A Better, Simpler Interface

FollowUpThen can do so much. Yet people love it because of its simplicity. Merging these two concepts into a user interface has been no small design challenge. After the screenshots and animations below, I share some details about the how we walked this line, our philosophy and general approach.

But first, the highlights!

Simpler Task Listing

We grouped upcoming followups by time (a popular request) and hid a number of secondary actions. The focus of the page is now clearly on the flow of future information – the main thing we are trying to do.

Search and filter utilities that were on the sidebar have been deprioritized. They are still there, just tactfully waiting on the sidelines, ready when you need them.

Flattened Menu Structure

The main menu and other menus now follow a simple, popular convention: A few primary actions, followed by an ellipsis that offers additional items. There is no more settings submenu. Fewer clicks. Less digging.

Animation showing top menu

Simpler Followup Details

Followup details are also simpler, helping you focus on your upcoming followups, not the user interface.

New followup details

There are fewer primary controls on the page, but the interactions still feel like they are right at your fingertips. Additional actions (adding attachments, controlling recipients, etc are available under the expanded menu). Here is how it looks to reschedule a task:

Rescheduling a followup

Our Design Approach

The appeal of FUT is its single-purpose utility: We put information in your inbox at the perfect moment.

It's nice to look at a piece of software and know exactly how it should be used, especially when the use-case is simple, like scheduling a message to be sent at the right time.

But as FollowUpThen finds its way into someone's daily workflow, things begin to change. There are not only edge cases, odd followup scenarios and strange emails. There are opportunities.

For example, some of our users are sales professionals. For them, connecting FUT with their CRM transforms FUT into a personal assistant that brokers data to and from their CRM, saving them pain and the toil of data entry.

Useful! But not everyone needs a CRM.

There are many, similar scenarios – accountants, executives, project managers, coaches all have unique workflows and ways of leveraging FUT that were well beyond what we could have imagined. We (and our users) are only beginning to explore the possibilities.

The challenge is avoiding the dreaded one-size-fits-all product. The perfect feature for one person is, after all, just clutter for someone else. Too many products go this way – a once simple and elegant solution, "improved" to a point of unusable complexity.

What is the solution?

Many companies facing this scenario commit the entire product to a market niche. For example, making FollowUpThen a dedicated tool for Real Estate professionals.

We, for better or worse, took a different approach. It looks something like this:

  1. Simplicity. Find the lowest common denominator – the single, essential quality that is valuable to every FollowUpThen user. (Time travel, in our case)
  2. Extensibility. This applies both to the product experience and to the technical foundations. Users can extend the product. We (and soon others) can offer add-on functionality in self-contained packages called "Skills"
  3. Discoverability. Encourage users to explore and enable new features only when they prove valuable.

These foundations have led us down a path that, so far, looks promising. With this new design update, the product is starting to feel simple. The pieces are coming together. And the extensibility of our technology is exciting. (I can't wait to show our developer community our API / extension system).

At its core, FollowUpThen is just a means to get an email in your future inbox. Many of our users have been happily using FUT for over 10 years needing only this and nothing more.

Others came for the simplicity but stayed because they found something much more valuable: a personal assistant, one they could fine-tune to perfectly streamline their most important business workflows.

Either way, we start at the same place: simplicity.

And if we can make someone's life a little less complex and easier to manage through a simple piece of software, everyone wins.

As always, comments and feedback are welcome. Feel free let us know what you think here or @followupthen on Twitter.


Meet your new, simpler followup assistant. Now in open beta!

🚀 The new FollowUpThen is now available in open beta. Billing limits have gone into effect. To migrate your account, log in with your existing username and password at app.followupthen.com. Feedback is welcome!

In the past few months, we've completed hundreds of refinements and bug fixes. These include  performance improvements, pricing refinements, design changes, documentation and more. We also have been on a mission to enhance the best part of FollowUpThen –  its simplicity.

Simplified Pricing

Our new pricing reflects the simplicity of the new FollowUpThen. No more feature grids and plan levels. Now it's just this:

  • One base plan. Unlimited followups. All essential skills.
  • Minimal free version with limits.
  • Optional premium Skills – like an app store for FUT.

