If you’re like me, you often receive emails at a time when you aren’t able to deal with them immediately. To manage them I have tried: marking messages as unread, copying email text to a calendar item, and flagging them as Outlook tasks with reminders. For various reasons, none of these workflows were optimal for me. Then I discovered FollowUpThen.
FollowUpThen is a service that allows you to set timed reminders for following up on emails and tasks with fewer steps and a cleaner inbox. There is a free tier with limited options, and that was enough for me. If you’d like to get fancy with calendar integration, SMS integration, attachments or managing FollowUpThen for a team, there are two additional paid tiers.
How Does It Work?
FollowUpThen has lots of different functions. At its core, it uses a series of email addresses you can use to forward emails to be reminded to take action at a particular time. Here are some examples:
- Snooze an email for three weeks by forwarding it to email@example.com. The email will reappear in your inbox in exactly three weeks.
- Send or forward an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to remind yourself to do something tomorrow at 4pm.
- Send or forward an email to email@example.com to get a daily reminder. (limited in free plan)
- Task (limited number in free plan): send or forward an email to firstname.lastname@example.org you will assign a task to yourself that is due tomorrow at 5. If you have not completed the task by the due date, you will be reminded every day until it has been completed or cancelled.
You can set a time interval (x minutes, hours, weeks, months, years), a specific time of day (ex. 11pm), a specific date, a specific date/time, day of week, unique day of month (ex. 3rdThursday), relative timing (ex. tonight, tomorrow) and more.
Recurring reminders (ex. daily, weekly, or custom intervals) mentioned above available, using a different email name syntax. Visit this page to learn more about how to structure email addresses for these different functions. Keep in mind that recurring reminders are limited on the free plan.
FollowUpThen has many features to help you customize your reminders. Here are some highlights:
- To, CC, BCC
- TO: Only you receive the followup.
- BCC: Only you receive the followup. (No recipients can see that you are using an email reminder service. Followup includes the original email for reference).
- CC: Everyone in the ‘to’ field (up to 15) receives a followup in addition to yourself.
- Autocomplete: send an email to email@example.com to receive a list of the most popular timing/email formats.
- Short domain: to save keystrokes, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, use email@example.com. Same email, less typing.
- v-card: download the FollowUpThen vCard to add the addresses to address book for ease of use.
View, Edit, or Cancel Follow-ups
Your account will include a My Follow-ups page that you can use to view and edit your follow-ups. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a list of current follow-ups.
There are two ways to cancel follow-ups. If you are setting a new reminder on an existing thread with a existing reminder, you can use syntax in the new reminder address to cancel previous reminders. Or, forward a message in a thread with an existing reminder to email@example.com to cancel all reminders on a thread.
The paid tiers include additional options not included in this post. To find out more, click the link on a feature:
Unfortunately, not all email platforms can support “email-based actions.” For example, the “Gmail” app on iOS, Mailbox for iOS and some versions of the native Android mail client do not yet allow these actions. If you rely on one of these platforms it might be best to leave this option disabled.
If you use multiple email clients – where one supports email-based actions and one does not, you can leave them turned on and then simply use the “other” postpone option if you need to act on a followup from your unsupported email client.
If you are looking for a way to streamline the process of “snoozing” emails and tasks, FollowUpThen provides a functional product on the free tier, while keeping premium tiers affordable for those who are looking for extra features. Have you used FollowUpThen? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!