Problem: Rules are moving messages to other folders but you'd like to see the desktop alert that shows the sender and subject for a few seconds in the lower right corner of your screen. Or you only want the desktop alert to display for messages from certain people.
Solution: Create a rule with the action to display a desktop alert. It's the last action in the list.
The action to display a message in the new item alert window displays the message (or list of messages) in a small window similar to the reminder window. Unlike the desktop alert, it stays on the screen until you close it. All versions of Outlook support this action, while only Outlook 2003 and 2007 support desktop alerts.
Problem: You're going on vacation and want to handle incoming messages differently, depending on the sender. If the e-mail is from anyone in the Global Address Book or from specific external addresses, it gets forwarded two co-workers and those senders receive a reply telling them that their e-mail has been forwarded. Everyone else gets a reply containing my return-to- work date.
Solution: You can create rules using the Out of Office Assistant, using some of the same options available in Outlook's Rules Wizard. It will require creating multiple rules in either case. Rules Wizard allows you to choose an address book, which can be better if you want the rule to apply to a large number of addresses and you'll need to create a reply template but you may need to leave Outlook logged into your mailbox for the rules to work. You should select Stop processing on each rule. The third rule will apply to all messages not affected by the other rules.
I highly recommend not sending Out of Office replies to everyone, instead use rules to limit the response to specific people. Also, you should verify with your administrator that replies to Internet address are not disabled. And finally, remember that Out of Office sends just autoreply to each address, not one for each message they send you.