This pricing seems like a natural fit, but getting to this level of simplicity was hard. It required clarifying soul-searching, starting over (a few times!) and rediscovering the central-most concept of FollowUpThen: The fact that we want to play the role of a personal assistant more than a "tool".

Charging for a personal assistant is different than charging for the use of a tool. Tools are used. Personal assistants are employed. They are trained, they acquire skills and become more valuable.

Thank you to the many users who took the time to have meaningful discussions about FollowUpThen and what it means to their workflow. This qualitative feedback was indispensable.

When you migrate to our new version, you will be placed on a plan with comparable features. Sorting out the migration for  (dozens!) of legacy package plan / plan states was no small feat, but the task is now complete and ready for you to come on board.

Team Pricing

Our team billing fits perfectly with our new pricing. A team owner can hire an affordable personal followup assistant for everyone on their team for only $4/mo (billed annually).  In addition, the team owner can assign individual team member budgets – with each team member having a different budget. This gives team members the freedom to add skills unique to their workflows while controlling overall team costs. More about team plans.

Changes to Free Plan

We will be limiting the functionality of our free plan in the coming months. This is being done to improve our focus on business productivity, encourage people to move to our new base plan, and simplify FollowUpThen for new users.

These features are now only available in our new base plan. They will no longer be in the free plan:

  • Recurring reminders
  • Tasks (-t)
  • Cancellation (-c)
  • Email-based actions

We have also changed to count active followups, instead of newly scheduled followups per month.

Why the changes? In short, simplicity. Removing features from the free plan makes the product simpler to use and simpler to maintain. Free accounts with zombie reminders (mindlessly emailing inboxes that are never checked) and rarely used features introduced complexity –  taking from the time that could be spent making a better product, one that is worth paying for.

Pricing Per Connected Inbox

Connecting to your inbox directly to FollowUpThen enables advanced functionality such as response detection. It is also one of the most labor-intensive parts of our system. To account for this, connected inboxes will now cost $4/mo per connected inbox, billed annually ($5/mo billed monthly).

A few points of note:

  • This does not apply to linked addresses, only to connections between FUT and your inbox which use your email login credentials.
  • Existing accounts will have no price changes at this time.
  • We will not shut off currently connected inboxes.
  • If you are over limit, adding newly inboxes will be limited unless you are on the corresponding plan for that number of connected inboxes.

Other Simplifications

Further to our theme of simplifying, we made a few difficult decisions to remove some major new parts of our system:

  • We killed bulk followups In theory, FollowUpThen is the perfect place for all of your followup needs (bulk, one-to-one, one-to-many, etc.) In practice, it doesn't work that way. People love the simplicity of FUT. It is a good-enough solution for most of your followups, not the expensive "complete full-featured followup solution".
  • We killed delayed emails For the same reasons as above, we removed the ability to send delayed emails. It did not align with the reasons people already love and use FUT. It added some interesting new use-cases, but ones which are already well served by existing products.
  • We de-prioritized "People" We moved the "People" section to an optional Skill, leaving the main parts of FollowUpThen as simply "Followups" and "Skills." For most users, it will stay that way. For those who need a light-weight way to organize relationships, you can enable this for only $4/mo (billed annually).

Removing these features re-focused our efforts on being the best, simplest followup assistant we can be.

Your personal assistant

FollowUpThen remains a personal followup assistant. During this (long!) experimental beta period, we tried many things. We connected with many users and explored various markets. We're happy to be returning to the simplicity that has defined FollowUpThen for so many of our users.

As we continue to expand functionality, we hope to always be "just another recipient" for you that you can loop into a conversation when you need a followup. How and when that followup arrives might take a little magic on our end. To you, it's just your personal assistant doing their job.

And with that, we're happy to release our latest version in open beta 🚀 You can migrate your account by logging in with your existing username and password at app.followupthen.com.

As always, feel free to get in touch with any feedback!

White label followups, flexible pricing, team accounts, Zapier and Google Calendar

This is the last major release before our open beta, which is right around the corner. The new FollowUpThen is flexible, stable, open and sets the stage for exciting things to come.

Here are the latest developments!

White Label Sending

At long last! Followups can now be sent from your own email address – without mention of FollowUpThen.

White label email followup

This feature applies both to cc followups, as well as delayed emails scheduled from the new web app.

