Have you ever needed to send or receive an email at a different time, and wanted to schedule it?  Boomerang is a new beta addon for Google Chrome and Firefox that lets you schedule Gmail around your time and we have 1,000 invites!

It’s invitation only during the beta period, but we’ve got 1000 invites for our How-to Geek readers!  But first, let’s look at what it offers, and then you can go try it out for yourself.

Boomerang is a browser plugin that adds a new button to Gmail.  It lets you schedule emails in your inbox to show back up at a certain time, and also lets you schedule emails to be sent at another time.  Whether you want to move emails about next week’s meeting out of your inbox until next week or want to send your Mom a birthday email 3 weeks early, Boomerang can be very useful.  Here’s how you can use it.

Setting Up Boomerang

Go to the boomerang for Gmail site (link below) and enter in our invite code “htg” no quotes and make sure it’s all lowercase.

Click the first link to install it in Google Chrome, or click the second to install it in Firefox.  Please note that Boomerang for Gmail doesn’t work in Firefox 4 beta, so you can only use it if you’re running the current release version of Firefox.


Install the extension as normal in your browser, and then you’re ready to start using Boomerang.

Schedule a Message to Return to Your Inbox Later

Next time you log into Gmail, select a message and you’ll see a new Boomerang button in the toolbar.  Click it and select a time to have this message show back up in your inbox.  This will remove the message from your inbox, and then bring it back as a new, unread message at the time you set.

First, though, you’ll need to authenticate Boomerang with your Google Account if you haven’t already.  Click Allow in the pop-up window to accept.

You’ll be then prompted that your login was successful, so close the window to return to Gmail.

You’ll only need to do this once; next time, you’ll simply see a message like the one below while it processes your email.

Gmail will now notify you that your message will return at the time you scheduled.


When it’s time for the message to come back, you’ll see it in the same spot as before, this time marked as Unread.  If you generally keep a clean inbox, this will work great, but if you’re in the habit of leaving emails in your inbox forever, it may still be hidden by newer messages.  So, you’ll also see a new Boomerang tag on the left side of Gmail, which will show a new message when your scheduled message returns.

Schedule to Send Emails Later

Boomerang’s most useful feature is the ability to schedule Gmail emails to be sent later.  Compose your email as usual, and when you’re finished, click Save Now to save your changes.

Now click the Send Later button that Boomerang added to Gmail, and select when you want to send this email.

You can select At a specific time to send the email at the precise time you want.

You can even enter your date in normal language; Boomerang will understand phrases such as Tomorrow at 12PM or Next week.  Click Confirm when you’ve entered the time you want.

Note that if you haven’t saved your email yet, Gmail will prompt you to do so before scheduling the email.  Save the message as above, and then re-select your time to send the message.


You’ll now be notified with the time that the message will be sent.  This is a great way to make sure your email gets to your recipient at the time you want.

Boomerang will work in Google Apps accounts as well if your Apps administrator has enabled Oath and Single Sign-on support.  If not, you won’t see the Boomerang tools when you use your Google Apps account.

Whether you’re trying to make sure your boss sees your email first in the morning or want to schedule birthday emails for the whole month on one day, Boomerang is a great tool to get your messages sent when you want them to be sent without staying at your computer 24/7.  There are many ways you can put Boomerang to use in your life, so give it a try and see how you like it.

If you’d like to try it out, enter the invite code htg – All Lower Case to get in the private beta today.  Better hurry; only the first 1000 people to use this code get to use Boomerang!

Signup for Boomerang for Gmail Beta Today (now out of beta)

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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