Welcome to Mail Boss

SCHEDULE FUTURE DATED AND RECURRING EMAILS IN GMAIL FOR FREE

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About Mail Boss

Mail Boss is a new service that allows you to send future dated and recurring emails from Gmail for free. Given that Google recently introduced the "schedule send" option in Gmail, Mail Boss is primarily focused on repeating messages. For example, to schedule a recurring email to be sent at a future time, start with enabling the service on your Gmail account by clicking the "Enable in Gmail" button above. Next, create a new draft message in Gmail that includes a special "scheduling instruction" in the subject line indicating when and how often the email should be sent. The scheduling instruction must come at the end of the subject and start with a hashtag (#) like this:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every year

This subject line indicates that a message with the subject "Happy New Year!" should be delivered on January 1, 2020 at 9am and repeated at the same time every year. After creating a draft email with an instruction like the one shown above, DO NOT SEND IT! Rather, leave the scheduled message in your "Drafts" folder. Mail Boss will check this folder every 15 minutes and send any messages that are due for delivery. At the time a recurring message is sent, the scheduling instruction will be removed from the subject line and the next instance will be created. See the documentation below for more details.

And if you'd rather not enter these instructions manually, a Chrome browser extension is available that adds a "Schedule repeating" option (pictured below) under the existing "Schedule send" feature in Gmail's compose message window to make scheduling repeating emails a simple point and click process.

Mail Boss Chrome browser extension

Features

Mail Boss supports many convenience and scheduling features including:

Future dated and recurring emails

Month-end emails (e.g., last day of each month, three days before end of month, etc.)

Particular days each month (e.g., every second Sunday, last Friday of each month, etc.)

Send before or after the target date (e.g., send two days before the last Friday of each month)

Custom repeat intervals (e.g., every other week, every third month, etc.)

Multiple days per week (e.g., every Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

Receipts when emails are sent (configurable per email)

Skip individual recurring emails as needed (e.g., skip next 3 messages, skip specific dates, etc.)

Supports all languages and unicode characters (scheduling instructions must be in English)

Works with all Gmail clients (web and mobile)

Chrome browser extension and helper application provided to simplify scheduling

Easy to enable and disable at any time

Email is sent directly from your Gmail account (maximizes deliverability)

Service only requires permissions to your drafts folder (not your entire Gmail account)

Service is completely FREE OF CHARGE (donations appreciated)

Documentation

To start using Mail Boss, first enable the service in your Gmail account by clicking the "Enable in Gmail" button at the top of this page. Once the service is enabled, you can schedule an email to be sent at a future time simply by creating a new draft message in Gmail that includes a special "scheduling instruction" in the subject line indicating when the email should be sent. The scheduling instruction must be at the end of the subject line and start with a hashtag (#) like this:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01 9:00am

This subject line indicates that the message should be delivered on January 1, 2020 at 9am. After creating a draft email with an instruction like the one shown above, DO NOT SEND IT! Rather, leave the scheduled message in your "Drafts" folder. Mail Boss will check this folder every 15 minutes and send any messages that are due for delivery. The scheduling instruction will be removed from the subject line when the message is sent. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating the scheduling instruction:

  • The hashtag must be preceded by a space but not followed by one
  • Dates are specified in the YYYY-MM-DD format
  • Send time must include hour, minute, and "am/pm" with no spaces (e.g., "11:00am" or "2:30pm")
  • A default time of 10am will be used if no time is specified
  • Single-digit months, days, and hours are valid (i.e., "2020-1-1 9:00am" is equivalent to "2020-01-01 09:00am")
  • Scheduling instructions are not case sensitive
  • Scheduled date/time is based on your local timezone (retrieved from your Google Calendar settings)

If you'd rather not create these scheduling instructions manually, a Chrome browser extension and a helper application are provided to simplify the process. It's recommended that you browse the documentation below even if you're using a helper application so that you'll better understand the Mail Boss features.

As previously mentioned, Mail Boss checks your "Drafts" folder every 15 minutes looking for messages that are due for delivery. The Mail Boss timer starts on the hour such that messages will be checked at times like 10:00am, 10:15am, 10:30am, 10:45am, and so on. So, if you schedule your messages at any of those 15 minute intervals, they should be delivered within one minute of the scheduled time. Other times (such as 10:01am or 10:16am) could be delayed up to 15 minutes from the scheduled time.

