Scheduling emails to get sent later is a super-useful feature that unfortunately doesn’t exist as a native feature in Gmail yet, but could be really useful in lots of scenarios.
For instance, I’ve found that in lots of cases a nicely written email gets a lot more response than a calendar reminder, or if you have a message that needs to go out at a specific time. For example, when reminding someone to respond to a proposal, it’s a lot easier to just set up a scheduled mail when you know it needs to go out, rather than setting yourself a calendar reminder or to-do list item to send the mail.
So, I’ve had a look at some of the best and easiest ways to send Gmail scheduled mails. (All of these have ended up being free plans on apps that are ultimately paid):
Boomerang seems to be the main plugin that people recommend for Gmail. After installing the Chrome plugin and having a play around, I have to say it looks really good!
The main part of the plugin UI slots neatly under the Send and formatting section on a new message window, and there are a comprehensive number of different timed ways to schedule your email, including a fixed time, or by calendar.
You can also manage your scheduled emails from a control panel on the Boomerang site.
The downside of Boomerang is that the free plan only allows 10 timed emails per month, so it is only useful for all but the lightest of use. I will be keeping Boomerang in mind and revisiting when I’ve been scheduling emails for a few months.
Followupthen uses a very different way of scheduling your emails. The timing is determined by adding a CCed email to Followupthen with the time as the recipient, so tomorrow@followupthen would get sent the next day at the same time. You can also use CC and BCC to send reminders to yourself, or multiple recepients.
I found that setup had a few more steps than Bananatag, and couldn’t really get into the adding of another recipient to an email chain, so the usability didn’t strike me as being as easy.
However, the Followupthen free plan gives you 50 “followups” per month, which is a fair amount, so this could be useful for those of you out there that are happy with the scheduling method.
As you can see from the above image, Bananatag’s main addition to the Gmail interface is very similar to Boomerang’s. It sits with the send button, and includes some of Bananatag’s other features. I haven’t really played with these yet, but it looks like there are a whole suite of other functions, including email tracking, reporting and tagging.
When scheduling an email, Bananatag’s functionality is again very similar to Boomerang’s, although the popup console where you choose time and date is bigger and centered on the screen, which is a little friendlier.
At the moment, Bananatag is the plugin I’m going to stick with, as it is the easier to use by a whisker, it has more features that I’ll hopefully get to try out – including a cool looking dashboard, and most importantly Bananatag allows 5 “Tags” a day, so up to 155 a month depending on which month we are on.