How To Make the Template
Open a new blank email and write your message with any info you want included.
Hi. I’m out of town for three days. If you want to reach me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, I will reply to you when I return on Dec. 15, 2002.
Once you are done setting up the message, click on the File menu within the email and choose Save As. When the Save As dialog box appears, use the dropdown menu at the bottom that says Save as type and choose Outlook Template (*.oft).
Notice when you choose to save it as a template, at the top of the Save As box where it says Save In, it now shows that it is being saved in your Templates folder. Do not change this location! It needs to be saved there so you can select it from your Templates library.
Give the template a name and click the Save button. Now you can just close this email message by clicking on the X in its upper right corner. Say No when Outlook asks if you want to save the mail; since you have already saved the Template, there is no need to save the actual email.
How To Make the Rule So It AutoReplies To Everyone
Now go to your Tools menu in Outlook and select Rules Wizard. Click on New to start the Wizard. In the first step where it asks what conditions you want to set for this rule, just leave everything unchecked and click on Next. Outlook will then give you a message that tells you this rule will be applied to all mail you receive. Click Yes.
Note! In Outlook 2002, the first step of the Rules Wizard asks if you want to base this rule on an existing rule or start with a new rule. Tell it to start with a new blank rule.
The next step asks what you want to do with the mail. Look through the list of choices and check the one that says Reply with a specific template. Now you will see the words a specific template in the bottom pane. Click on these underlined words and use the dropdown box at the top of the dialog box you now see to select User Templates in File System and you will see your template. Select it and click on Open. Now you will see that your rule is setup to reply to everyone with this template.
If you want to setup any exceptions for this rule, you can click Next. Otherwise, just click on Finish and your rule is made and turned on.
If you don’t want the rule to run now, but instead, want it to start running tomorrow or some other time, just go back to Tools/Rules Wizard and locate your rule. Uncheck the box beside the rule. Then, you can just return here before you go away to turn the rule on by checking it again. When you return home, remember to go back here and uncheck it again to turn it off, or click on it to select it and click on the button that says Delete to remove it completely.