Schedule by Date

Schedule a message to be sent at 10am on January 1, 2020:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01

Or you can leave off the leading zeros like this:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-1-1

Note that dates in Mail Boss use the "YYYY-MM-DD" format (year, month, day). The date immediately following the hashtag in the scheduling instruction is referred to as the "target date".

Schedule by Date and Time

Schedule a message to be sent at 9am on January 1, 2020:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01 9:00am

Schedule a message to be sent at 2:30pm on January 1, 2020:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01 2:30pm

Note that times in Mail Boss must be in the "HH:MM" 12-hour format immediately followed by "am" or "pm" (no space). Single digit hours need not be preceded by a zero (i.e., "9:00am" is the same as "09:00am").

Schedule Repeating Message Every X Days/Weeks/Months/Years

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat daily:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every day

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every other day:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every 2 days

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every 3 weeks:

Subject: Staff Meeting #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every 3 weeks

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every 4 months:

Subject: Financial Review #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every 4 months

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every year:

Subject: Happy New Year! #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every year

Note that valid repeat intervals are day(s), week(s), month(s), and year(s). If no interval number is specified, the default is one (e.g., "repeat every day" is the same as "repeat every 1 day").

Schedule Repeating Message Multiple Times per Week

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 (a Wednesday) and repeat every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every week on Mo,We,Fr

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 4, 2020 (a Saturday) and repeat every other week on Saturday and Sunday:

Subject: Weekend Trip! #2020-01-04 9:00am repeat every 2 weeks on Sa,Su

Notice that two character abbreviations are used when specifying days of the week (i.e., Su, Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa). These abbreviations must be separated by commas with no spaces and they are not case sensitive (e.g., "Mo,We,Fr" is equivalent to "mo,we,fr"). When sending messages on specific days of the week like this, make sure that the first target date you provide corresponds to one of those days. For example, if you indicate that a message should be sent on Tuesday and Thursday ("Tu,Th") but your initial target date is a Sunday, the first message will be sent on a Sunday and then the next target date will be "rolled forward" to the following Tuesday (at which point all future messages will be sent on Tuesday or Thursday).

Schedule Repeating Message for a Certain Day Each Month

Messages can be scheduled for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or last day of a month. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 3, 2020 (a first Friday) and repeat on the first Friday of every month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-03 9:00am repeat every month on first Friday

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 19, 2020 (a third Sunday) and repeat on the third Sunday of every other month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-19 9:00am repeat every 2 months on third Sunday

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 29, 2020 (a fifth Wednesday) and repeat on every fifth Wednesday:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-29 9:00am repeat every month on fifth Wednesday

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 26, 2020 (a last Sunday) and repeat on the last Sunday of every third month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-26 9:00am repeat every 3 months on last Sunday

Schedule Repeating Message Before or After Target Date

The delivery date for an email can be modified by adding or subtracting days relative to the target date. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 31, 2020 and repeat on the last day of each month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-02-01(-1) 9:00am repeat every month

The "(-1)" part of the instruction above indicates that one day should be subtracted from the target date of February 1, 2020. By targeting the first day of every month and then subtracting one day from it, we can schedule messages for the last day of each month. Any number of days can be added to or subtracted from the target date. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 29, 2020 and repeat 3 days before the end of each month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-02-01(-3) repeat every month

To schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 12, 2020 and repeat 3 days after the second Sunday of each month:

Subject: Status Report #2020-01-12(+3) repeat every month on second Sunday

Schedule Repeating Message Until End Date

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every week until March 1, 2020 (exclusive):

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every week until 2020-03-01

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 9am on January 1, 2020 and repeat on the first day of every month in the year 2020:

Subject: New Month Reminder #2020-01-01 9:00am repeat every month until 2021-01-01

Schedule Message With Delivery Receipt

In order to be notified whenever Mail Boss sends a scheduled message, you can either add your email address to the recipient list (use BCC if you don't want your address shown in the "To" field) so you receive a copy of the email or specify that you'd like to receive a "receipt" when the message is sent. A receipt message simply indicates when an email was sent, its subject, and when the next email is due to be delivered (if repeating). For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and send you a delivery receipt:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 with receipt

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every week with receipt:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 repeat every week with receipt

Schedule Repeating Message With Dates to Skip

At times, you may want to schedule a repeating message but skip delivery on particular dates. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every week but skip the first week in February:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 repeat every week skip 2020-02-05

