Why I like to schedule emails

Do you ever send an email out and you wish you’d thought about it first?

Do you ever find yourself having second thoughts about your emails?

I do, quite frequently!

Now, I am a careful type. I don’t fire out the first thing that comes to mind. I check and re-check and worry if I’ve struck the right tone. Even after I hit “send” I reflect on my words.

I’ve just discovered a new tool on email platforms that helps a lot with this problem. Of course, I am what some would refer to as a “late adopter” — as befits my nature, I decide to investigate new things slowly, with trepidation. Others, the “early adopters”, dive right into the deep end of new releases.

Not me!

What is your discovery, you ask? The tool called “Schedule Send”. It’s a button nestled on a dropdown menu next to the Send button on Gmail, and perhaps in other email providers.

Why do I like Schedule Send so much? For three reasons.

First, time of day. I am filled with “email energy” at the beginning of the day, say 7:30 a.m. I check any emails that have arrived, and I like to respond to them as soon as possible. However, I worry that by sending emails at 7:30 a.m. I may wake people up if they have audible notifications turned on their devices. I don’t want to disrupt sleep! Or I may distract folks while they are driving (don’t want that). Importantly, I think sending emails at 7:30, 8:00, or 8:30 a.m. indicates a bit of anxiety on my part. It’s as if I’m worried about my message. I don’t want recipients to think I’m having an emergency or something. So I write the email while I am full of energy, and hit “Schedule Send” so that it flies into my recipient’s inbox after 9 a.m., perhaps, or in the afternoon.

Second, the opportunity to think about the email. Hitting Schedule Send gives me an hour or, if I select a longer time frame, several hours to consider the content of my email. As I noted before, does it have the right tone? Do I sound patronizing or have I made incorrect assumptions? Have I checked my facts? By writing the email, I’ve seized the moment and pulled my thoughts together. By hitting Schedule Send, though, I can take my time to review the communication. That way, there is less, shall we say, “sender’s remorse” after the email has left my inbox!

Third, and this is related to #1, I select Schedule Send to allow some time to elapse between any emails I’ve received and my response. I’m a ‘jump on an email type of person’; perhaps it’s my extrovert nature — I enjoy communication- but in my enthusiasm, I can be tempted to respond to an incoming email within minutes of its reception. To me, that says some uncomfortable things about me — that I am ‘sitting’ on my phone or at my computer relentlessly; or that I don’t have better things to do. I also don’t want to give the impression that I’m super connected to the person I’m responding to. I want to ‘play it cool’ and not seem too reactive or invested. Hitting “Schedule Send” keeps the response neutral, ordered, and professional in tone (at least to my mind).

So there you have it, my three reasons for scheduling my emails to send at a later time. A bit over-cautious perhaps, but in a world where anything you write electronically can ‘come back to bite you’, so to speak, I feel it’s a worthwhile tool to use.

How do you feel about this? Do you use the Schedule Send tool?

Freelance Writer — Lifestyle | Wellness | Leadership