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Don't be a jackass. Schedule Gmail messages to send later

Don't be that guy who sends emails on a Saturday night.

gmail

The new Gmail feature lets you schedule emails.

Derek Poore/CNET

If you haven't been using Gmail's scheduling tool, you're missing out. In fact, it might be the best thing to happen to email since sliced bread (we're pretty sure that's definitely a thing that's happened to email). This tool is going to keep you from being the tone-deaf misanthrope who sends emails over the weekend. Instead, you'll just look like you've had the kind of productive morning fueled by one too many Red Eye coffees.

The Schedule Send tool does exactly what it says, so you can schedule Gmail emails to send on a specific day and time. That means you won't have to save the message as a draft and try to remember to send it later. It's very similar to Boomerang, if you've used that browser extension, except that it's built right into Gmail, which makes it a million times more convenient. You can schedule emails up to 49 years in advance (a great way to wish someone happy birthday every year).

Scheduling your emails to send later is useful when you:

  • Want to strategically send an email to arrive at a good time if your recipient is in a different time zone.
  • Don't want your email to get lost in the shuffle (e.g. like what happens if you send emails on a Friday night).
  • Want to look thoughtful (by sending an email for a friend's birthday the moment you remember it) or productive (by blasting out emails at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning). 

Scheduling Gmail messages works from your personal and corporate accounts, from both your phone and your desktop. Look for the arrow by the send button in the browser or the stacked three dots in the app.

Here's how to get started.

From Gmail in your browser

schedule-send

Select Schedule send from the dropdown arrow.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive

When you're done composing your email and you're ready to schedule it:

1. Locate the drop-down arrow near the send button.

2. Click the arrow and then click Schedule send.

3. A menu will appear that lets you choose the date and time you would like the email to be sent.

4. Select the time and click Schedule send. A message box will appear in the bottom left corner that says "Send scheduled for…" where you can hit undo if you've made a mistake or view the message.

From the Gmail app on your phone or tablet

schedule-time

Schedule a date and time to send an email.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive
Stacked three dots

From your mobile phone, locate the three stacked dots.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CBS Interactive

1. If you're using the Gmail app to send an email, locate the stacked three dots in the upper-right-hand side.

2. Tap the dots and select Schedule send.

3. From there, a menu will appear and you can add the date and time you want it to send.

4. Click Schedule send. A message box will appear in the bottom-left corner that says "Send scheduled for…" You can undo the action or view your message.

What if I need to update or delete the email?

If you decide you don't want to send the email after all, you can still delete it as long as you get to it before the scheduled time. 

Simply click on Scheduled on the main menu, choose the email you would like to delete, and select Cancel send.

If you need to update the time or date that the email is scheduled to send, cancel the email. A draft will appear where you can edit the content of the email and repeat the steps listed above.

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