Setting Your Out of Office in Outlook 2010 Without an Exchange Account
If you have an Outlook 2010 email account that is not on Exchange Server, you can emulate the Out of Office Assistant using rules. The key is that your computer must remain on and your Outlook account open while you are away or this method will not work.
To emulate setting your Out of Office in Outlook 2010 using rules, open a new email message. Go to the Format Text tab and select Plain Text. Type an away message into the body of the email. It is helpful to provide details, such as when you will return and whom they should contact in your absence.
Go to the File tab of the message and click Save As. Select Outlook Template in the Save as Type list, enter a name for the file and click Save. Close the message.
Go to the Home tab of the ribbon. Click Rules in the Move group and select Manage Rules and Alerts. Make sure you are on the Email Rules tab and click New Rule. Select Apply Rule on Messages I Receive and click Next. Select the Sent Only To Me check box or the Where My Name is in the To Field check box and click Next.
Select the Reply Using a Specific Template check box. Click the A Specific Template hyperlink in the Edit the Rule Description section. Select User Templates in the Look In box and click on the Out of Office Message template you created and saved. Click Open.
Click Next. Select any additional exceptions you wish to add and set them up accordingly. Click Next. Enter a name for the rule and select Turn on This Rule. Click Finish and close the Rules and Alerts dialog box. Be sure to delete or turn off the rule when you return.