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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Learn about topics ranging from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Note: Monday Productivity Pointers is currently on a break, but stay tuned for new tutorials!
My name is Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week, I'm going to show you a fantastic add-on to your web browser if you're a Gmail user. There's nothing worse than having a nice little chunk of time available to get things done, such as sending a few emails. But the timing just isn't right for those emails. Productive people are not fond of wasted opportunities. However, with a quick install of a browser extension called Boomerang, you can use that time to schedule emails to be sent later.
Boomerang works with an existing Gmail account, and the browser versions of Firefox 3.6 or higher, Chrome 5 or higher, and Safari 5.1 or higher. The free version of Boomerang lets you schedule up to ten emails a month for free. If you find that you need more than that, you can subscribe for $4.99 a month, and it does come with some more goodies, too, which you can find out on the website. To install Boomerang, point your browser to www.boomeranggmail.com. We're going to click on the big red button that says install Boomerang.
I'm using Safari right now. I'm going to click here to start my Gmail download. Click the top right hand side of your screen, and double click on the extension that we just downloaded. Click Install when it asks if you're sure. And after that, it's just a matter of opening Gmail in a new tab. I have Gmail open right now, but I'm going to close it out and reopen it again. If you get a request for permission from Boomerang, click the blue accept button. Now, it tells me, thank you for installing Boomerang, so I know that I've installed it successfully.
I can take the tour of how to use Boomerang, but for now, I'm going to click skip. I'll let you take the tour when you've installed it. I can tell that Boomerang's been installed, because in my usual Gmail screen, at the very top right hand side, I have a new icon. It looks like a boomerang with a rainbow on it. So, let's see boomerang in action. With Boomerang, you can skip a step in your thought process. Instead of scheduling a reminder to write an email, now you can simply schedule the email. We're skipping an entire step. I'm going to click the red compose button in Gmail.
I'll send it to myself. Now, down at the bottom, I can see, instead of the blue send button, I have a new red button that says send later. I'm going to click send later, and here's where I get my choice, when do I want to send this message? I have lots of times, such as an hour, four hours, tomorrow. Even a week or a month. I can also choose to send it at a specific time. I can click the calendar icon.
And choose any particular date that I want, and any particular time. When I'm done, click the blue confirm button. Now that I've clicked send later, I can see that my message will be sent when I've asked it to be sent. There's even more to that. I can read an email, and I can Boomerang this email. I can choose to have it come back to my inbox when I want to see it again. For example, at the very top, I'm going to click the word Boomerang.
This is going to tell me when to return the conversation to my inbox. I'm essentially snoozing this email. So I'm going to return this conversation to my inbox in one week. This is a coupon for something, and I know I want to use it in a week, but I don't want it cluttering up my inbox while I'm waiting to use it. So, I'm going to choose in a week, and it's now gone from my inbox. If I want to find it, it shows up on the left-hand side in particular folders. To get to the management portion of Boomerang, click Boomerang from the top right hand side of the screen, and choose settings.
There's some options that you can choose here. And this is also where you can upgrade to the premium plan, if you find that you're Boomeranging more than 10 emails. So, if you're a Gmail user, give Boomerang a shot, and start scheduling your emails.
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