Use Your Email To Never Forget Anything with FollowupThen

I don’t know how many times I get an email and it has something in it that’s important, so I do one of two things. I either leave it in my inbox or I archive it thinking that I am going to remember about it later. We all know how this goes: it either gets buried under all my other emails and I never look at it or I just forget about it. Or what about this scenario, you are out and about and you remember that you need to stop at the grocery store on the way home for milk. I know for me, I tend to just shoot myself a quick email so that I can remember or I put it in my task manager app and set an alarm. But, these never seem to work the way that I want them to and since I change task managers like I change my clothes, that doesn’t help either.

That is why when I came across FollowUpThen (FUT), I just had to try it out and see if it could work for me. The minute I started to use it, I started to see the potential and the different ways that I could use it to remember things. FUT is so simple to use and learn that you will find yourself using it literally in seconds.

How It Works

The core idea behind FUT is that it is a way to use your email to send yourself reminders or to create action items based off of them. So, let’s say for example you get an email from your wife saying “Please get milk on your way home from work.” If you know that you are planning to leave the office around 4pm, you can turn the email into an action item, but replying back to the email with the following address “[email protected]”, then hit “Send”. You will then get the same email again at 4pm to reminding you that you need to get milk on the way home. Basically, any email that you get or create can be sent to you based upon the ¬†address you put in. So, I signed up for a premium FUT account, which I will talk about later, and they give you a free 30 day trial. Then I sent myself an email with the address “[email protected]” and in the subject I put “Remember to either cancel your account or just leave it.” This will then create an email that I will get 20 days from now reminding me about the free trial that I signed up for.

Setting up email for 20 days from now

Setting up email for 20 days from now

FUT is not only for personal things, it can also be great for businesses as well. I know for me as a teacher, I am constantly emailing students and parents about certain things and asking them to respond, but half the time I forget to followup if they haven’t responded. When you want to remind both you and the person you are sending the email to, you can use the CC address and use the same format as I did above. Whatever address you use, let’s say I want to remind myself and the other person in 5 days, I would put “[email protected]” in the CC field and then we would both get email reminders.

Setting up reminder email for you and someone else

Setting up reminder email for you and someone else

There are a wide variety of different time formats that you can use to send your emails to. They can be as simple as saying “[email protected]” or even as detailed as “[email protected]”, which says that you will get the email at 10pm on July 30th. You can state specific days, week, time, date, and even recurring reminders so that you get them every week, or whatever time period you decide.

Different time formats

Different time formats

Premium Features

Everything that I have mentioned up until now is all free to use. But there are some other features that are worth noting that are part of the premium package, which will cost $24/year. First, if you want to have a more detailed look at all of the emails that you have FUT’ed, then you can head over to their website and you can see a week view of everything action you have done. They can be edited there and you can also create new ones as well. The nice thing is that you can hook up more than one email address with your premium account, so in my case I use this on my home email as well as on my work email and I still only pay the $24/year.

Web view of all your actions

Web view of all your actions

Secondly, as I had mentioned before, this can be a good app for business, FUT definitely caters to business people in that you can customize your FollowUpThen emails with a variety of things. You can have your company name, logo, and change the colors of the background and text. This is a great way for companies and even you personally, to create your own cool looking follow up email.

Customizing your emails

Customizing your emails

There are a couple other premium features worth talking about and one of them is that you can send yourself text messages with FUT. So, let’s say you want to remind yourself about that milk you need to buy on the way home, but instead of an email, you want it texted to you. After you link your cell phone with the app, you can then send an email to “[email protected]” and then you will get an SMS message with the reminder.

Getting a SMS reminder

Getting a SMS reminder

The last premium feature is that you can link your FUT account with Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. When you create a FUT email, it will also create an event on the calendar that you decide to link to. The nice part about this feature is that not only will you get a reminder email, but you can also have it on your calendar so that you can also plan ahead.

Integration with Google Cal

Integration with Google Cal (Screenshot used from FUT website)

Final Thoughts

Personally, I have to say that I really love using this service for a couple of reasons. One, it kills two birds with one stone, in that I can get through my email better and not have a whole bunch of them just sitting in my inbox to remind me. Secondly, since I have gone to more of a minimal task management system, I have been missing alarms for certain tasks, and this takes care of that for me. The app itself works great and it is very intuitive and easy to use. I love that I can get started right away and not have to go through some lengthy sign up process. I also love the premium features and although I have the 30 day trial to test them out, I can definitely see myself staying with them for the long haul.

Overall, FUT is a great service, one that you think “How come no one came up with this before?” It seems so simple, yet I haven’t seen anything like it. If you are looking for a way to clear out that cluttered email box or you just need a good way to remind you about something important, I would highly suggest you go and try this service out. The more I started to play with this, the more I started to realize how vital this can be for me and my workflow, and I can almost bet it will do the same for you.


Summary

Create email reminders for you and others using a unique, time based email address with FollowUpThen.

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