I’m definitely an “inbox zero” kind of girl. I have filters upon filters. Systems for certain types of emails. I even rejoiced when Gmail released the new tabs system because it added another way to stay organized. I realize that I’m in the 1% in terms of how I handle my email, but I know that this is also one of the reasons why I don’t feel so bogged down or overwhelmed when it comes to my work load. I also have things under control.
So I thought I would share one of the key tools that helps me make life a little cleaner in my Gmail with you. This Savvy Tuesday episode is about a little friend of mine named Boomerang.
Boomerang is a browser add on (so don’t go looking for it in Gmail). It can be added as an extension to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. (Sorry IE!) Once you download it to your browser and refresh all your tabs, there will be a new button in your Gmail account.
Now you’re ready to use the tool. Here’s what Boomerang can do for you:
1. Schedule messages to be sent at a later date
If you’re like me, sometimes it’s easiest to get back to some emails later in the day so you don’t have to deal with it all in the morning. However, you don’t want people thinking that you’re just as accessible at night as you are during normal business hours (a parameter that is different for everyone but you should decide for yourself and then stick with it). So you can draft all your emails and hit the big, red, new “send later” button and set the time and date that you want that email to be delivered. Now all your nightly email responses can be sent first thing in the morning or whenever you like.
2. Send emails away and schedule them to come back when you’re ready to deal with them
I use this funciton A LOT. I get so many emails that don’t need to be dealt with immediately or are waiting on an answer or new development. You can click on an email and hit the “boomerang” button to send it away and then schedule a time for it to come back to your inbox fresh and new when it makes more sense to make time for it.
- I love to do this with events I’m not sure I can attend because they aren’t a priority and I need to see how my schedule pans out. I’ll schedule them to come back just before the RSVP date and figure out then if I can make it.
- This is also great if you want to schedule your e-bills to come on the day you usually sit down to pay them. Who likes to look at bills that need paid every time you’re in your inbox? Not me.
3. Respond to an email and schedule it to come back to your inbox only if you never receive a reply
This is a great feature for prospecting so you can keep track of new leads that you’re communicating with by not letting them fall off the radar if they never get back to one of your emails. You should also be tracking this activity with contact or project management software, but a reminder in your Gmail is great as well.
If you’re overwhelmed with putting a dent in your inbox just so you can get to a point where Boomerang will help you, definitely check out The Email Game. It’s from the creators of Boomerang and will make clearing the crap from your inbox fast and fun.