Simple e-mail resubmission on the Mac with Apple Mail and the "Followupthen" service

followupthen logo

Today I had the case that I found an email interesting, but actually couldn't really "use" it today. I would have been happy if it had just arrived 3 months later, because then I would have been able to use or edit it right away. Unfortunately, there is no way in Apple Mail to simply (!!!) set up a follow-up that will remind me of the mail in 1, 2 or 3 months. Of course you can set up something like this with iCal, the Apple Calendar, [Wunderlist-> wunderlist] or other reminder or to-do list tools, but definitely not EASY.

Without simplicity it is not suitable for everyday use - Steve would say "simplify"!

This is exactly where the problem with the Apple Calendar Mail solution lies: if something is not easy to solve, I won't do it. As a rule, the mail would have ended up with the other 1.423 mails that I somehow wanted to memorize in order to do something with them at some point. Incidentally, the number is not a lie, it is unfortunately true.

To finally get this problem under control, I went looking for an alternative to the undynamic duo "Apple Calendar" and "Apple Mail". After some useless approaches, I actually did found a service that solves the problem simply and elegantly: "followupthen". The concept behind the service is very exciting, as it is also cross-platform, does not require installation and does not depend on a specific mail program, as is the case with some plugins.

followupthen logo

An email reminder service that also has a free entry-level tariff. The free tariff should be enough for most people to keep their inbox "clean" and to set up resubmissions.

How does followupthen work?

The service is actually a mail service that accepts e-mails and then sends them out again at different times. In practice, I simply forward an e-mail that I would like to be reminded of in 3 months to the e-mail address "3months @ followupthen .com ". The mail is received by FollowUpThen and the value in front of the "@" character shows the service when the follow-up or reminder should take place. There are numerous values ​​that can be used: 2days @, 4weeks @, tomorrow @, everyweekday @ and many more. The best way to see a few practical examples is to visit the "How" page from followupthen.

While the free basic account only sends emails, you can even create SMS notifications with the paid accounts by adding a "-sms" to the prefix in front of the @:

If you send or forward an email to 12april11am-sms@followupthen.com you will get that email back on Sunday, Apr 12th at 11:00 am 2015 (CEST). An SMS wants to be sent to your phone.

The following video briefly shows what the service is all about:

Recurring reminders as well as prices and tariffs

Incidentally, the service also understands recurring reminders and resubmissions. For example, if you write your mail to "everymonday1330@followupthen.com", the mail with the reminder would be sent every Monday at 13:30 p.m. This is also a very easy way to set a reminder for birthdays, Valentine's Day and other recurring events.

As a free user you have 50 follow-ups per month free and can create up to 5 recurring follow-ups (reminders). For a mere USD 2 per month you are already in a tariff that allows up to 250 followups per month. There is no limit to recurring follow-ups.

Followupthen prices

The tariffs of the email reminder service Followupthen are very humane and well worth the money. Here for the details their homepage.

"Installation" and commissioning

In order to be able to use the followupthen service, you have to create an account there. You can do this directly on the start page by entering your email address with which you would like to use this service. You will then receive an activation email in which you have to click on a link.

In the Followupthen admin area you enter your time zone and you can then manually create "reminder" emails. The simpler alternative, however, is to send an email to autocomplete@fut.io (it does not have to have any special content and can also be completely empty). After you have sent this mail, you will receive an answer to which you in turn respond with "Reply to all" in the mail program and send the mail away. The background is that you have already "written" to the most important follow-up emails. This means that the e-mail address is known to the e-mail program and you will benefit from the auto-complete function in the future. All you have to do is type "3mo" and the mail program will suggest "3month@followupthen.com".

Followup then 3Months

Thanks to the autocomplete function in the mail program, the reminders were sent much faster.

My conclusion

The title of the article is actually a bit wrong, because the service can be used from any Android smartphone and Windows PC as well as from a Mac or iPhone. Nevertheless, I would like to address the Mac users in particular and the headline came about accordingly ...

I find the service extremely interesting. In the free version, the overview of the created reminders, which can only be discovered after logging in to the website, is missing. Alternatively, you can also send an email to "pending@followupthen.com" and you will immediately receive a reply email with the currently open reminders.

Those who like to use the service often should invest the 2 USD / month. In this tariff there is even a calendar integration so that the created reminders can be subscribed to with the "Apple Calendar". It couldn't be nicer or easier!

There is also the option of creating "tasks". You will then be informed about the task on a daily basis until you click a link in the mail that confirms that the task has been completed. An interesting version of an email-based to-do list.

I am already sure that in a few weeks I will become a "power user" of this service. The idea and the simplicity convince me and the first memories have already been created. I think the more you use the service and the more familiar you get with the options, the more efficiently you will use it.

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3 comments

  1. Armin says:

    As a Mac user in particular, it is easy to postpone your email for resubmission. Simply drag the email onto the reminders app. Date as a reminder and good. Hook on it when done. Set a new date so that you can edit it again later. ;-)

    • sir appleot says:

      Hi Armin! Yes, that's right! To be honest, I never got the idea. But from my point of view, drag'n drop still takes more time, because I first have to open the Reminder app (at least dragging a mail onto the app icon doesn't work for me!), Then I go back to Mail and drag the mail into "Reminders" window, then I click the "I" icon and choose 3 months in the future. I find that forwarding to "3month@followupthen.com" is somehow easier ...

  2. Armin says:

    Yes you are right. It's a longer way. Since I work a lot with the reminders app, i.e. it is open, I have a shorter way. It might not be so general to compare, and each option has its advantages and disadvantages. I don't want to go into that much detail, I just want to point out another alternative. For me, it's the path through memories. I created categories there. Can process this at any time if necessary or let me remind me. But that doesn't work across platforms either - not even in the Apple system. On my iPad, for example, I of course also have the reminder with the link to the mail, but the link is a local path on the Mac and cannot be used. ;-)

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