The email shown here is how a followup might appear to your recipient using the traditional cc followup. The followup message can be customized in your settings.

The animation below shows following up from the web app – a new dimension for FUT. This is especially useful when combined with our new People feature. For example, while exchanging emails with people, you can tag people (see below). Later, when it's time to follow up, select them by tag (up to 20 recipients for now) and send a bulk, white label followup. Here are some examples:

Bulk followup from the new web app

Product release
Customers are asking for a new feature. As you exchange emails with them, tag the ones who are interested – Ex: p.widgetizer@fut.io (widgetizer is your tag). When your shiny new feature is ready, go to your People section, filter by tag and schedule a bulk, white label followup. (Remember the autocomplete feature of your email client. Physically, you just would just type p. and your various tags would autocomplete.)

Chasing up your team
You are planning an event. Several of your staff have roles independent of their normal duties. As you email them, tag them with their special role. You can even do this as part of another followup. For example: 3weeks-p.greeter@fut.io (this simultaneously tags them with greeter. It also sets a followup for 3 weeks). As the event approaches, select all of your greeters and send them a message.

Career moves, changing jobs, moving and other life events sometimes require more than just a LinkedIn or Facebook post. By tagging these close contacts, you can stay in better touch with the people who matter to you.

New Pricing: Fair and Flexible

Build your own plan

People new to FollowUpThen love it because it's simple and affordable. Power users love it because, with pro features, it works for the most demanding scenarios. In other words, FollowUpThen scales with your needs. Our new pricing model now works the same way:

  • Base Plan: We now have one, simple base plan for $4/mo paid annually.
  • Add-Ons: Response detection, white label sending and sms reminders can now be purchased á-la-carte from our Skills marketplace or as part of a package.

Read more about our new billing plans

In sum, if you're looking for a dead-simple simple reminder tool, look no further than the base plan. If your inbox needs are demanding enough to make an additional investment, you can browse the skills marketplace and install the exact skill that meets your needs – without incurring the cost or complexity of a one-size-fits-all upgrade.

Team Accounts: Fair and Individualized Pricing

Our new flexible pricing model is useful for individuals, but in a team environment, it opens the door to an entirely new model of enterprise productivity – one that is based on individualized tools, employee empowerment and flexible price points. This new model may even inspire your team members to become more productive. (No, really! ..keep reading)

Based on years of customer conversations, we know that inbox demands, workflows and productivity styles can be vastly different between team members – even for those who share the same role. A common factor for boosting productivity, however, is the decision to optimize.

Productivity is a mindset just as much as it is a piece of software. As many CIOs know, buying a piece of software for your team is not enough. Without the right mindset, the software goes unused.

That is why we created our team accounts around two key factors:

  1. The moment of discovery. Having an "ah-ha" moment about a productivity feature is far more likely to benefit a team member than forcing them to adopt a workflow or feature by managerial decree.
  2. Team member empowerment. The new system allows team owners to provide customized budgets for each team member. This not only increases autonomy (strongly correlated with job satisfaction), it helps foster a sense of personal investment into their own productivity workflow.

There are many other benefits to structuring plans in this way: The company does not have to weigh the complexities of one-size-fits-all plans, the company pays only for the budget used, and the employee is autonomous, invested, and retains control over their own productivity workflow. Everyone wins.

Read more about the new team plans and feel free to contact us if you are interested in bringing your whole team on board.

Team Account Listing

Google Calendar

Google Calendar <-> FUT syncing
We have had calendar synchronization for years. This is something much more. Our new native Google Calendar integration is a full two-way synchronization between FUT and Google Calendar. Now you can manage your future followups directly from your calendar by simply dragging and dropping events. If you postpone a followup via email or the web app, the changes now show up almost instantly in your calendar.  Try it out!.


Zapier is a powerful integrations platform which can connect FollowUpThen with thousands of other applications using their visual integration tools. If you are familiar with Zapier, you may already be imagining the possibilities: synchronizing your followups with your todo list, synchronizing your CRM, your address book, your invoicing system. So many possibilities! If you have never worked with Zapier and you are interested in automating and integrating your various tools, it is worth a look.  Try out the new Zapier skill!

