I have Outlook set up so that, theoretically, my messages should be marked as read as soon as I actually see them in the reading pane. To do that, I just set the rule so that messages are automatically marked as read after 0 seconds.
This scheme works for the most part, except when a new message arrives and I have an empty inbox. In that case, even if I have Outlook minimized, it seems that Outlook automatically displays the new message in the reading pane and marks it as read right away. Unfortunately, since Outlook is minimized, I never even get a notification about a new message and don't notice it until I open up Outlook again.
To get around the issue, I always keep a "dummy" message in my inbox, even when it's empty, so that Outlook won't automatically select new incoming messages. However, I'd like to find a better solution. The overall goal here is that I want my messages to be marked as read at the exact moment that I see them in the reading pane: no sooner, and no later. Does anyone have advice on how I can do that?