Inbox Zero Academy: Lesson 9
The best follow-up reminders
The best follow-up reminders
Yesterday we put an end to the vicious cycle of being unable to opt out of emails. Luckily, There are tools that can save us from this injustice, such as SaneBlackHole and Unroll.me. Next on our awesome email agenda? Using reminders to make sure we never forget to follow up on unanswered emails.
Given how many emails the average person sends and receives per day, it can be hard to keep track of everything. People don’t respond, we forget to follow up, and important items just fall through the cracks. Today’s focus is one of our favorite power hacks: Stop waiting on responses, and instead systematize your workflow using reminders.
Without further adieu, say goodbye to sticky notes and tedious online calendar entries, and hello to convenient and reliable email reminders.
3 ways to track if someone doesn't reply to you
Yesware’s reminder feature is an exceptional tool, particularly for those in sales, which is the company’s main niche target. When sending an email, you can set a date and time for a reminder alert to come back into your Inbox if the recipient hasn’t gotten back to you. You can do this from within the email view itself and also through your Yesware dashboard. When the alert pops into your Inbox to let you know you didn’t receive a reply, it will include the original outgoing message and also stats like how many times the sent message was opened.
Boomerang for Gmail
Gmail users can use this handy extension to remove email threads from their Inbox until they need them. To utilize this when composing a message, just use the extension to enter the date and time you want to see it again and it will be archived until that time. Depending on your preference, you can have the returning email be marked as unread, starred, or placed at the top of your Inbox. (Power tip: The extension also allows you to compose messages and schedule them to be sent in the future.)
SaneBox offers two solutions for follow-up tracking: SaneReminders and SaneNoReplies. SaneReminders works in a similar way to Yesware and Boomerang, except instead of entering or clicking on a date and time for the reminder, you simply send the email as usual and CC or BCC a reminder address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also customize the CC or BCC address to have the email come back to your Inbox even if you do receive a response.
If you want to create a reminder for yourself that doesn’t have anything to do with an outgoing email, you can use SaneReminders for that, too. Just email the note and any details to a reminder address. For instance, if I need to pay a bill, book a hotel room, or buy a birthday card, I can schedule a reminder to show up in my Inbox on the right day. You can even set up daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly reminders for recurring events and tasks.
The other way to use SaneBox to keep track of your outgoing messages is SaneNoReplies, a folder that holds a copy of all sent emails that are still pending a response after 24 hours or a different duration of your choosing. When checked daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly, it’s a good way to get a quick snapshot of messages that have fallen through the cracks.
SaneReminders | SaneNoReplies
Quickly scan your sent mail for any recent outgoing messages that haven’t gotten a response. Then, check out SaneBox, Yesware, and Boomerang to make sure you’re always on top of your follow-up game from this day forward.
Have any great tips for making sure your emails get a response? We’d love to see them in the comments box at the bottom of the page.
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SaneBox is a simple service that analyzes your past behavior (which emails you open, which you respond to, how quickly, how often, etc) and determines the importance of incoming emails without ever looking at the content (only the headers). It moves unimportant emails out of the Inbox into a separate folder called SaneLater and summarizes them in a digest. It works anywhere you check your email (since it's just an email folder).