[CULTURE] How to not drive people crazy with email all weekend

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

I’m a big fan of responding quickly to people – no matter the channel, including on email. On Twitter, people expect it even. The other day, one person tweeted at me and I didn’t see it for a day – well, because I get a good amount of messages from people – and she finally ended up tweeting at me again and said something like this: “You don’t even have time to respond. That’s not an endorsement of your services.”

I did end up replying to her question, but not quickly enough. It happens, though we should try to minimize that from happening – especially for branded accounts. Have enough staff! On my own Twitter account, it’s just me. Sometimes I don’t have Internet access. Hard to believe, I know. 🙂 I also sleep from time to time.

And while I’m a big fan of quick responses and live interactions on social media and other channels, sometimes there are reasons why responses and new messages should not be send right away. Email is one such example. Especially on the weekend. I get hundreds of emails across several accounts per day. I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of an Inbox Zero addict. Emails need to get out of my inbox. That doesn’t always mean I reply right away. For example, if I send emails late at night or over the weekend, now other people get them and often end up taking the time to reply – instead of enjoying time with their families, for example. So, I reply and schedule emails to send in the morning or on Monday – in the case of the weekend.

It’s also a useful strategy when emailing people in other time zones. It’s a system that is fairly easy to implement in Outlook. I’m sharing a step by step guide on how to below.

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How to schedule email for delayed delivery

Here’s how I do this. I reply like any other time I reply to an email, but then before clicking SEND I go to OPTIONS, then on the right click on DELAY DELIVERY. On the pop-up pick the time and date when you want to send it. Easy breezy. This is your computer’s time zone, so keep that in mind when emailing people in other time zones. There’s still some math involved.

For it to work, make sure your computer and Outlook stay on between now and the time of sending. Obviously, you’ll have to stay connected to the Internet as well.

delayed email delivery in outlook

As far as I can tell, delayed delivery is not possible currently (as of March 6, 2016) on mobile Outlook programs. My fingers are crossed that those functionalities are added at some point.

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How to schedule emails in Gmail

This function is available within Gmail if you install Boomerang.

Once it’s installed your Gmail compose message looks like this:


Click on SEND LATER once your email has been drafted and you’ll get options to send later:

boomerang 2

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