Mar
20
2013

Ministry Toolbox: Boomerang for Gmail

Ready to workEmail is messy.

I have had a love hate relationship with email for years. One one hand it is a fabulous tool for quickly communicating with team members, while on the other hand it can be frustrating trying to remember who has seen what, who has replied to what, and who you are waiting to hear back from. The arrival of Gmail helped to better organize email communications, by gathering messages into a conversational grouping, but the basic frustrations of email are still there.

About six months ago I began using a tool called Boomerang for Gmail. I have found Boomerang to be incredibly helpful in managing my email conversations, and keeping track of the many projects that I handle through email. Here is how it is helping me:

  • Send email later: Being able to schedule reminder emails for upcoming meetings is incredibly helpful. For coaching appointments I will typically schedule a reminder the day before, and thirty minutes before the appointment, complete with the details needed for the conversation. I also love using this to drip out fascinating stories for my teams to read. I may schedule one or two of those a week to get a conversation started.
  • Follow up reminders: This is powerful. Boomerang allows you to set a date and time to bring the message back to the top of your inbox as a new message. This allows you to review progress, and ensure that balls aren’t dropped.
  • No response reminders: This is why I use Boomerang. Whenever I send out an important email that needs a reply, I am able to set it to alert me if there hasn’t been a response in a set amount of time. This allows me to focus on other things, knowing that I will not forget to follow up on a message.

Boomerang has a free account that should handle the needs of most church leaders, though there are upgraded accounts available for a reasonable monthly cost. I tend to use Boomerang more than most, so I upgraded to the personal account for $5 a month, and it serves me pretty well. Sign up for Boomerang here, or watch the video below for more information:

 

How do YOU manage email?

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About the Author: Matt Steen

Over the last fifteen years I have been a Church Planter, Youth Pastor, Executive Pastor, and now I serve churches through coaching (churchsimple.net), providing online giving services (egiveusa.com), and through keeping them informed (ministrybriefing.tv). I love Jesus, my wife, the Redskins and Capitals and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ.