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Here's a simple scenario I can't find any free solutions to:

  1. I am sending an email to a client to which I want to get a response within 3 days.
  2. If I get a response, I don't want to be bothered with false-positive reminders.
  3. If I don't get a response within those 3 days, I want a reminder reminding me to follow up on it.

I am using GMail (although I am willing to use a non-web based email client if all else fails).

That's all I am asking for and I can't find a free solution on the Internet.

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Similar question on Web Applications StackExchange: webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/33317/… –  Jon Schneider Feb 26 '13 at 15:44
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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

While I've not (yet) used it myself, it looks like FollowUp comes close to providing what you're looking for. You can have it send you a reminder email just by adding the appropriate FollowUp email address to one of the addressee (to, cc, or bcc) fields of your outgoing email. If your recipient replies before your reminder comes in, you can cancel a reminder by either forwarding the message to the FollowUp cancel address or adding that cancel address as a cc/bcc if/when you reply to your customer. See the FollowUp Reminders page for more details.

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You didn't say what operating system you're using. I'm going to assume you can use Linux for this answer.

With nmh (a derivative of MH-E) you could write a script (Perl, Bash, etc) that would look through your +inbox for messages without a follow-up. The script would not be trivial, but it could be done.

I'm certain you can't use gmail and do what you want.

I'd like to suggest an alternative solution, that is not automatic, but should work: Cc yourself on all client communication, and each day scan your inbox to see if you have unreplied emails that are >3 days old.

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Apparently, Boomerang for Gmail can do this:

Boomerang reminder functionality screenshot

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The feature you're looking for is a common element in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or contact management software (the latter being a subset of the former). One of the most popular of those is SalesForce.com, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM is popular, too. There are even applications that run as add-ins to Outlook (Dynamics has one, I don't know about SalesForce.com).

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