How to create a recurring e-mail message in Outlook

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Article ID: 239087 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes a method for creating a recurring reminder e-mail message.


Outlook does not provide a means to create recurring e-mail messages. For example, you might want to send an e-mail message every month to remind a group of people that a report is due. While you can set up appointments and tasks as recurring events, you cannot create a recurring e-mail message.

You can use Visual Basic Script and the recurrence settings of a task to automatically generate a recurring e-mail message. This procedure consists of the following tasks:
  1. Publish a custom task form that creates an e-mail message when the task status equals completed.
  2. Use the custom task form to create a recurring task.
  3. When the task comes due, mark it as completed. The code will generate the boilerplate message, which you then send. At the same time, a new task is created because the original task was set to recur.
Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs.
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Publish a Custom Task Form

  1. Start Outlook and open your Tasks folder.
  2. On the Actions menu, click New Task.
  3. On the Tools menu, point to Forms, and then click Design This Form.
  4. On the Form menu, click View Code, and type the following code in the Script Editor:
    Sub Item_PropertyChange(ByVal Name)
       Select Case Name 
       Case "Status" 
               if Item.Status = 2 then '2 = Completed 
                       Set NewItem = Application.CreateItem(0)
                       NewItem.To = ""
                       NewItem.Subject = "This is the message subject text"
                       NewItem.Body = "This is text that will appear in the body of the message."
               End IF 
       End Select 
       End Sub
  5. In the Script Editor, on the File menu, click Close.
  6. On the Tools menu, point to Forms, and then click Publish Form.
  7. In the Look in list, click Tasks. In the Display Name and Form Name boxes, type Reminder, and then click Publish.
  8. On the File menu, click Close. Do not save changes.
NOTE: In the code, substitute your own information inside the quotation marks for NewItem.To, NewItem.Subject, and NewItem.Body. These lines set the To, Subject, and body of your reminder message.

Create a Recurring Task Using the Custom Form

  1. Open your Tasks folder, where you published the custom reminder form.
  2. On the Actions menu, click New Reminder. This will open a new task based on your custom form.
  3. Type a subject for your reminder task. In Due Date, click to select a due date from the calendar. Click to select the Reminder check box.
  4. On the Actions menu, click Recurrence, and set how often you want the reminder message sent.
  5. Click Save and Close.

To Send Reminder E-mail

When you receive the reminder that the task is due, click Open Item. In the Status box, click to select Completed.


Dismiss the reminder and in your Tasks list, click Completed.

Setting the task as completed will automatically generate a new task and display an e-mail message containing your boilerplate text. Click Send to send the message.

You can further automate the message. If you add the line NewItem.Send immediately below the NewItem.Display line, the message is automatically sent when you mark the task as completed.

Note In Microsoft Outlook 2002, after you click Completed in the Status box, you receive the following message:
A program is trying to access e-mail address you have stored in Outlook. Do you want to allow this?
Click Yes to send the message.


Article ID: 239087 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 4.2
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
kbhowto kbusage KB239087

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