You can use a comma-delimited list to specify any number of dates to skip. There must not be any spaces in the date list. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every Wednesday but skip the first Wednesday in February, April, and June:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 repeat every week skip 2020-02-05,2020-04-01,2020-06-03

Note that the list of skip dates should use the target date before any days are added or subtracted. For example, the following instruction sends a message on the last day of every month by subtracting one day from the target date but skips the messages that would have been sent one day before the first day of March, June, and September:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-02-01(-1) repeat every month skip 2020-03-01,2020-06-01,2020-09-01

Skipping target dates rather than actual send dates in this manner prevents you from having to perform any date calculations (i.e., no need to add or subtract days from the target dates you'd like to skip).

Schedule Repeating Message With Number of Times to Skip

At times, you may need to skip any number of messages in a repeating schedule. This is typically useful when a repeating schedule has been running and you need to modify the schedule to prevent the next message from being delivered. Rather than changing the target date, you could just add "skip" or "skip 1" to the end of the instruction. For example, to schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every week but skip the next message:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 repeat every week skip 1

Schedule a message to be sent starting at 10am on January 1, 2020 and repeat every week but skip the next 3 messages:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 repeat every week skip 3

The skip message will be updated after each message is skipped. For instance, in the previous example, once the message is skipped on January 1, 2020, the skip instruction will be updated to "skip 2" and after the next message is skipped, it'll be changed to "skip 1" (and then finally removed altogether after the last message is skipped). If no number is specified, the default is one (i.e., "skip" is equivalent to "skip 1"). The skip directive is always at the very end of the scheduling instruction.

Full Examples

Here are a few examples of scheduling instructions that utilize nearly all Mail Boss scheduling features. The following example sends a message starting at 2:30pm on January 1, 2020 and repeats every weekday until June 1, 2020 while sending delivery receipts and skipping the messages on January 3rd and 10th:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 2:30pm repeat every week on mo,tu,we,th,fr until 2020-06-01 with receipt skip 2020-01-03,2020-01-10

This one schedules a message to be sent starting at 2:30pm on January 1, 2020 and repeats on the first Wednesday of every month until June 1, 2020 while sending delivery receipts and skipping the first 3 messages:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01 2:30pm repeat every month on first Wednesday until 2020-06-01 with receipt skip 3

Finally, this one schedules a message to be sent starting at 2:30pm three days before January 1, 2020 and repeats three days before the first Wednesday of every month until June 1, 2020 while sending delivery receipts and skipping the first message:

Subject: Status Report Reminder #2020-01-01(-3) 2:30pm repeat every month on first Wednesday until 2020-06-01 with receipt skip 1

The correct ordering for each part of the scheduling instruction is as follows:

#[TARGET DATE][ADD/SUBTRACT DAYS] [TIME] [REPEAT EVERY DAY/WEEK/MONTH/YEAR] [ON DAY OF WEEK/MONTH] [UNTIL DATE] [WITH RECEIPT] [SKIP DATES/NUMBER]

Scheduling Helper

Mail Boss provides a convenient helper application to make it easy to construct valid scheduling instructions. So, if you'd rather not build these instructions manually, feel free to leverage the tool below. Simply fill in the applicable criteria, click the "Copy to clipboard" button, and paste the scheduling instruction to the end of your email's subject line. If you use the Chrome browser, you can also install it as a Chrome extension.

Modify or Delete Scheduled Emails

You can modify or delete scheduled emails at any time from your drafts folder. To modify the schedule, change the scheduling instruction of any scheduled email in your drafts folder. You can cancel a scheduled email by simply deleting it from the drafts folder.

When a newly created scheduled message is first processed by Mail Boss (mail in your drafts folder is processed every 15 minutes), the message will be assigned the "Mail Boss/Outbox" label. If a message includes a scheduling instruction that is in an invalid format, the "Mail Boss/Error" label will be applied to it and the message will be ignored until you fix the instruction and manually remove the "Mail Boss/Error" label.

Enable and Disable Mail Boss

To enable Mail Boss, simply visit this site and click the "Enable in Gmail" button at the top of the page. Clicking this button is also useful if you change your timezone setting in Google Calendar and wish to update it in Mail Boss.

