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.
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.
- 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.
- To snooze when I need to pay a utility or credit card bill.
- To snooze follow up emails to 27 Good Things guests.
- To snooze a Groupon or sale deal until closer to the deadline.
- To snooze emails about events that are further off in the future.
- To snooze a newsletter to read later on in the week.
- To snooze emails about school functions.
If you have any good productivity hacks for technology, parenting, or otherwise let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @MikeDariano.