In 2019, Google introduced a standard feature to Gmail which is the ability to schedule emails ahead of time. Instead of having to either save your email as a draft or immediately send your email, you can pick a specific time and date to send your email in the future.
Sometimes, it helps to send email ahead of time, such as half an hour before a meeting. Or, you may be intending to send an email to someone in a different time zone, and wish to email them at a time that is convenient for them. You might want to create batches of bulk email, but refrain from sending them all at once.
Sending an email at the right time is certainly part of professional business email etiquette. You are more likely to get a response if your email hits someone’s inbox at 9am in the morning rather than getting lost in the chaos of the day.
Often, the way we work requires us to adapt to the needs and expectations of others, instead of working when it is convenient for us. So, it’s time to learn how to schedule email in Gmail.
What are the benefits of scheduling email in Gmail?
Maximize your chances of a response
When an email lands in someone’s inbox at the right time, it’s more likely to be brought to their attention. If you send an email at 3pm, it might get lost among the emails that are likely to arrive between 3pm and 5pm. Choosing the optimum time to send your email increases the chances of a response, since the recipient actually sees and opens your email when they receive it.
Many productivity and communication issues can be eliminated by scheduling your emails for the right time.
Work unconventional hours
Being able to schedule your emails means that you can work the hours that suits you, and that you’re not tied to the typical 9 to 5 working day. You can send an email in the middle of the night and ensure that it arrives at a sociable hour. If an idea strikes you, you can skip the step of making a note for later and simply schedule an email for the appropriate person.
Scheduling email liberates you from the standard working pattern while respecting the timetables of others, so even an email composed during the weekend can arrive first thing Monday morning.
Send reminders to recipients
Some emails may be related to time-sensitive events so you don’t have to be tied to your inbox when sending reminders to your recipients. You can schedule your email for a specific scheduled time so you can prompt your associates at exactly the right time, while reducing your own cognitive load.
Emails can be coordinated with specific events so you never forget to remind your recipients of what they need to do.
You can stay natively within email
It used to be that you had to rely on external extensions to schedule your email, such as Boomerang. With Gmail’s Schedule Send feature, you can stay right within Gmail and manage all your email from within your favorite platform.
Users can avoid the hassle of learning a new tool by using Gmail to schedule all their email.
How to schedule an email in Gmail
Scheduling an email in Gmail is relatively simple. Gmail makes it easy within the interface to first compose an email, then schedule the email for the appropriate time.
- First, make sure you open up Gmail and that you are logged into your Gmail account.
- On the top left-hand corner, select the pencil icon to compose a new email.
- Enter the email address you wish to send your email to, include a subject and add the body of the email.
- Now, in the blue box at the bottom of the new email, select the down arrow (be careful not to hit send and send your message too early).
- This will bring up a box with the option to ‘Schedule send”, which you can click.
- Choose one of the pre-selected times from the box that comes up, otherwise pick your own custom date from the calendar.
- Tap Schedule send which will then schedule your email for the selected time and date.
When you schedule an email to be sent, it will be automatically stored within Gmail and be sent at the time you have chosen. Once you’ve learned how to schedule an email in Gmail, you can schedule up to 100 emails at a time.
Can you schedule an email to be sent daily in Gmail?
It’s not currently possible to send recurring emails in Gmail, which many organizations might want to use to send reminders to their recipients. At the moment, all you can do is schedule emails on an ad-hoc basis and then follow up manually if required.
You’ll have to use specialist software such as Right Inbox if you want to schedule emails in Gmail to prompt your recipients to take action. Currently in Gmail, all you can do is schedule individual emails for particular times, which must also be done manually every time.
So you could set up an email to be sent once, and then set it up again to be sent a day later, for example. The only problem is if you change your mind about the follow-up email you’ll have to manually unschedule it.
In theory there is no limit to the number of times you could schedule an email to be sent, as long as you have the time to manually set it up.
How far in advance can you schedule send on Gmail?
You can actually schedule your emails in Gmail up to 49 years in advance, so that’s quite a long time. You might find that if you’re scheduling your emails very far in the future, you forget about them or they become less relevant so be careful when using this feature.
One way you can use the Schedule Send functionality of Gmail is to set reminders of tasks to complete in the future, so you could schedule an email to yourself in a year’s time, for example. You could email yourself reminding yourself to review all the goals you have set for the year.
When you receive your scheduled email in a year’s time, it’s like a reminder to yourself and you know you will pay attention because it lands in your email inbox. With task software, it’s easy to ignore the prompts but not so easy to ignore emails in your inbox.
If you think you’ll still be using Gmail in 49 years, you can schedule emails as reminders to yourself.
Can you tell if someone sends a scheduled email?
When you send your scheduled email to someone, it doesn’t appear to them that it has been scheduled in advance. It looks exactly like a regular email, although if you view the email in your Gmail inbox it will appear in your scheduled folder. Only you can see that the email is scheduled, but to your recipient it will seem just like a normal email.