Memorize (Spaced Repetition)

Memorization buttons
Last but not least is a simple, yet powerful new skill: Memorize. Sending an email to mem@fut.io will create a recurring followup using a memorization technique called spaced repetition.  In short, it adds increasing amounts of time between subsequent reminders as you (or someone else) begin to memorize something. This has shown great results for studying and memorizing facts, but it can do so much more. For example, let's say you just met a great new contact. How often should you follow up with them to make sure they don't forget about your product / service? 🤔 Try it out by sending an email to mem@fut.io

Get in touch

Feel free to send an email to help@humans.fut.io with any feedback, for team upgrade inquiries or just to say hi. A public release is right around the corner and we would be happy to hear from you.

People, Delayed Sending, Bulk Actions, Performance Improvements and More

Our latest release to FollowUpThen V3 includes some of our most-requested features, performance improvements, and new ways to optimize your working relationships. Request an invitation to the beta here!


Personal reminders are handy – remembering to pay bills, adopting a new habit, and sending yourself inspirational quotes can make your day better.

But in a team environment, one followup can make or break a new deal, project, product release, or an entire company.

Most followups are, in fact, related to another person in some way – sales, task delegation and project management are all team activities. FollowUpThen is great for tracking individual micro-tasks. But what about the times you needed to follow up, but you didn't realize it until that very moment? For example: Giving vendors a new mailing address, product announcements, or reaching out to colleagues before a conference.

This is why we decided to include People as a core resource in FollowUpThen.

Effortlessly manage people in your followups

Don't worry, this is not yet-another-out-of-date-contact-list. The people in this list are added automatically from the followups you schedule. People's names and emails are parsed out of the messages you send to FollowUpThen, including people in forwarded messages. This means the data entry is done for you.

Our goal is to help you follow up with the right people at the right time – without the effort.

Manage people from your email
  • View / manage people 
    Search and filter people, perform bulk actions (Ex: export them to your CRM, mailing list, etc.)
  • Manage people from your email (-p) 
    By adding -p to your date format (or adding it as a default option), you will receive additional information about the people in your followup. Try it now! Send or forward a message to 1min-p@fut.io
  • Follow up with people in bulk
    Select a subset of people and send a followup to them (or only to yourself about them) with just a few clicks.

Here are a few interesting workflows that are now available:

  1. Meeting agendas: Before meeting with someone, pull up their "People" page to view outstanding followups. Add notes, which will appear with your next followup.
  2. "By the way..." followups: Include -p in your date format to receive a list of other upcoming followups you have with that person.
  3. Bulk Followups: Sometimes, you need to follow up with a group of people only when a certain event happens, rather than a specific time. The new People tab lets you do exactly this.

We are excited to see how you use this new aspect of FollowUpThen.

Delayed Sending

One of our most requested features is finally available – the ability to schedule a followup to be sent at a later date, without sending any emails now.

Delayed sending lets you follow up with the right people at exactly the right time, and not a moment sooner.

There are two ways to schedule a delayed followup:

  1. Go to the Followups page and create a new followup message for "someone else."
  2. Go to the "People" tab, select the people you'd like to follow up with, then schedule your message.

There is even a "Preview" tab showing how the future email will look.

Note: white label sending is on our roadmap. Followup emails show your name as the "From" field, your email in the "reply-to," but the messages still come from "noreply@followupthen.com." (Required to avoid spam filters.)

Bulk Actions

Our new Bulk Actions utility lets you manage hundreds of future tasks and people with ease.

  • Going on vacation next week? Reschedule next week's followups with just a few clicks.
  • Export tomorrow's followups as a CSV for an easy to read agenda.
  • Quickly delete and complete tasks to keep your future inbox free and clear.
  • Timeline shift? Trigger a selection of followups to send now.

Bulk actions help you schedule followups carefree, knowing you can always find, cancel, and reschedule them with ease. Controlling your future inbox has never been more efficient.

Improved Followup Editing

Our new editing features let you take control over every aspect of your future followups, including:

  • Managing future recipients
  • Managing non-recipients (people linked with followup, but who will not receive the reminder).
  • Adding attachments
  • Quickly editing task contents
  • Previewing future followups

Curate your future inbox by giving yourself and others exactly the right data at the right moment.


  • Send your team a recurring reminder with essential policies, helping them to keep these top of mind.
  • Link an existing followup to a new person to surface it when viewing other followups from them.
  • Add notes to a future reminder.

