Reminders are one of the most useful tools to add to your email if you know how to use them right. They are particularly handy for things like following up (eg. closing a deal / a task that needs to be completed to deliver a project); or for getting back to an email that you don’t have time to respond to right away (eg. sending a proposal).
If you are a big emailer, having the ability to add reminders to your messages can take your results to a whole new level. In this post I’ll explain how you can use Sortd’s simple but powerful reminder features for following up and planning ahead.
Setting a follow-up reminder when you send a mail
If you want results you need people to get back to you. Following up and doing it consistently is a necessary weapon in your arsenal, especially when you’re trying to get someone’s attention. People are busy, just like you, and you sometimes just need a way to get on their radar. Sending a simple follow-up mail creates top of mind awareness and can be a super effective way to get results.
It can be as simple as this…
“Hi Jon, just following up on my mail below. Regards, Wayne”.
You wouldn’t believe how effective an email like that can be for getting results, and it’s so easy to do – but you do need a system that will “surface” the mails that you need to respond to at the right time. That way you don’t need to remember anything.
Whether you’re trying to close a deal, complete a project on time or bring a funding round to a close, Sortd has a number of handy reminder tools to help you manage your follow-ups.
The most natural way to work follow-up reminders into your email workflow is to set them right after you send a message. Every time you send an email you will notice a bar that slides up from the bottom of your screen.
Setting a reminder to follow up is as easy as clicking “Set follow-up reminder” right after you send the mail. You’ll see a quick selector that will let you specify the most common options with one click – like “later today” or “tomorrow”, but if you want to specify a date and time click on Custom.
When the reminder date is due you will see browser notification, and you’ll receive a reminder message on the thread, which will bring the message to the top of your Inbox – you can send a follow-up mail right then and there.
Setting a reminder on a mail in your Inbox
We’ve learnt some interesting things about our customers’ email habits over the last couple of years. It turns out that you aren’t the only one who marks emails as unread when you want to get back to a mail later. I’ll admit, I do this myself on occasion and it actually works pretty well, but it also has a problem – if you keep the mail in your Inbox you are going to read it over and over again – it’s going to hog your attention. And if you leave it there for long enough eventually it disappears below the fold and you’ll likely just forget about it.
This is where Snooze comes in. If you aren’t already a snoozer try it out for a week – it’s a satisfying, zen-like email experience that quickly becomes completely addictive.
Snooze, Reminder and Add to List buttons in Gmail
Sortd has 3 ways for you to manage your ’email in progress’ – what combination of these you use is really up to you (they are all useful for different things). In Gmail mode, when you open a mail you will notice 3 new buttons underneath the search bar.
These buttons are for Snoozing, Setting a Reminder and Adding to one of your Sortd lists.
This button snoozes the email, which means it will be archived right away and placed back at the top of your Inbox when the reminder date is reached.
In full screen mode, look out for the Snooze option next to the Archive button in your Sortd Inbox.
Clicking the reminder button simply sets a reminder. There are some one-click options like ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Next week’, but if you want to specify a date and time click on Custom.
Add to list button
You can use this button if you also want to add the email to one of your Sortd lists. This can be useful if you want to also keep the email on a categorized list (eg. you might want to keep all open emails for a particular client on a dedicated list for that client).
One of the most useful features in Sortd is the ability to set a next step on a task – just a note that this is a team feature and only works on team boards. Setting a next step will prompt you for an action date and set a reminder automatically – this is a great way to keep track of progress on deliverables and keep the momentum going. It also gives you a way to keep track of progress on an individual task.
You’ll see the Next Step option when you open a card on a team board. I’ll cover it in more detail in another post.
Being smart about how you set due dates and reminders can make you much more reliable, and much more effective at getting the results you’re after! Use these powers wisely 😉