My favorite Gmail add-on of 2016

We're one month into 2016 and I can already say, with confidence, that I have found my favorite Gmail add-on of the year. 

I don't know about you, but reading and responding to emails is incredibly important to my job. I have four email accounts that I manage, each of which requires daily attention and activity. With an influx of at least 30-50 important emails per day (not including promotional, social, and spam emails), it's easy for me to get lost in the clutter of my inboxes and lose sight of what really needs to get done. 

A few weeks ago I discovered Boomerang- and oh boy, it has made managing my email accounts much easier! It's compatible with Firefox 38+, Chrome 5.0+, and Safari 5.1+ and works with both Gmail and Google Apps Email. Yes, I said both! If you're like me and own a business, this is seriously the add-on delivered on a golden platter.

Boomerang helps me the most in three areas:

1. "Boomerang"-ing emails back to my inbox

I try my best to delegate my time and allocate time frames for responding to emails. This doesn't always work. Sometimes I accidentally click on a tab that has my email open and get distracted by some attractive (or scary!) subject lines and unintentionally start sifting through my inbox. This is troublesome if I click on an important email but don't have time to actually respond to it or take the appropriate action.

For example, just last week I had a business reach out with hopes of scheduling a quick meeting with me. I was interested in scheduling as well but I didn't have time to check my calendar to cross-reference my availability with the business'.

Instead of losing focus and splitting my attention,  I clicked the Boomerang icon on that email so that it would show up at the top of my inbox, unread, later that day. And voilà, just like that I received the email again at a time that I was able to respond! 

2. Scheduling when to send emails

I work unconventional hours and the timing of my emails generally reflects that. There are two ways this impacts me: 1) it can look unprofessional depending on the client I am working with; and 2) my email can get lost at the bottom of an inbox depending on when I send it.

With Boomerang, I can draft an email but decide when to send it. For example, a few Fridays ago around 7PM, I remembered an important task for the upcoming week. I wanted to email my co-worker about this task, but I also wanted to make sure that this email didn't get lost in her inbox surrounded by other "important" emails. Mine was, without a doubt *cough*, more important.

Rather than stressing myself out about writing and sending that email Monday morning, I clicked the "Send Later" button on my email so I could schedule it to deliver on Monday morning at 9AM. What's nice about this feature is that I can either choose a specific date and time to send the email or just select one of their pre-filled ranges. Plus, it sends regardless of having an internet connection.  

3. Alerting me when an email has gone unanswered

Follow-ups. Some of us don't like to do them, but it's a necessary evil in the world of business. With Boomerang, I can send an email and request it to "Boomerang" back to my inbox if it goes unanswered after a specific time frame.

I use this feature because I figure people are like me and sometimes forget to respond, lose track of the email, or sometimes don't realize that a response is needed. By requesting the email to show up in my inbox if it goes unanswered, I can clearly see which clients I need to follow up with. This is one less worry in my day-to-day operations. 

What's your favorite Gmail add-on?

Comment below with your answer.

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