Whilst many people use task management services to manage their work online, I use email to manage the tasks I have online. In Gmail, you can do this by creating folders and filing tasks in these folders or using the Google Tasks feature. I prefer to simply leave emails that need attention as ‘Unread’. An unread email means something still has to be done and I have to address it later.
There’s something soothing about having 0 emails in your inbox. Unfortunately, there are times when it’s not possible to have that. For example, I had an email interview I had to reply to hanging around my Gmail inbox for months as it wasn’t worth me doing it until this blog had been relaunched.
Today I would like to show you 6 services that will forward emails to you at a later date. This allows you to clear your inbox, free your mind and sleep without any worries 🙂
To use FollowUpThen, all you have to do is include [schedule format]@followupthen.com in the Cc, Bcc or To fields of your email. If you use blind copy (bc), you won’t bug the original recipient of the email whereas carbon copy (cc) will remind both of you. Sending an email to the To field means only you will receive a reminder.
The time formats makes FollowUpThen very flexible. You can send reminders in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and even years e.g. [email protected] or [email protected] You can even schedule the exact date ([email protected]) or set regular reminders ([email protected]).
My favourite feature is the pending email option. By sending an email to [email protected] you will get an email with details of all of your pending emails and links to cancel any you do not want sent.
A premium version is available for $4.99 a month which includes SMS reminders, unlimited calendar integration and the ability to include attachments.
2. Hit Me Later
The free versions is very limited as you can only forward emails for a period of 24 hours. The pro version costs $12 a year and lets you snooze for up to 1 month whilst the exec version costs $30 a year and lets you snooze for up to a year.
Link: Hit Me Later
NudgeMail is a great alternative to FollowUpThen. It has a huge amount of time formats to choose from, recurring email options and if you send or forward an email to [email protected], they will send it back to you in an hour.
The command list for NudgeMail is long. There’s many unique options such as [email protected] to delete all emails, [email protected] for a list of all emails sent within the last 30 days and [email protected] for a list of all active ‘NudgeMails’. You can easily remove any email by simply adding “REMOVE” in the subject field when you reply and there’s Google Calendar integration too.
NudgeMail is currently in beta development so all features are free at present. Premium options are planned for the future.
The beauty of ReplyLater is its simplicity. It doesn’t have as many features as NudgeMail or FollowUpThen and the website is very basic in comparison, however it works really well. You can send reminder emails in many time formats; ranging from a simply 1 day reminder ([email protected]) to something much more specific in the future ([email protected]).
FollowUp.cc works with all time formats – minutes, days, weeks, months and years. Complex reminders and recurring reminders can be set up easily and a quick email to [email protected] will cancel any reminders attached to the email chain.
It includes Calendar integration too however what makes FollowUp stand out from the crowd is the snooze reminder which is attached to every email. The email that is returned to you includes a box at the right hand side which lets you quickly snooze the email again for a range of different time periods (e.g. 30 minutes, 5 hours, 2 weeks). This saves you from having to resend another email to snooze it.
Developed by @markhurst, GoodTodo is another good option you should consider. It works in a similar way to other services in that you can forward emails to yourself for a later date in order to clear your inbox. The great thing about GoodTodo is anything you forward into the future will appear in the GoodTodo calendar as something that needs to be addressed on a given day. The calendar allows you to go into pending emails scheduled in the future and check them out.
GoodTodo is a great way of clearing your inbox and planning ahead your schedule. Those of you who find yourself doing tasks earlier than usual will love the calendar integration.It’s free to use however if you need to add more than 10 todo’s a day or export your schedule, you can upgrade for only $3 per month. It’s also available on Android and iOS.
* Thanks to @TheHiredGuns for recommending this service.
7. Boomerang Gmail
This popular Gmail browser extension is primarily known for sending emails later however it also has a useful option that lets you return an email to yourself in a few hours or the next day.
Boomerang Gmail integrates into Gmail perfectly. It’s much easier to use compared to other services that require you to forward emails on. You can choose from several pre-selected time options or specify the exact date. I’ve found it the most practical option to use however non-gmail users will have to consider something else.
Free users only get 10 free messages per month. For unlimited messages you need to upgrade to the personal option for $4.99 per month.
Link: Boomerang Gmail
I’m sure you’ll find these services useful from time to time. Hit Me Later is too limited to be considered using, particularly when other services offer what the premium option does for free.
FollowUpThen, NudgeMail and ReplyLater are all good options however I found FollowUp.cc to be the most practical due to the ability to quickly snooze emails longer with ease (as I frequently schedule less important tasks for later and then don’t have the time to address them). GoodTodo is another great choice if you want to get ahead in your work and address tasks that you have scheduled for later.
Gmail users should try out Boomerang Gmail due to the way it closely integrates into the Gmail user interface. It’s a shame it’s not available for other email providers.
Hope you enjoyed this article. If you know of any other useful email forwarding services, please feel free to share them in the comment area 🙂