I have been an avid Gmail user since the first day it launched. I like the way that it integrates my calendar, tasks, contacts all in one place and allows me to manage multiple email accounts simultaneously. I almost have no complaints about it, only until recently when I need to schedule a email to be sent at a particular time, and I find that there is no option within Gmail that allows me to do it. Luckily, Boomerang for Gmail is here to the rescue.
Boomerang for Gmail is a Chrome/Firefox extension that allows Gmail users to schedule their emails to be sent at a later time. It is currently in beta and open only to users with invitation code (yes, we have invites, write on for more detail).
At the main page, you will be asked to enter the invitation code before it directs you to the download page. Here is where you can download the Chrome extension or Firefox addon.
If you are using Google Chrome and clicked on the Chrome extension link, you will see a popup box at the bottom of your browser asking your permission to install the extension. Click Continue.
Once installed, logon to your Gmail account. You won’t see any differences. The magic will only appear when you compose a new email.
In the composing area, you will find a new “Send Later” button at the top of the message box, beside where the usual Send button is. If you don’t see it, refresh your browser a few times.
Procedure to schedule an email
Compose your email as usual. Save it as a draft (you need to save it as a draft before you can schedule the email).
Click the “Send Later” button and select the time that you want the email to be sent. Available options include 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, in 2 days, in a week, in a month and lastly, at a specific time.
My personal favorite is “at a specific time” since it allows me to specify the exact time to send the email.
Send read mails back to Inbox
Other than the Send later function, when reading a mail, you will also notice the Boomerang button at the top of the message. What this button does is to allow you to schedule that particular email to return to Inbox at a particular time. I am not sure how useful is that. In fact, I would much prefer a “Set reminder” button than a Return to Inbox button.
- It allows you to schedule emails to be sent at the time you want.
- A good “set it and leave it” solution. It works even when you are offline.
- It can be buggy at times, like if you schedule an email with attachment, the sent email will include two copies of the same attachment (well, it is still in beta, so we can’t fault the developer for this).
- The schedule will be canceled as soon as you review or edit the draft. You will have to reschedule it again.
- There is no option to undo a schedule. The only way I can think of is to delete the draft.
- Since it is extension based, it won’t work in all computers unless you installed the extension in them. The newer version of Google Chrome supports extension syncing, so you should be able to get it to work on multiple PC, but if you are using Firefox, you will have to install the addon individually.
Keen to test it?
You have read and heard enough about it, so it is time to try it. We manage to get 1000 invites from the developer of BFG. Simply head to their main page and enter the invitation code “b4gbeta” (without the quote). You will be able to download the extension for your browsers. Enjoy!
Thanks to Alex Moore for providing the invitation code.
Don’t be misled by the ratio of cons to the pros. As mentioned earlier, the Boomerang for Gmail extension is still in beta, and I believe it will get better with more feedbacks and testing. I am sure that Google will introduce such “schedule email” feature in the future (probably release in the Gmail Labs first), but until then, Boomerang for Gmail is the best you can get.
Have you tried Boomerang for Gmail? Let us know if it works for you. What other solutions do you use to schedule your emails?
Image credit: Paleontour
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