Out of office a.ka. vacation responder

In Lotus Notes you had the Out of Office. In Smoogle it's called the vacation responder. It'd be nice if every time we were out of the office it was because we were on vacation, but sadly life doesn't work that way.

You can set up a vacation response in your Gmail settings that will automatically reply to anyone who emails you. While the vacation responder is enabled, Gmail will send a response to anyone who contacts you.*

If that person contacts you again after four days and your vacation responder is still enabled, Gmail will send another vacation response to remind the person that you're away from your email.

Here's how to set up a vacation response:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right, then select Settings.
  2. From the General tab, select Vacation responder on in the Vacation responder: section.
  3. Enter the subject and body of your message in the Subject: and Message: fields.
  4. If you've enabled a personalized signature in your settings, Gmail will automatically append it to the bottom of your vacation response.
  5. Check the box next to Only send a response to people in my Contacts if you don't want everyone who emails you to know that you're away from your mail. You'll also see an option to only send a response to people from rhsmith.umd.edu. If you check both of these boxes, only people who are in your contacts and in rhsmith.umd.edu will receive the automatic response.
  6. Click Save Changes.

While the vacation responder is enabled, you'll see a banner across the top of any Gmail page, displaying the subject of your vacation response. To stop Gmail from automatically sending the response, click end now within the banner. Or, if you'd like to edit the response, click vacation settings.

Your vacation response will start over each time you edit it -- if someone receives your initial vacation response, and then emails you again after you've edited the subject or body of the message, he or she will receive the edited response, too.

* Messages classified as spam and messages addressed to a mailing list you subscribe to will not receive a vacation response.