When it comes to emails, Gmail is my favourite email service to use.
I love its design and simplicity. I’ve also recently discovered that I can connect my cPanel email account to my Gmail account so that I don’t have to use those awful cPanel webmail clients (blog post coming soon!).
In addition, Gmail has lots of great free add-ons, including the incredible Boomerang for Gmail. Boomerang allows you schedule emails so that they go out at a later date and time, “snooze” emails so that they appear at the top of your inbox at a more appropriate time, and even set up reminders to chase emails when they’ve not been responded to.
In this post I’m going to show you how to set up Boomerang for Gmail and walk you through a few of its most popular features.
How to Install Boomerang
Please note: The instructions in this post are for Chrome users, however Boomerang for Gmail also works on the latest versions of Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge.
To install Boomerang, head over to the Boomerang for Gmail website. On this page click Add this to your Gmail.
After clicking this, a pop up will appear that will ask you to add an extension to your browser. I’m using Chrome and it looks a like this:
Click Add extension to add this to your browser.
Once this extension has been installed you will be redirected to your Gmail account (you will have to log in if you aren’t already).
When you are in your Gmail account you will see a pop up that thanks you for installing Boomerang, and offers you a quick walk-through of Boomerang’s features. Click Start to begin the tour if you wish.
Before you begin using Boomerang, you will need to give permission to allow Boomerang to access your Google Account.
The easiest way to go this is to click Compose as if you were going to send a new message, then click on the tick box next to Boomerang this. This will open a pop-up window.
If pop-ups are blocked on this website, make sure you unblock them by clicking on the pop-up icon in the address bar, then choosing “Always allow pop-ups”. Then click Done when you’ve finished and refresh the page.
Now you should now see a box that looks like this:
Click Allow to give Boomerang permission to access your Google Account.
And that’s in! You are ready to start using Boomerang.
How to schedule emails to send later
One of the most popular features of Boomerang is the ability to schedule your emails to be send out later.
This is a great feature if, say for example, you’re catching up with your emails out of your usual working hours (we all do it!), but you don’t want to send any emails out during this time. Because let’s face it, not many people like receiving emails at 10pm!
To schedule an email, instead of clicking the blue Send button when you have finished composing your email, click on the red button that says Send Later.
Clicking Send Later will open up a box with a number of pre-defined time options for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can select a specific date and time by clicking on the calendar icon.
Once you have selected a time, your message will be scheduled and a little yellow box will appear at the top of Gmail to let you know that it’s been scheduled.
To view your schedule messages, click on the Boomerang icon in the top right hand corner of Gmail, and then select Manage scheduled messages.
This will open a new page. Here, click on the Messages to Send Later tab to view the messages you have scheduled.
How to schedule email reminders to yourself
Boomerang also allows you to schedule email reminders to yourself.
So, say for example, you’ve received an email about a concert you want to go to with the date and time that the tickets go on sale. You can’t take action on this right now, but you want to be reminded to purchase tickets closer to the day they go on sale.
When you set up a Boomerang reminder, the email will be returned to the top of your inbox at the date and time you specify to remind you to take action.
To set up a reminder, open up the email that you want to set a reminder about, and click Boomerang:
This will open a box with date and time options for you to select from.
So, if I know that my concert tickets were going on sale on a certain date, I might specify for the email to be returned to the top of my inbox the day before the tickets go on sale, or even a couple of hours before they go on sale.
Sometimes, Boomerang will automatically suggest reminders for you at the top of an email to make scheduling reminders even easier:
Again, to view the reminder messages you have scheduled, click on the Boomerang icon in the top right hand corner of Gmail, select Manage scheduled messages and then click on the Messages to Boomerang tab.
As you can see here, I’ve set up a reminder about my MOT booking, and I’ve set it up to be sent the day before I’m due to take my car in for its MOT.
How to schedule follow up reminders
Some people are really bad at responding to emails. Yes, it’s annoying, but Boomerang has a helpful way to remind you to follow up with someone when they don’t respond to your email.
For instance, you’re emailing someone about a quote for some work you need doing on your house (story of my life right now!), and you want to check in to see what’s going on if they haven’t responded within a week.
All you need to do is compose your email in Gmail then tick the box next to Boomerang this at the bottom of the email.
Then you can choose when you want to be reminded and the circumstance. So, if you choose if not reply you will be sent a reminder email if you don’t receive a reply to this email.
Boomerang even allows you to track messages to see if the recipient has clicked on or opened the email. Personally, I think this is a little intrusive, but if you want to go ahead and implement this, instead of choosing “if no reply” choose either if not clicked or if not opened.
Selecting either of these options will add a new line to your email that looks like this:
The recipient does have the option to opt out of this read receipt.
Do you use Boomerang for Gmail? Do you think you would benefit from using Boomerang?
If you don’t already have a Gmail account then don’t worry; you get can set one up for free with a Google Account.
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