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If you want to schedule an email on your Mac, you have a few possible ways to do this. Sadly, however, the functionality is not a native part of the Apple Mail app. That means you need to look at alternative solutions.
You can either use an entirely separate email app, an Apple Mail plugin, or the oft-overlooked Mac app Automator. We’ll show you how to use these methods to schedule an email on macOS.
How to Schedule an Email Using Automator
Automator is an Apple app that comes pre-installed on all Mac computers. It lets you automate a wide range of tasks and actions by creating workflows and scripts.
If you want to explore some of the great ways you can use Automator, check out our list of time-saving Automator workflows. Today, however, we’re only interested in how to schedule an email in Apple Mail using the app.
1. Create an Email Workflow
To begin, open the Automator app. You will find it in the Utilities folder, or you can easily bring it up by searching in Spotlight with Cmd + Space.
The app will prompt you to select a type of file for your document. Select Application from the list of options, then hit Choose.
Next, expand the list of options under Library in the left-hand menu and click on Mail. You will see a selection of email-based options appear in the adjacent panel. Locate the New Mail Message option in the list and drag it into the main window.
2. Compose Your Email Message
Use the New Mail Message panel to compose the email that you want to automate. As with a regular email, you can add multiple recipients, as well as CC and BCC recipients. If you have multiple email accounts associated with the Mail app, you can also select which account you want to send the message from.
3. Create the Email Automation
Once you’re happy with your message, it’s time to set up Automator to send the email at a specific time.
To do so, head back to the list of email actions in the middle panel and find the option titled Send Outgoing Messages. Again, you need to drag and drop it into the main window. Make sure you drop it below the New Mail Message action that you just set up.
When you’re ready, go to File > Save. Make sure that you choose Application from the File Format dropdown menu before you hit the Save button.
4. Use Calendar to Set the Time and Date to Send the Email
To schedule the email, you need to head to the Calendar app; you can close Automator now.
Use Calendar to navigate to the date when you want the email to send, then create a new event. In the New Event dialog box, click on Alert to expand the dropdown menu. Select Custom from the list of options.
A new mini window will open. Click on Message to expand the dropdown menu, then choose Open File from the list. In the second dropdown menu (where it says Calendar), click on Other. A Finder window will open. Use it to navigate to and select the Workflow you just created in Automator.
To complete the process, click on OK.
5. Leave Your Mac Turned On
You don’t need to do anything else. As long as you set up the calendar entry correctly, you can relax.
There is one condition, however. For the scheduled email to work as expected, you need to ensure that your Mac is turned on and awake at the specified time. If it’s not, your scheduled email will not send.
Other Ways to Schedule an Email on Mac
Sending a scheduled email using Automator is fine for one-off messages. However, if you frequently need to send automatic emails, the process is a bit cumbersome and long-winded. You would be better served using a different approach.
Here are some of the best third-party tools to send an email at a specific time on your Mac.
Mailbutler is one of the best email productivity suites on the market. In additional to Apple Mail, it also works with Gmail and GSuite.
The tool offers message templates, email snooze functionality, reminders, task management, signature templates, email tracking, and a whole lot more. Importantly, Mailbutler also lets you use Apple Mail to schedule an email. The tool is easy to use; it merely adds a Send Later button to Apple Mail’s New Message window.
To unlock the Send Later feature, you need to sign up for the Pro plan. Its pricing is listed in euros at €6.50/month, which is approximately $7.20 at the time of writing.
Download: Mailbutler Pro (~$7.20/month)
2. MailSuite 2019
MailSuite 2019 is a plugin for the Apple Mail app. It consists of four components:
- MailTags: To tag your messages by keywords, projects, importance, color, and due dates.
- Mail Act-On: An email automation tool that includes the email scheduling feature.
- Mail Perspectives: To customize how you navigate your email messages.
- SigPro: An email signature creation tool.
Because it’s a plugin, if you use MailSuite 2019, you can schedule emails from directly within the Apple Mail app. The plugin costs $60 for a lifetime license.
Download: MailSuite ($60)
3. Use a Third-Party Email Client
Lots of third-party email clients for Mac have a built-in way to send an email at a specific time. Two of the most notable include Spark and Airmail.
Of the two, Airmail is the more powerful all-round tool. It has iCloud syncing, support for aliases, a selection of themes, and several additional extensions. However, it costs $27, while Spark is free. Both apps have a version for macOS and iOS.
The Best Ways to Schedule Email on Your Mac
So what is the best way to schedule email on macOS? Much depends on your personal use case.
As mentioned earlier, people who only need to schedule emails occasionally can get by with Automator. If you need to perform the process regularly, a third-party tool or app might be more suitable. You also need to decide whether you want to stick with Apple Mail or if you’re happy to move to a third-party email client.
To take email even further, have a look at ways to make Apple Mail more productive for professionals.