Today we’re going to look at a great tool that can help your productivity: Boomerang for Gmail.
Have you ever trying to catch up on some small tasks that spilled over from earlier in the day? Maybe you’re getting a head start on the week and working on a Sunday.
Web Designers seem to be expected to work whenever, and while you can, it’s better to set boundaries and work on your own schedule without sacrificing your “office hours”
I’m always pretty clear about what times I’m unavailable, but sometimes I make my mornings a little easier and take care of a couple simple tasks.
Enter my not-so-secret weapon.
What is Boomerang for Gmail?
Boomerang for Gmail is a nifty Chrome extension that allows you to schedule messages, track clicks, and even pause your inbox.
The company’s main objective is to make productivity software that encourages people to be more productive.
In addition to their Gmail extension, they also have a calendar extension to help eliminate the back in forth of scheduling a meeting. I recently added this to my Gmail account. I’ll report back on my findings.
For those who use Outlook, you can pick up the extension here.
- Send Later: my favorite feature!
- Reminders: never forget.
- Read Receipts: while nice, I’m not sure this will improve your process
- Click Tracking: cool feature that tells you when the recipient clicks on a link you sent
- Responsible: analyzes the email your writing and tells you the person will respond.
- Inbox Pause: allows you to pause your inbox until you’re ready to dive in to email
Now that we have an idea of the main features, let’s have a little deeper look.
I use this feature quite frequently (less than 10 times per month as this is a free version review), and it has been amazing.
It’s always dangerous to email a client an update or completion of a task at 9PM. If you do, then they always think you’re working that late and, honestly, that’s bad for business and sanity.
Typically, I’ll hammer out a few quick tasks after the kids go to bed to make my mornings a little easier.
This is also a cool little tool that can help you not lose an email in your mailbox.
As you’re going through your mailbox you can basically snooze an email to reappear at a later date or time or if you don’t receive a reply. You can also attach a note to it if you have a quick thought about it later.
Here’s what pops up when you click the little Boomerang icon:
Keeping better track and taking notes can help you eliminate emails falling through the cracks.
Pretty self explanatory here. It does, however, give the receiver an option not to turn on read receipts, which kind of defeats the purpose, if you ask me.
It tacks on this message at the bottom of your email.
I’m not really a fan of this since I open and read emails all the time and then respond sometimes hours later.
Don’t judge me.
You see that little question mark mail icon? Well, that turns on read receipts and click tracking so you can see which link (if you sent more than one) was clicked and when.
There may be some situations where this is necessary, but I haven’t really needed the feature at this point.
Another nice feature added in here, but like a few others, I don’t really use it. To me, it’s more of a distraction and we’re trying to get rid of those, right?
On the other hand, if you’re crafting an important email is never a bad idea to have a little help. There are some additional features if you upgrade such as positivity, politeness, and subjectivity.
Probably my second favorite feature besides being able to send later.
Basically, when you click the Pause Inbox button, it creates a filter for your messages and applies a label. When you unpause the label it then filters those labeled email back into your inbox.
In the free version you can turn on an auto-responder and edit it to say whatever you’d like. Here’s what the default text is:
Thanks for emailing! I paused my Inbox, so I won’t see your email for a while. If this is urgent, please contact me another way!
It does have a tagline and link if you don’t upgrade, but to me, leaving this feature off is just as effective.
As Web Designers, we always have to find ways to be more productive to help increase our output and maintain our bottom line.
Sometimes it’s simple tools such a Boomerang for Gmail that help us increase productivity.
You can keep as simple as using the send later feature, or you can use them all. It’s your business!
I suggest you give it a try if you haven’t already!