My Key to Inbox Freedom – The Snooze Button

Having access to email on a smartphone is great, except that you have email on your smartphone. As I think more about what being productive means, I see that it matters how I use different tools. A full sized keyboard is for writing , the smartphone for grout time, and for learning nothing beats a book, notebook, and pen. Within email there are tools to use too, and one of my favorites is Gmail Snooze.  Gmail Snooze is a free Google App Script that allows you to remove a message from your inbox for some number of days automatically.

For example, I run 27GoodThings.com and reach out to people to ask if they would like to be a guest. Most people are excited to be part of the project, just not right away. Usually I’ll get a response that says “I’d love to, but can’t now. Can you follow up with me in two weeks?”  Before using Gmail Snooze I would have sticky notes or tagged emails floating around like space debris among my digital and physical workspaces.  Now I just snooze the email. Here’s how it works. 

If an email arrives in my inbox that doesn’t need immediate attention I will move it to a Snooze folder, sending it out of my inbox for a set number of days.  This email below is a screenshot of the daily almanac I get from Jamie Rubin’s writing scripts. I still need to configure some of the bullet points to show the correct data. Rather than doing it right away, I move it to a Snooze folder where it stays until that number of days has passed.

GmailSnoozeLabelList

If I move this email to Snooze/Snooze 6 days then at midnight it will move to the folder for one day sooner –  Snooze/Snooze 5 days – and so on, until it goes from Snooze/Snooze 1 days back into my inbox.

 This helps me keep a cleaner inbox and here are a few ways I use it.

  1. To snooze emails from the library. If I get a notice that a book is due in a few days I’ll snooze the email until a day or two before.
  2. To snooze when I need to pay a utility or credit card bill.
  3. To snooze follow up emails to 27 Good Things guests.
  4. To snooze a Groupon or sale deal until closer to the deadline.
  5. To snooze emails about events that are further off in the future.
  6. To snooze a newsletter to read later on in the week.  
  7. To snooze emails about school functions.

To get more details, including how to install, see this Lifehacker post. There are other creative versions of this Github, or you can use mine.

If you have any good productivity hacks for technology, parenting, or otherwise let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @MikeDariano.

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