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How To: Setup Reminders and Schedule Emails using Boomerang for Gmail

How To: Setup Reminders and Schedule Emails using Boomerang for Gmail

Google Mail (or Gmail as it is often known) is capable of much more than its deceptively simple web interface suggests and is a completely viable alternative to using the more traditional business setup of Microsoft Outlook and a hosted Exchange mailbox for many companies and self-employed workers today.

Two very useful features of Outlook that many Gmail users might miss are the ability to schedule emails and set up reminders for items in the inbox that have not yet been answered. Both of these features, however, are delivered via the extension Boomerang for Gmail, which is available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • 1

    Boomerang for Gmail is available as an extension for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. If you are not currently using either of these excellent browsers, you can get hold of the installer file for them both by following the related download links for this article. Note: you will also need an active Gmail account in order to take advantage of Boomerang for Gmail, so sign up at https://mail.google.com if you have not already done so.

  • 2

    Using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, access the homepage for Boomerang for Gmail and click the Install Boomerang button. The relevant add-on for your browser will be automatically downloaded and installed (you may need to confirm the installation and restart your browser for the changes to take effect).

  • 3

    Access your Gmail inbox by entering https://mail.google.com into the address bar of your browser and logging in if prompted to do so. The Boomerang introduction will appear in a lightbox, this gives you an overview of the application and it is recommended to read it thoroughly. Click Start and then Next to cycle through each page of the introduction.

  • 4

    After returning to the Gmail inbox, you will notice a Boomerang context button when viewing items in your inbox. There is also a Send Later option when composing a new message. First, let's look at the Boomerang feature, which resends a mail to your inbox if certain conditions you specify are not met.

  • 5

    Open any message in your inbox and click the Boomerang option. Check the Only If Nobody Responds option and select a timeframe for the reminder underneath. There are a number of options to choose from such as in 1 hour, in 2 hours, Tomorrow Afternoon, etc - select whichever one is most suitable. You can even specify an exact data and time using the calendar picker near the bottom of the menu, or a Random Time using the option at the very bottom.

  • 6

    Once set, the action needs to be authenticated. Make sure you have pop-ups enabled for Gmail, as the authentication takes place in a small pop-up window. Click Allow to confirm the action. The selected email will reappear as unread in your inbox in the specified time if it is not replied to, prompting you to chase up the sender for a reply.

  • 7

    To schedule an email to be automatically sent at a certain time, regardless of where you are (you can be on the beach, in the gym or asleep if you like), click Compose. Enter the recipient email address, subject and body text in the usual manner.

  • 8

    Click Send Later when you are ready to schedule the mail. Select a timeframe - e.g. 1 hour, 2 days, 1 month - or choose a specific date and time using the calendar picker. As with the Boomerang feature, you can also choose a random time.

  • 9

    When the Boomerang authentication pop-up appears, select Allow. The email is now scheduled and will be sent at the specified time, on the specified date.

Tips & Advice

  • When composing new emails, you can set them to automatically Boomerang back to your inbox using the custom controls added to the mail toolbar. Check the Boomerang this message box and select the conditions and timeframe using the two dropdown selectors.
  • After a time, you may find that you have many scheduled messages set up and this becomes tricky to keep track of. Boomerang provides an interface for you to manage your scheduled messages for this very reason. Click the Boomerang option up near the Google Account login name and choose Manage Scheduled Messages. A new tab is opened with a list of your scheduled messages and from here you can choose to Reschedule, Return Now or Don't Return any of them by clicking the relevant corresponding option.

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