To disable Mail Boss, delete permissions for the "Mail Boss" third-party app from here:

https://myaccount.google.com/permissions

This will immediately disable Mail Boss and remove all access it has to your Gmail account. If you'd like to re-enable it, just come back to this site and click the "Enable in Gmail" button again at the top of this page.

Update Your Timezone

Mail Boss uses your Google Calendar settings to determine your current timezone. If you move to a new timezone and would like to modify this value, first update your timezone here:

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/r/settings

After you've updated your timezone in Google Calendar, return to this page and click on the "Enable in Gmail" button again. Once this is done, Mail Boss will start sending your emails based on your new timezone.

Schedule Text Messages (SMS & MMS)

You can use Mail Boss to schedule free delivery of text messages by addressing them to each carrier's "Email to SMS Gateway" mail domain. Each mobile carrier provides a gateway for passing emails to their customers via SMS or MMS text messages. For example, to schedule delivery of an SMS text mesage to customers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, you would create a message in Gmail like normal (including a Mail Boss scheduling instruction in the subject line) but you would use each recipient's phone number and their carrier's mail domain in the "To" field like this:

To: 8885551111@txt.att.net; 8885552222@messaging.sprintpcs.com; 8885553333@tmomail.net; 8885554444@vtext.com
Subject: #2020-01-01 9:00am
Body: Happy New Year!

As long as each of the phone numbers listed above are managed by the carrier associated with the email domain, the message will be delivered via SMS text to each recipient. Of course, any emails sent to SMS text recipients should be kept short (ideally under 160 characters). Notice that the subject line in this example contains only the scheduling instruction. This is because some carriers will include the subject in parentheses prior to the body (i.e., "(subject) body" format) which doesn't look like a normal text message. For more information about this approach and a list of SMS Gateway email domains for the most common U.S. carriers, see this article. And if you need to determine the carrier for a particular mobile phone number, check out this free carrier lookup service.

Disclaimer

Mail Boss is a free service that you can choose to use at your own risk. Here are the terms of service:

MAIL BOSS IS A FREE SERVICE PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SERVICE OR THE USE OF OR OTHER DEALINGS WITH THE SERVICE.

Privacy

Mail Boss takes your privacy seriously. Mail Boss doesn't sell or share any of your personal data. In fact, the only information we store about you is your email address and timezone. Further, only the subject lines (not bodies) of draft messages are read. Messages outside the "Drafts" folder are not accessible to Mail Boss.

When you enable it, Mail Boss will request specific permissions in order to perform the following operations:

  • Read the subject line of draft messages in order to find Mail Boss scheduling instructions
  • Modify the subject line of draft messages to remove the scheduling instruction when a message is sent
  • Add and remove "Mail Boss/Outbox" and "Mail Boss/Error" labels
  • Create new draft messages for recurring emails
  • Send draft messages when they are due for delivery
  • Insert messages into your inbox to let you know if an error occurred
  • Read your Gmail Calendar settings to determine your timezone

Note that the permissions listed below only grant Mail Boss access to messages in your "Drafts" folder. Though it can add notices to your inbox, Mail Boss cannot read, modify, or delete messages from anywhere outside the "Drafts" folder. The following is a list of the specific Gmail "scopes" (i.e., permissions) requested by Mail Boss and required for it to perform its functions:

  • https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.compose (create, read, update, and send messages from your "Drafts" folder)
  • https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.insert (insert error notifications into your inbox and attach labels to scheduled messages)
  • https://www.googleapis.com/auth/gmail.labels (create Mail Boss labels)
  • https://www.googleapis.com/auth/calendar.settings.readonly (get your timezone)

You can find more information about these permissions here:

https://developers.google.com/gmail/api/auth/scopes
https://developers.google.com/calendar/auth

In summary, when you click on the "Enable in Gmail" button at the top of this page, you will be prompted to grant these permissions to Mail Boss. Though you are required to trust Mail Boss to some extent, please note that these permissions are only used to perform the functions described above and that Mail Boss only examines the subject lines of your draft emails. The bodies of draft messages are never viewed or stored and messages outside of the "Drafts" folder are not accessible.

If you still have concerns about granting these permissions to Mail Boss, we recommend that you create a new Gmail account specifically for the purpose of sending recurring emails and then enable Mail Boss on this new account (which shouldn't contain any sensitive information). Of course, you always maintain control of your account and can revoke these permissions at any time from here:

https://myaccount.google.com/permissions