Faster, Better Design

As you explore these improvements, you will find pages loading more quickly, better fonts, icons, and general design improvements. We hope this makes the experience of managing your future followups more fun and efficient.

We're hiring: Join a small, remote team with a quickly evolving product and an exciting roadmap. We're looking for a jack-of-all-trades Product Manager to help us build the future of FollowUpThen. Modest salary, great stock options. The future is bright! Email reilly+jobs@humans.fut.io

As always, hit reply with any feedback. What stands out? What is missing? We'd love to hear from you!

Make Time for Now

Some moments are more important than others – despite the messages in our inbox, the demands on our time and requests from colleagues. These moments still come, and they go.

FollowUpThen can be used for many things, but one of the most powerful may simply be this:

Making time for things that matter.

For the next 2 weeks we are removing limits on any emails forwarded, bcc'ed or sent directly to FollowUpThen (on all plans we offer, including the free plan).

So feel free to forward the noise our way (1week@followupthen.com, J8amJune26th@followupthen.com or {any-time}@followupthen.com) so you can focus on the present.

The voices that matter the most right now are those that are logical, that can think systemically and that can think about long-term change. It gives me hope that these attributes describe our typical FollowUpThen user.

In the interest of starting meaningful conversations, I wanted to share one of our core values for FollowUpThen employees and team members:

FollowUpThen is a common chapter we share within each of our individual and unique stories. Just as we try to respect each other's time and attention, so do we respect each other's freedom to write our own stories. We only request that your story allows for the existence of other stories which, even if (very) different than yours, are no less valid.
Be aware of the mental trap of thinking that "different is wrong." Instead, recognize the value of being in an environment where everyone is free to be their own unique individuals with their own ideas and opinions, even if they are very different from anyone else's. This is the environment we hope to create for you, and that we hope that you will create for others.

We hope this temporary removal of followup limits helps make time to participate in peaceful and productive conversations about prejudice, intolerance and racism.

FollowUpThen 3.0 Preview

Summary: Skip ahead to the "Skills" section for screenshots and highlights, request an invitation to the private beta here or continue reading for the full backstory of the new FollowUpThen.

We can't wait to show you the new FollowUpThen. It is the product of years of feedback, dozens of productivity insights and a long journey into the developer tools space.

We realize that you haven't heard from us for a while. For the past 2 years, we were building a bot framework for email. A few months ago we did some soul-searching and realized that our hearts lie with FUT, as many of yours do, too.

We're excited to be focused again on the productivity space, this time with an arsenal of cutting-edge tools and some refreshing new ideas.

Goal: Maintain Simplicity

When we thought about improving FollowUpThen we were faced with an immediate challenge: How do you add functionality to a product whose main value is its own simplicity?

FollowUpThen can solve so many productivity problems (todo lists, personal assistants, CRM, shopping lists, etc) yet people love it because of its simplicity.

After experimenting with visual design, layouts and feature ideas a breakthrough finally happened. But it wasn't with the product itself – it was in the way we were thinking about the product.

A lot has been written about the use of mental models in design, and for good reason - this concept is powerful. (Side note: If you are involved in the design or creation of products I highly recommend reading Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things, which covers mental models in detail, among several other valuable design concepts).

But this is where the new FollowUpThen begins – with a new way of thinking about the product that makes it even simpler than before.

Reminder → Assistant

To "remind" is to "re" (again) "mind" (bring into the mind). A reminder implies some level of influence over our most valuable asset – our minds.

So what would the ideal reminder do?

It would make the most out of our minds!

Merely calling attention to something, however, is not making the most out our minds. The items on our todo lists and emails left in our inbox are great reminders. The problem is that we can't do anything about them right now – so why are we thinking about them?! Yes, they "re-minded" us, but nothing productive happened as a result of this mental effort.

A reminder, in fact, is only half the productivity equation. To actually get something done, we not only have to think about it, we have to do it. Stated another way: The ideal reminder helps us take action.

But as we stretch the functionality of a reminder into the physical world of getting something done it becomes something more. The word "reminder" falls short because it only describes the mental part of the productivity equation, not the most important part – the action.

