I read a few weeks ago that Google was going to be adding “send later” features to Gmail. That would be really useful to me, but how do I use it? I don’t see anything new or different in my Gmail…
While a whole lot of the Internet revolves around real time, whether it’s 2pm in the afternoon or 2am because you have insomnia or are out at a late night rave, sometimes you do want to defer actions, schedule tasks and generally have things happen later, not now. Software like WordPress make it quite easy to write a blog post, for example, and have it go live hours – or even days – later. Heck, even YouTube allows YouTube creators [you do follow me on YouTube, right? AskDaveTaylor]
But email? Not so easy. Until Google did indeed add a scheduler for email messages. The question you ask is one that I imagine quite a few people have, though: how do you actually utilize this service? It’s quite subtle, but I can show you the feature, no worries…
To start out, you might need to log out of Gmail and log in again, so start with that step. Now, click on Compose and you’ll get a regular little composition window:
Can you see what’s new in this improved Gmail interface? Yeah, I thought not. I did say it’s subtle!
What’s different is that the blue Send button isn’t just a Send button any more but has a small downward triangle to denote there’s a drop-down menu. Click on the triangle and you’ll immediately know you’ve found the right service:
I’ll choose “Schedule send” from within Gmail, which now pops up some additional options and choices. Useful ones, naturally:
Basically it makes it easy to defer sending the message until tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon or the following “weekday” if you want to stick to business hours. Don’t like what it suggests? No worries, click on the “Pick date & time” option at the bottom and you can schedule something for days, weeks, even months in the future:
I’m going to send this demo message at 1.47pm tomorrow, April 27. Here’s where there’s a tiny user interface error: There’s no “go!” button. Yikes. Instead, just use the tab button to move through both date and time values and it’ll just suddenly queue up:
That’s basically it. Done. Email scheduled to be delivered (well, sent) tomorrow at 1.47pm. Not too complicated once you know about the tiny little addition to the “Send” button.
Oh! And be aware that a new entry shows up on the left where it offers the various categories of email:
See it? “Scheduled“. You can even go in there and modify or delete your unsent messages. Handy, really!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Gmail since you had to get an invitation to sign up. A long time ago. Get tons of handy tips through my many Gmail help articles while you’re here. Thanks!