I use the BCC functionality at least 8-10 times daily,
and the fact of doing it always in a manual way consistently feels like a waste of time.

If you have read this blog recently, you will see I am very passionate about innovation and simplification.

In this spirit,
I said to myself – there must be a way that I can always appear myself in the BCC line without adding it manually myself.

If like me, you use the Bcc often and you have similar needs as I had– I will show you step by step how to always bcc yourself in Outlook when replying to your email.

How to always BCC yourself in Outlook

As a recap when replying to an email there are 2+1 options where you include people.
The standard two are the To field and the Cc field.
And there is the extra option called Bcc.

First,
and before implementing any automatic Bcc rule in Outlook is important to understand what Bcc in Outlook is about.

What BCC in Outlook is?

Bcc stands for blind carbon copy.

The carbon copy term is borrowed from the old days when there were no modern laptops, but instead, we were having the very first version of our today’s laptops – the electronic typewriter.

How were copies made back on time?
The copies were made by inserting a special sheet of inked paper called carbon paper into the typewriter.

If you wonder how to enable the Bcc functionality in Outlook – click here.

Why to always BCC myself in Outlook

Using Bcc is one of the key Outlook functionalities that will make you look very professional,
and unfortunately,
it is being very much underused in the Corpo world.
I bring you here some examples of when to use the Bcc functionality.

Large of number of people emails:
For example,
you want to send your farewell email when changing your assignment or company,
and you include many people in the Cc field.
What do I recommend to you instead?
Include all those people in the Bcc field and put yourself into the To field.

Why?
Changes are high not all the people in the distribution list know each other. It will look more professional not to share email addresses between people who do not know each other.
On the other hand,
if you are sending an email to many people, and all of them know each other, you can put them in the Cc field. In case of doubts, go for the Bcc option.

Email introduction
You start a new role, you are given a list of emails who will be your counterparts.
Instead of sending one individual email to each of your colleagues,
you can send the same email to all of them by including them in the Bcc field and putting yourself in the To Field.

People in the Bcc field will not know who else received the email.

For your information (FYI) emails:
You are leading a project and you want to share an update on the status with the project team while sharing heads up with your manager.
You will put the project team in the To and Cc fields and your manager in the Bcc field. This way your manager would get the same email with the update, and the project team (in To and Cc fields) will not know your manager will receive the email.

Escalations:
There is an issue your manager should be aware of,
but you don’t want the other party to see you involved your manager. The bcc option is what you are looking for.

Send a copy of the email to yourself
This is my favourite option when using Bcc;
I use it every day as part of the Mister Paton Magic Chart process to ensure I have zero emails in my Inbox by the end of the day.

It works.

It saved me nearly 67% of my time since I implemented it.
You can find more details about the Mister Paton Magic Chart here.

Step by step on how to create auto bcc rule in Outlook

In the Home tab – in the Quick Steps section click on the arrow

Click New Quick Step

Click on Custom

The following screen will appear.

Name – select the name you want to type: In this case Mister Paton Auto Bcc

Action – select: Reply

Click on Show Options

Click on Add Bcc

Insert your email in the bcc field

Select the shortcut you would like to use – in this case: Ctrl + Shift + 8

And click Finish

Next time you will receive an email and you will action Ctrl + Shift + 8.
My email will automatically appear in the BCC

Examples of when to Bcc yourself in Outlook

You are enjoying your weekend,
and suddenly a thought about an email you need to follow up on comes to your mind.

Did it happen to you?
It happened to me, and it ruined my weekend.

The solution for this is not to rely on your brain to do the follow-ups.
The solution for this is relying on your Outlook follow-up system.

And this starts with the very first step – automatically adding yourself to the BCC.

Classic example I need someone to do something by a certain date.

I send an email to the person, and I automatically put myself in Bcc.

The email that I sent to the person, appears in my Inbox.
With that email, I create a task using the functionality Ctrl + Shift +7.

and tachan! 🥁 I can already forget about my follow-ups and fully rely on my Inbox.

You can learn more about how to effectively manage tasks here.

FAQ always bcc me in Outlook

Can you Bcc to yourself in Outlook?

Yes, you can Bcc yourself Outlook. You can do it manually or in an automated way.
If you can choose – go for the automated way by using Outlook quick steps.

Can you Bcc and not include anyone in To/Cc?

No, you can’t. At least there needs to be at least one recipient either in the To or in the Cc field. If you don’t know which recipient to include, you include yourself.

How do I populate BCC in Outlook?

Open a new email in Outlook, go to Options and click on Bcc.
A new line under the CC recipients’ line will appear.

How do you automate BCC?

Making that our email will appear automatically in the Bcc line it is very easy.
You can simply do it by creating a Quick step reply email action linking to a shortcut in the keyboard. Actioning that shortcut your email will appear in the Bcc line.

Why do people BCC themselves?

People bcc themselves for various reasons, when they need to send an email to a large distribution when they want to share an FYI email when they want to escalate … or when they want to create a Task using the Mister Paton magic chart approach.

Is it rude to use Bcc?

It depends. If you want to use Bcc for sending an email to a distribution list that do not know each other it is okay to use Bcc. If you are using Bcc to escalate to your manager without the recipient being aware, it could be perceived as rude.

How can I see the list of Bcc recipients on an email I received?

You can’t see the list of Bcc recipients. It is not possible to see the list of Bcc recipients in an email you received.

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