Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boomerang for Gmail Review

As a "follow-up" to Ramy's article about FollowUpThen, I wanted to share my favorite email follow-up service -- Boomerang for Gmail by Baydin.

I've been using it since early beta, and it has become a powerful tool in my email productivity arsenal.

It's basically a snooze button for your email, and integrates right into the familiar Gmail interface.

At $50/year for a personal account, and $150/year for a professional account, it's not cheap compared to Gmail itself.

However, it works very well, is extremely reliable, and could end up being worth the money for someone who sends and receives ridiculous amounts of email. (like yours truly :)

The feature is use most is the basic "Boomerang incoming" functionality. Just tell Boomerang when you want the email to come back (tomorrow 8am, next thursday, etc.) and it disappears and is redelivered at that time.

For power users, here's an example of a more complicated workflow:
  1. You receive an email from Bob asking whether you can meet up next Friday, but you have a tentative meeting scheduled with Mary.
  2. You send an email to Mary asking if the meeting is still on, but click the "Boomerang this message if I don't hear back in 2 days" checkbox.
  3. If Mary responds promptly, nothing happens.
  4. However, if Mary does not reply, Boomerang puts the message back in your Inbox so you can re-ask her, or perhaps give a call or text.

Another feature I use often is the Send Later feature, which is similar to Outlook's Delay Delivery.

I sometimes find myself working at odd hours -- 2am, 3am -- and need to send various emails, like invoices, updates, etc.

Sometimes it might be consider a bit rude to send emails in the middle of the night. What if the recipient forgot to turn off their Blackberry and it buzzes and wakes them up?

I simply draft up the email, press Save, and then use Boomerang's Send Later button. A dropdown lets me specify when (usually "tomorrow morning").

In summary, Boomerang for Gmail is a nicely implemented service that does a great job of filling a void in Gmail's functionality.

Kudos to the folks at Baydin!