Save Time With Draft Messages in Outlook 2013

You probably use the same replies for standard email messages that you get every day, or every week. Here’s a tip for creating copies of draft messages, that saved me some time today.

I keep a collection of draft messages in Outlook 2013, and copy and paste paragraphs from those messages, to save time when replying to email. For example, if someone says that one of my sample files doesn’t work, I can use this message, as part of my reply.

draft message to enable macros

Create a Draft Message

Today, I had to send a file to several people, and wanted to send each one individually. So, I created a draft message, with the subject line, file attachment, and the message body completed.

I saved that message, so it was stored in the Drafts folder. Then looked for a way to create copies, so I could send out the message several times, without a lot of copying and pasting. I just wanted to fill in the email address, and a personalized note at the top of each message.

Copy a Draft Message

Unfortunately, there’s no command for that, at least not that I could find, so I turned to my good friend, Google, to see what it could suggest. Fortunately, it found the MSOutlook Info site, run by MVP Robert Sparnaaij, and it had the answer.

Forward the Message

The website confirmed my suspicious that Outlook doesn’t have a built in way to send a copy of a draft, without removing the draft.

But, there was good news – you can use the Forward feature, to send a copy. I was dubious, because I didn’t want “FW:” to appear in the subject line. That would look spammy!

I followed the instructions, and it worked just fine, with no indication that I’d used a Forward. Here’s what I did, and you can click here to see Robert’s original post, which includes instructions for other versions of Outlook.

In Outlook 2013:

  • Create and save a Draft email
  • Open the Draft message
  • Press Ctrl + F (shortcut for Forward), to create a copy of the email
    NOTE: If the cursor is in the message body, the Find window will open, instead of creating a copy
  • Fill in the copy email address, and any other personalization
  • Send the copy, and close the draft – or create another copy to work on.

I hope that helps you save some time!


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Really Old Windows

I just heard that the Start button (with a menu) will be back in Windows 8.1. Whew! Now I won’t have to reinstall an old version of Windows, to get that feature back.

Apparently it will be rolled out in an update, so I guess we’ll wake up one morning, and find the Start button back in its rightful place.

Which Versions Are You Using?

I’m running computers on three different versions of Windows:

  • Desktop is on Windows 7
  • Laptop is Windows 8.1 Pro.
  • Old laptop is running Windows XP, and I don’t have any plans to update. It’s working just fine, so why mess with it?

How about you? Do you have a variety of operating systems, or just one?

Clearing the Bookshelves

Coincidentally, I was cleaning out my office bookshelves today, and found these two old manuals, for Windows 95 and 98. I guess it’s safe to throw them out now.



Posted in Computer tips | 6 Comments

The Overly Sensitive Mouse

I’ve been using a Logitech Wireless M305 mouse for a couple of years, and it has worked very well. The only negative thing was that it goes through batteries very quickly.

But, it fits well in my hand, is lightweight and easy to maneuver, and has a very small USB receiver, which doesn’t get in my way. (I’ll complain about my laptop later – it’s an Asus N76V, with all the USB ports at the side front, instead of the side back.)


Recently, the mouse because overly sensitive, and double-clicked when it should have clicked, which made it very difficult to work. Instead of selecting a range of cells on a worksheet, I’ve find myself in one of them, editing the cell contents.

It’s okay if I’m overly sensitive, now and then, but I need my mouse to remain calm, and click reliably. So, I switched to an old wired mouse (M-BZ105A), which still works well, but has approximately 100 feet of cord. I guess it’s designed for old desktop computers where the USB might be in a unit on the floor, a few feet away.


Finally, I got new batteries, and replaced the one in the M305, but it’s still super sensitive, and I can’t work with it. There’s nothing evident that could be causing this, so it’s time for a new mouse.

The local Staples doesn’t carry the M305 any longer, so I bought the newer M325 model and just started using it. It’s slightly lower and rounder than the old model, but feels almost the same. It’s responsive, and moves well, and not overly sensitive like that poor, overworked old mouse.


Both models are good for small hands, but you’d probably want something large if you have giant man hands. Here are all 3 lined up, and you can see how much bigger the old, wired mouse is. The new M325 is at the left – it looks pink, but it’s red. The old M305 is in the middle.


Do you have a favourite mouse? I’m always wary of changing, once I find one that I’m comfortable with, but so far, so good. And maybe it will be easier on the batteries!


Posted in office gadgets | 16 Comments

Happy New Year 2014

Is your new year off to a good start? Or is your head still a bit foggy after last night’s celebrations?

I usually stay home for a quiet New Year’s Eve, but last night we went out for a dinner, to a small pub within walking distance.

In the picture below, you can see the table decorations that greeted us. There were the usual New Year’s gadgets – noisemakers, horn and hat. There was also a box that advertised special cocktails – Cereal Shooters. It’s a strange way to advertise drinks for adults, but maybe I’m just too old now, to appreciate all the new fads.


Anyway, Happy New Year, and all the best in 2014.


Posted in Away From Work | 2 Comments