Gmail doesn’t include any markers on the email to show it has been scheduled. It will seem just like your email has been sent and received virtually instantly without being planned in advance.
So have no hesitation when scheduling your emails using Gmail – no one will know the difference.
Where are scheduled emails stored in Gmail?
If you want to review your scheduled emails you can simply navigate to the Scheduled folder on the left-hand side of the inbox (you might have to click ‘More’ to open up the full list of folders). Once you open the Scheduled folder, you will see a list of your scheduled emails, along with the date of when your email is due to be sent.
To edit your scheduled email, select the relevant email from the list and ‘Cancel send’, which will open the email as a draft. You can then revise the content of your email and reschedule it in the usual way.
Gmail will present your emails in a list in the order of which ones will be sent first. If you reschedule your email for a different time, it will move to the correct place on the list.
You will be able to open the message but you won’t be able to edit it until you cancel the send.
How can I cancel scheduled emails in Gmail?
If you want to cancel scheduled emails altogether, navigate to the Scheduled folder on the left-hand side of your inbox. Find the email you want to cancel and click on it, then you will see a button labeled ‘Cancel send’. Just tap cancel send and your email will revert back to a draft.
Canceling your scheduled email won’t actually delete it from your inbox and you’ll have to open the specific email in order to remove it. Canceling the email simply removes it from the Scheduled folder.
If you want to remove the email from Gmail entirely, go to the drafts folder, open the email and select the trash icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the email. This will send your email to the trash and remove it from your inbox.
Can you post-date an email in Gmail?
The time and date of your email is automatically generated by Gmail and therefore it is not possible to post-date an email. You can’t schedule an email for the past, and nor can you change the time of when an email was originally sent.
It is possible to change the time and date of your computer manually in order to alter the date stamp of an email you then send, but this is not recommended. A much better approach is simply to send emails at the appropriate time, or schedule them if necessary.
How do I schedule an email at midnight in Gmail?
If you want to schedule an email for midnight in Gmail, the process is the same for sending any other email. You would pick the date of when you want to send the email, and then set the time for 12AM.
Note that when the clock changes from 11.59pm to 12AM, the date also changes over to the next day. So beware of this change when scheduling your emails for midnight in Gmail, or you might accidentally send your email on the wrong day or try to schedule it for the past. If you try to schedule your email for 12AM on the current day, Gmail will flag this as an invalid time.
Gmail interprets midnight as 12AM, which is the beginning of the day in the system rather than the end of the previous day.
How do I send an email periodically in Gmail?
Sending an email periodically in Gmail is not possible without resorting to an extension. Gmail was created for personal and business email, but not marketing and sales. If you want to create a drip sequence, for example, then you’ll need to turn to alternative software.
Gmail’s Schedule Send feature is for sending single emails at a particular time, and you cannot program Gmail to repeat the send. You’d have to use a tool such as Right Inbox or Boomerang as an add-on for Gmail in order to schedule periodic emails.
You can schedule an email regularly in Gmail, but you’ll have to do this manually by copying and pasting the text into a new email and scheduling it.
How do I send an email later in Gmail?
If you want to send an email later in Gmail, one option is to simply save it as a draft and send your email at the appropriate time. However, us humans are prone to forgetting things, or getting so busy we don’t have time to complete a task. This is where Gmail’s Schedule Send comes in very useful.
To send an email later, just click the blue Schedule Send button in the ‘compose new email’ window. You can only press this button after you have filled in the recipient for your email. You’ll be able to schedule at the time for when you want your email to be sent so you don’t have to be at your email client later on.
In Gmail, it is relatively easy to schedule an email for later.
Can I schedule an email on iPhone?
You can use Gmail on desktop to schedule your email but you can also complete the same process on an iPhone or Android device. You must follow slightly different steps when using the Gmail mobile app but it’s still quite simple to schedule an email.
- Open the Gmail app on your iPhone or Android phone.
- Click the compose button on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- This will open a new email – fill in the recipient, subject, and body of your email.
- Click the three dots at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- This will open up the option to Schedule send. Choose from Gmail’s predefined dates and times or pick your own custom time.
- Click ‘Schedule send’.
You will be able to access your scheduled emails in exactly the same way as on desktop, by choosing your ‘Scheduled’ folder in the right-hand menu that opens when you click the three lines menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.
Gmail has a really handy feature of being able to let you schedule emails in advance so you don’t need to remain tied to your inbox. You can stay mindful of when recipients will be receiving your emails and maximize your chances of having your emails opened. Work whenever you want and ensure your emails always arrive during business hours.
You don’t have to worry that someone will guess that you have scheduled an email, because this process is completely invisible within Gmail. Only you will be able to see that an email has been scheduled, and you’ll be able to keep your inbox completely organized by using the Gmail Scheduled folder.
Gmail’s Schedule Send feature gives you more control over when you send your email without having to resort to third-party software.
View all your scheduled emails at a glance and amend or cancel them if you change your mind. The only problem with Gmail’s Schedule Send on desktop is that the schedule button is very close to the instant send button, so you’ll have to watch out for slips!
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