Have you ever been writing an email and wished you could simply press send… BUT you would much rather send it at a different time or on a future date?

For example, say you are writing a Birthday wish for a friend or relative and want the email to arrive on their actual birthday rather than 2 weeks earlier when you have the time and remembered to write the email…

Or maybe you want to send a reminder with instructions to a co-worker of a certain action that needs to be taken at a specific moment in the future and you wish the email to arrive at that precise moment in time?

Boomerang for Gmail, available at BoomerangGmail.com is an extension that allows you to do just that.

Currently available only for Firefox and Chrome browsers, the program gives you the option to write your email and set it to send at a future day and time up to the year 2038 (I don’t know why the year 2038 limit exists but that seems to be a long enough time for me at the moment…)

 

Set it and Forget it.

Much like a Blogging platform such as WordPress will allow you to publish a blog post at a future date and time… Once installed, Boomerang for Gmail adds an additional button on your Gmail interface to “Send Later” which will let you choose the exact date and time of the day to send your email at.

Thinking through all the possibilities… You can pre-program all your Holiday and special anniversary messages in advance, leave yourself words of encouragement from “you in the past” during challenging situations, checkpoint reminders during a project to verify if all previous steps have been accomplished… The uses are endless.

 

OAuth Authentication – Your private information is secure.

As someone constantly wary of any 3rd party applications having access to delicate information such as my emails, passwords and personally identifying information – I’ve analyzed the way that Boomerang processes this “send later” functionality and feel comfortable with the way the extension interacts with my Gmail account.

Using OAuth for authentication, Boomerang doesn’t store anything from your email message.  The extension simply captures the email header which contains the information for delivery such as subject, sender, date and time to send. Then when the right moment arrives to actually send the email, it uses OAuth to authenticate again, and sends it from your Gmail account. No password or sensitive data is exchanged.

Free Basic Level vs. Pro Service

Boomerang has been offered as a Free services since its launch but is now moving to a paid subscription model (don’t blame them… A business gotta’ make a buck.)

Under the new terms, starting on September 1st, 2011 – the first 30 days of unlimited Boomerang service are offered as a Free Trial.

After the initial 30 days, you have 10 credits for programming future emails each month or the option to upgrade to one of the paid subscriptions starting at $4.99 for unlimited emails.

 

My experience with Boomerang

I’ve already been using the extension for different things… Sending myself reminders of appointments, sending advanced birthday wishes to friends (at 2am on a Saturday instead of on a Wednesday night before a big presentation on Thursday)…

So far, I don’t know if I will need to use the service more than 10 times in a month which would still fit in the Free option.

I do however find it very convenient to be able to have that option and given the volume of emails I send – I may consider getting a paid subscription just to know I have that option available should I need it.

 

What do you think? Is Boomerang for Gmail something you would find valuable?

If you want to know more about Boomerang for Gmail – here is a great video describing how it works: