Getting "Mailbox"-like reminders for mail messages

30 September 2015, 03:04

I’m a huge fan of Dropbox’s Mailbox app, which introduced the idea of being able to send emails into the future so that they disappear and then drop back into your inbox at some point – maybe later that day, for example, or next week. It allows you to efficiently deal with emails. If I get a message from my wife during the working day that I’m too busy to deal with, I can send it forward in time to 6pm when I finish work and will be able to give it my full attention.

Alas, Mailbox has always been very buggy and I’m not sure Dropbox care that much about developing it any longer. I also like to stick to using built-in apps because they work best across all my Apple devices.

Here’s how to get similar Mailbox functionality PROVIDED you have an iPhone or iPad AND have updated to iOS 9 or later.

Simply view the mail on your iPhone or iPad, then bring up Siri and say:

Remind me of this today at 6pm

Simple as that. You can then archive the message if you’re using Gmail and like to keep an empty inbox. I haven’t tried deleting the message but I suspect even that will work. Siri will simply bring it up to show you at the specified time although it won’t return it to the inbox.

Of course, you could say “Remind me of this tomorrow” or even “Remind me of this in April 2016”. One thing to remember is to specify AM or PM for the time, because I’ve noticed that Siri can make the wrong assumptions. I’ve said things like, “Set an alarm for seven tomorrow” and had Siri set the alarm for 7PM, rather than 7AM.

Irritatingly, this trick doesn’t work on the Apple Watch. Siri will tell you, “Sorry, I can’t remind you about the Mail app.”

Know better?