This train of thought led us to the new mental model for FollowUpThen – one that simplifies, clarifies our role, and ultimately makes it more far more productive:

The new FollowUpThen is not only a reminder it is a personal assistant.

FollowUpThen, in fact, allows you to be your own personal assistant. Just because that assistant is your "former self" does not change the fact that "someone" is assisting you to complete a task.

To use an example from the timeless Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, watch carefully as Bill's past/future self (the lines blur with time travel) saves the day with more than just a reminder.

Note that Bill did not create a reminder for himself to find the keys (the "reminder" was actually the life situation itself). He took it beyond the mental act of reminding and he put the actual keys right where he needed them.

The new FollowUpThen lets you do exactly this – not only think about something, but place the actual information you need to get something done at the right moment to actually do it.

Your "past self" is the most influential person in your life. The new FollowUpThen optimizes this relationship and gives you the tools to make your future self brilliant.

Making "Productive Moments"

We created a name for a moment like the one in the above clip – we call it a "productive moment." Creating them is the entire goal of FollowUpThen.

We define a productive moment as (1) the right time to do something with (2) exactly what is needed to do, resulting in (3) getting something done at that moment.

FollowUpThen has been creating these moments for years. But we had never isolated the "productive moment" as our primary goal and therefore we were not optimizing for it.

With this in mind, we started to think carefully about what went into such a moment and landed on another key insight: the separation of timing and a flexible new concept we are introducing to the platform.


"Skills" give special abilities to a followup. They are flexible units of functionality that help you accomplish tasks by adding information, performing actions in other systems or controlling timing (ex: continuing to remind you until something is done).

Skills are top-level items in the new FollowUpThen. There is a flexible system to install them, and soon, with a bit of code, create them yourself.

Skill Marketplace

Skills have been creeping into the platform for a while now, even though we were not calling them such. For example:

  • Cancel a reminder if someone replies 3days-r@fut.io (note the -r)
  • Send a text message with your reminder 3days-sms@fut.io (-sms)
  • Keep following up until a task is complete 3days-t@fut.io (-t)

Isolating skills allows us to keep the core system focused on timing and on being an effective, flexible container skills. As a result, the core FollowupThen codebase is simpler than before yet far more flexible.

The email elements in the new version have a refreshing new look, durable email-based action buttons and large mobile-friendly buttons. Clicking the logo takes you to your upcoming followups in the new web app.

Example: GitHub

Someone just left a comment on GitHub. This normally prompts a notification email which leads us to visit the GitHub site to get something done. Let's look at this through the lens of our "productive moment".

Now when a comment is posted, it arrives in our inbox, as before, but now it comes with previous comments, assignees and one-click buttons to add labels, close the issue or schedule reminders – everything needed (in most cases) to get something done without leaving that one email.

Developers reading this might complain this is not everything needed to act on an issue. This observation holds true for any task. In fact, there are so many different types of tasks that we realized we could not possibly build them into the product.

So we decided to make skills an open platform. We are using this skill framework ourselves to build the core features of FollowUpThen, but early next year we plan on opening skill development for everyone – allowing companies to create custom workflow tools and for independent developers to create productive moments in ways we have not yet imagined.

Email-Only Experience

The new FollowUpThen buttons work purely based on email (a much more durable version than our earlier versions). When clicking one of these buttons, an email is composed that accomplishes an action, for example, postponing a followup.

This same "interactive email" idea is carried through even in the web app.

This design pattern not only provides for a consistent user experience, it also makes skills easy to build, since there is only one UI to think about, no matter where the message is being rendered. This new design can accommodate a huge variety of skills without our having to modify any aspect of the web app.

Time Travel⏳

The new FUT web app shows your upcoming "productive moments" with complete, up-to-date information from your skill (for example, getting GitHub API or CRM data). This allows you to complete that productive moment right within the FollowUpThen web app and get your future things done before they actually "happen." This is perfect for for planning ahead, clearing your schedule, vacations, over-achieving and maintaining general sanity.

..And More

This is just a preview of some of the features of the new FollowUpThen. There are a number of other improvements and many more on the horizon.

Try It Out

Expedite your invitation to the new system by filling out a short survey. We'd love to hear what you think!

Thanks to all of our long-time FUT users for making this journey such a pleasure. We cannot wait to see the heights you will attain using the new FollowupThen.

