Send Gmail Reminders to Yourself and Others with Boomerang


If you’re anything like I am, then you often find yourself checking email late at night, but you’re hesitant to actually send emails at that hour lest you give clients the impression that you have no life and they can always expect an immediate response from you. Or maybe you have a set of recurring emails that you’re often forgetting to send.

Enter Baydin’s Boomergang for Gmail (it’s also available for Outlook).

Developed by Baydin Software and currently in Beta, this handy little plugin works in Firefox and Chrome, allowing you to control when you send and receive Gmail messages. I scored an invite code, and so far I’m pretty impressed overall.

There are already a few similar products available for Outlook, but Boomerang integrates almost seamlessly with Gmail (I say almost, because sometimes the extension inexplicably wouldn’t show up in my Gmail account). No need to log into a separate website, like some of the other services I’ve tried, and you can yank an email before it goes out if you change your mind. You can also edit emails before they go out, but that gets a little messy, because then Boomerang can’t find the message you’d scheduled, and you’ll need to schedule it again.

Here’s how to schedule an email for sending later:

 

  1. Type up your email in Gmail and press “save.”
  2. Click Boomerang’s “Send Later” button.
  3. Pick the date and time when you want your message to go out.
  4. Presto! Boomerang automatically sends your email through Gmail when you want it sent. You don’t even need to be at your computer.

And here’s how to receive an email at a later day and time (for instance, if you don’t want to be distracted by a certain email thread, you can essentially press the “snooze” button):

 

  1. Open that email message and click Boomerang’s “Recieve Later” button.
  2. Choose the day and time when you want it to pop up your in-box again.
  3. Boomerang archives that message and gives it the “Boomerang” label in case you need to find it before then.
  4. At the appointed hour, your message gets moved back to your inbox, marked as unread and starred so you can’t miss it.

Since Boomerang is still invite-only, we only hope that Google will take the hint and add these features to Gmail themselves. Baydin is also working on other features for Boomerang, including support for Gmail in languages other than English and for multiple sign-in Google accounts.

What do you think? Have you tried Boomerang or similar services? Did you find it useful?


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Susan Johnston is a freelance writer/blogger who has contributed to publications including The Boston Globe, Mint.com’s blog, WomenEntrepreneur.com, and Yahoo! HotJobs. Her own blog, UrbanMuseWriter.com, covers tips on productivity, brainstorming, and more for fellow writers.
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Discussion

  1. Sean McCabe on the 31st August

    This look INCREDIBLE! I would love this feature. Looks so useful!

  2. Mike F. on the 31st August

    Have you tried lettermelater.com? It’s an external service but I’m pretty sure it does the same thing.

    So if I understand correctly you need to have firefox or chrome open and must be logged into gmail for this to work?

  3. Arvie M. Rana on the 31st August

    Thanks Susan! it’s a very helpful tool :)

  4. beekeeper on the 31st August

    good one thanks for sharing

  5. Brian Landi on the 1st September

    I would like to report that I have been using this plugin and have found it very useful. I got a chuckle from your section about not wanting to seem like a loser/weirdo when emailing clients in the middle of the night! Thanks!

  6. Jens P. Berget on the 1st September

    This looks like a very interesting tool.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Moah on the 8th September

    @ Mike F.

    Nope, you don’t have to have firefox or chrome open or logged into gmail at the scheduled time for Boomerang to work. We are handling moving messages back and sending messages on the server.

    Let me know if you have any other question.

  8. Lynn on the 10th October

    I started playing with this a couple hours ago, and it seems to work well for a one-time message. That said, I’m not finding any help on setting recurring emails. I just set one up to run “Monday 4pm”, per example shown, and I can see it on the Manage Boomerang page. The date has turned to 10/10/2011 4 PM. Will this also be sent on Monday 10/17? And Monday 10/24, etc.

    If not, this tool isn’t what I need, and I don’t want to spend any more time on evaluation.

    Thanks -

  9. Jim Robertson on the 16th November

    I’ve been using boomerang since April for about 20-40 emails per month. And while I like the software, paying 16 cents to send an email is just too much. Their pricing is great for the heavy users, but awful for the occasional user. An annual price around $19 for 50 or 100 emails and I’d be a paying user – even though that is still 5 cents per email and still a little high – I’d pay it.

  10. JP Svaldnik on the 20th February

    Boomerang works as advertised. Postponing things that you have to do is fun for awhile, and then it gets tiresome and actually eats into your productivity.

    The gotchas: Boomerang auto-renews if you do the yearly subscription, something that Baydin doesn’t disclose up front. This wouldn’t be a big deal if you could cancel the service and get a partial or full refund – but you can’t. Baydin’s customer service is atrocious; they are arrogant, unfriendly and have no clue how to treat their valuable customers.

    Forewarned is forearmed! Boomerang does what it says, but Baydin has some nasty business practices that could cost you money.

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