I get a LOT of questions on how to use technology more effectively. The reason for this is that I have a computer engineering degree and I’ve been using and programming computers for much of my adult life. (If you’ve read my LinkedIn profile, you might know that my love for computers started with an Apple IIe in 4th grade…)
I would love to know if there is something you spend a lot of time on (with tech). If I have some suggestions on how to use that tech more efficiently, I will do a future blog post and mention you as a thank you for the idea…
Boomerang is a plugin for Gmail and Outlook that does three things really well. (It does more than three things, but these three are my favorite.)
1) Schedule Emails to be sent at a later date/time
2) Get reminders when an email you’ve sent hasn’t been responded to in a while
3) Pause your inbox
I use all three of these features on a regular basis, and they definitely help me manage my email more efficiently. Let me expand on how…
There are lots of different situations when I want to send an email at a later date.
A simple situation that happened recently was scheduling a happy birthday email to my mom because I was going to be out of town. I knew getting an email from me while I was gone would surprise her, because she knew I wasn’t going to have internet or phone access. So I explained in my email that I had scheduled the email to be delivered on her birthday to make sure she knew I was thinking about her!
Another situation is when I want to send a client a message, but it happens to be 11pm. I prefer my emails not get lost in the shuffle, so for important emails, I’ll schedule them to be sent at a better time, like during normal business hours.
I also schedule sales follow up emails and Bcc myself for a built-in “nudge” when it’s time to focus on a prospect for follow up.
Boomerang will watch the emails that you’ve sent… if there hasn’t been a response in a couple of days, it will bring the email to the top of your inbox as a reminder to follow up. There’s a handy “dismiss nudge” button in the subject of the email if you don’t need to follow up… but often, I love the reminder. And I do check back with the people I’ve sent emails to with no response.
This is a simple feature, but so powerful. We’re all tied a little too closely to our email inbox. Clicking the Pause Email button allows you to pause emails for a period of time… letting you get caught up on your inbox. The power here is that you are more focused because more emails aren’t piling into your inbox while you are replying to other messages.
If you notice that you are constantly distracted by new message notifications on your phone or computer, I highly recommend you try pausing your inbox and muting your phone for 30-60 minutes a day to catch up on your email.