As an observer of people, especially in airports, I can tell you who is leaving on a trip and who is heading home. Those heading home always seem to have their noses buried in their phones at the terminal gate of the airport. The reason? They're checking that backlog of vacation emails that is among the first kicks to the face to remind you that vacation is over.

Still out of all of those emails, how many are actually important? How many really needed your attention and still need your attention now that you're back from vacation? Not that many right?

Geoffrey James writes for and he may have just come across the perfect "I'm on vacation Auto-Reply Email". I can tell you this, I will be using it and once you read it, you will be using it too.

I am out of the office and expect to have only infrequent email access. Thank you for your message. Email received between [these dates] will be deleted from this server eight hours from now. Please send your message again after [this date].

James says that auto-reply was published in the Atlantic and I think it's absolutely brilliant. Here's why.

It lets people know that you're away from the office. It also lets you know that you're not in a position to act or react to their message. The ball is then placed back into their court to resend the message after you're back from vacation. This way if something really is important, they will see to it that you actually see it.

Too many times those of us that check email while on vacation get caught up in handling something for the office when we're not supposed to be working. I believe this message gives even the most conscientious worker a reason to actually put down the phone and the computer and just relax for a little bit.


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