Useful App for Pro Translators: Boomerang for Gmail Review

Screenshot of pro translator using Boomerang for Gmail to pause inbox

Written by Gwenydd Jones

Spanish-to-English translator and translator trainer

As a pro translator, I’m always looking for apps to make my working life more efficient. I found Boomerang for Gmail when I was looking for a way to get email read receipts. But it offers much more than that. I’m now finding it so useful that I can’t help but share.

What is Boomerang for Gmail?

Boomerang for Gmail is a freemium app made by Baydin. The main features I use as a professional translator are: inbox pause, read receipts and programming sending. It has lots of other features, which you can read about on the Boomerang website.

How does Boomerang for Gmail work?

On the Boomerang website, you go to “Install” and then add it as an extension to Chrome. When you compose your emails in Gmail, you’ll see a new line of Boomerang options.

Why is Boomerang useful for pro translators?

Inbox pause

Pausing your inbox means that no new emails will come in while it’s paused. This feature takes the form of a button in the left sidebar of your Gmail inbox. You can set it for hours, days or weeks. I use this feature for two main purposes.

Firstly, it helps with focus while I’m working. I set it to allow emails to come in once an hour. That means the longest my clients will have to wait for a response is 60 minutes. The benefit for me is that I don’t get distracted during that hour, which improves my productivity.

Secondly, I pause it at the end of the working day until the next morning, or on a Friday until Monday morning. I do this to avoid the temptation of just clicking in to see what’s there. Disconnecting in this way means I relax when I’m supposed to and work when I’m supposed to. It makes me better at both activities.

Email read receipts

This involves getting a confirmation email from Boomerang when someone opens your email. The options include telling you if the email was opened or reminding you if you don’t get a reply. 

Check out this independent review of an email app that can help pro translators gain focus and disconnect better: Boomerang for Gmail. @boomerang #t9n Click To Tweet

Getting confirmation of email openings can be extremely useful for a pro translator. I tend to use it on translation deliveries, quotes and invoices. 

With deliveries it gives me a safety net. It’s a way of identifying if my translation delivery didn’t get to my client. On the odd occasion this has happened, I was able to pre-empt a problem by getting in touch with the client. 

When I quote, most of my emails don’t get a response. Using Boomerang means I don’t have to wonder whether my quote was seen. I can then make follow-up decisions accordingly. This avoids me wasting time when people aren’t interested. 

With invoices and late-payment follow-ups, I can rest assured they’ve got there. This saves worry and gives me an indication of whether non-payment is deliberate or not.

Transparency with email read receipts

The recipient is told that you’ve requested a read receipt and they have the option to stop it being sent. This is positive because it ensures transparency. On the downside, it means it isn’t 100% reliable. If you don’t get a confirmation, it could be that the recipient has stopped it.

You get 10 read receipts a month with the free version (with a chance to earn more) and they are unlimited if you pay.

Programming email sending

I use the “send later” feature when I’m working out of hours. I do this because I don’t want to dig my own grave by creating the expectation that I’m available 24-7. With this feature, I can write an email on a Sunday afternoon if I want, but not have it go out until Monday morning.

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