Use-Case: Dating and Relationships

If you talk to someone over some period of time, you'll find yourself with this thing called a "relationship".

Relationships take many forms and range widely in complexity, intimacy and depth. Regardless, all of them boil down to a few essential elements which include communication over some period of time.

The other day I found myself in an interesting conversation with Hayley Matthews, Editor in Chief at datingnews.com. She wanted to know how FollowUpThen could help dating professionals (relationship coaches, owners of dating websites, etc) with their businesses. Our conversation resulted in this article on productivity tips for dating professionals.

During the conversation, I could not help but relay a few stories about users profusely thanking us for saving their relationships and, in multiple cases, their marriage.

One of our introductory videos was actually inspired by one of these relationship near-misses. It shows a Valentines day followup arriving just in time for the forgetful boyfriend/hacker to buy flowers. (The actual user story was a nearly missing an important anniversary).

As one of the creators of the FollowUpThen, I do not often think of it as a personal relationship tool. But – just as a hammer can be used to build a commercial building or a chapel, so can FollowUpThen be used to build a business, or a lasting, loving relationship.

As with many things in life the difference between "good" and "great" can come down the simple things, like remembering to say the right thing at the right time.

Thanks, Hayley for helping to keep things in perspective.

Native Email Integration

FollowUpThen is and will always be an an ordinary email address just like any you would add to the 'to', 'cc' or 'bcc' fields. This simplicity is part of what makes FollowUpThen so appealing.

However, as one graduates from a casual FollowUpThen user into an email-crushing productivity machine, this simple email address begins to show subtle facets, utility and usage techniques that suit even the most demanding email users. You also may find yourself in need certain features only when you reach a certain volume of followups, some of which require a direct connection to your inbox.

Response Detection

One of these features is response detection, which cancels a followup if a reply is received before the reminder due date. This keeps your inbox clutter free when you are sending large numbers of emails to people who may not respond. To enable response detection, make sure you are on a premium plan and append "-r" to your date format. (Ex: 3weekdays-r@fut.io) – this tells FollowUpThen to cancel the reminder if a reply has been received.

Response detection requires a connection to your inbox so we can monitor your email headers for replies (Note: We only look for message-ids – subjects and bodies are not needed). Before now, we used a 3rd party, Context.io (their paid plan) to help broker this connection. This came with some advantages – simplicity of development and maintenance – and some disadvantages – lack of control, limited features and one more layer of complexity.

A New Inbox Connection System ????

Today, I am happy to announce our new direct inbox connection system. It is faster, more robust, more flexible and, most importantly, opens door for some additional features that have been on our roadmap for a long time.

If you are using response detection currently, you will see a notice on message on your followups asking you to connect to the new system.

We migrated your earlier response listeners to this new system, making the transition to this new system seamless. The only thing you have to do to enable this new system is head over to the new new Inbox Connections page in your settings and connect your emails.

If you run into trouble or need help connecting please see this FAQ or contact us for help.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments of feedback!

How We Handle Your Data

New legislation regarding handling the digital information of European Union citizens goes into effect today. The regulation is called the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short.

This legislation provided a great opportunity to talk more about how we treat your data. In short...

As stated in our privacy policies, we are solely in the business of making people more productive. We do not broker data or otherwise monetize your personal information. Because of this fact, the GDPR has not created significant changes in how we handle personal data, in our security protocols or how we store information. We have, however, made some positive improvements.

Read the full article and contact us if you have any questions. If FollowUpThen has made your day more productive day, perhaps you can consider upgrading. Simply asking our customers to pay for a good product is the only way we make money, and, in our opinion, the most fair.

Introducing Recurring Tasks ✔

Tasks (ex: 3days-t@fut.io) are email reminders that continue follow up until they are explicitly marked as completed. 

We're happy announce that recurring tasks are now supported.

For example: 

  • every1st-t@fut.io "Pay phone bill"
  • everyApril1st-t@fut.io "Prepare taxes"
  • everyJanuary1st-t@fut.io "Make New Year's Resolutions"
  • Free accounts can schedule up to 3 tasks per month. Premium accounts get unlimited tasks, and a lot more.

Have a look at the newly created video on tasks, or head over to the full documentation on recurring tasks.