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Defer Items in Your Outlook Inbox, and Get to Inbox Zero, With Boomerang for Outlook

boomerang for outlook logoI’ve been using Mailbox on my iPhone for over a week now, and one of the features that I like the best is the ability to defer items in my email inbox. With a swipe and a tap, I can temporarily get an item out of my inbox, and set it to reappear at a future date (yes, I can hear the GTDer’s out there screeching in horror that I don’t just move it into my GTD system). I like the feature so much that I longed for the ability to do the same on my desktop at work, where we use Microsoft Outlook. The hunt was on.

It didn’t take me long to find Boomerang for Outlook, an Outlook plugin whose sole purpose is to let you defer messages to a later date. When you want to defer a message, you hit a dropdown menu, and select when you want the message to reappear in your inbox. The message will disappear (it gets moved to a “Boomerang” folder), and make a reappearance at the chosen time.

Boomerang dropdown

I’ve had one glitch with Boomerang. I can’t get the Boomerang menu onto the Quick Access Toolbar, so that it is quickly available from within the mail message itself, instead of just in the message list. Boomerang’s support team sent me instructions on how to do it, but those instructions didn’t work for me. I have a follow up email in to Boomerang support, who were quick to respond to my initial inquiry. I’ll see how it goes.

Boomerang for Outlook costs $29.95, and has a one week free trial. If you know of other mail deferral options in Outlook, let me know in the comments. For a non-native method of deferring mail, check out my previous post on Followupthen and