heavyboots on Nov 10, '06 02:45:41PM

I guess this is a moderately useful suggestion for a home user, but if your ISP has a web interface with OOO replies available OR if your mail is coming off OS X Server, I would definitely check out Avelsieve for SquirrelMail (or have your IT install it).

Server-side OOO message advantages (most likely) include:
-Only sends each user 1 OOO reply instead of 1 per message they send.
-Doesn't barrage them with a bunch of OOO replies when the machine wakes up and downloads all the mail from the for the day (which is what happens with Rob's Energy Saver suggestion).
-Doesn't require your machine to be on, only the server.



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10.4: Automate 'out of office' reply toggle
Authored by: macjockey on Nov 13, '06 06:09:00AM

Also, sending auto replies to spammers will add each of these spammer's email addresses to your "previous recipients" list.



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