If you want to schedule an email on your Mac, you have a few ways to do it. Sadly, until macOS Monterey releases, none of them are as simple as clicking a button in Apple’s Mail app because it doesn’t have any native scheduling functions yet. But there are other ways of scheduling emails on your Mac.
You can either use an entirely separate email app, an Apple Mail plugin, or the often-overlooked Automator app. We’ll show you how to use these methods to schedule an email in Apple Mail and other apps below.
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 Automator apps you can create in five minutes. Today, however, we’re only interested in how to use the app alongside the Calendar to schedule an email in Apple Mail. Just follow these steps to do it.
Step 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. When the app opens, select New Document. The app will prompt you to select a file type for your document. Select Application from the list of options, then hit Choose.
Expand the list of options under Library in the left-hand menu and click on Mail. Locate the New Mail Message option in the list that appears in the adjacent panel and drag it into the main window.
Step 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, while adding any CC and BCC contacts you like. If you have multiple email accounts associated with the Mail app, you can also select which account you want to send the message from.
Step 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.
Head back to the list of Mail 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 it goes below the New Mail Message action that you just set up.
When you’re ready, go to File > Save. Make sure the File Format dropdown menu is set to Application before you hit the Save button.
Step 4. Use Calendar to Set the Time and Date to Send the Email
To actually schedule the email, you’ll need to open the Calendar app and navigate to the date when you want the email to send. Create a new event on the date by Control-clicking and selecting New Event.
In the window that appears, set the Starts field to the time you want your email to be sent. Click on the Add Alert, Repeat or Travel Time line to access the Alert dropdown menu and select Custom in it. Set the Message with sound dropdown to Open file.
The Calendar dropdown will appear. Click on it and select Other. In the Finder window that appears, navigate to the Application Workflow you created in Automator and click Select. Set the Minutes before dropdown in the New Event window to At time of event before hitting OK.
Step 5. Leave Your Mac Turned On
As long as you set up the calendar entry correctly, your email is now scheduled and should go out right on time.
There is just one condition. 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.
It’s therefore best to schedule emails to go out at times you know you’ll be using your Mac if you use this method. To schedule an email for a time your Mac can’t be on and awake, take a look at the next section.
Other Ways to Schedule an Email on Your Mac
If you need to schedule emails to go out during your off hours, or just don’t want to write your emails in Automator, you might want to try getting a plugin for the Mail app, or using a different email application.
There are some great native features that make Mail incredibly productive for professionals, but plugins can add even more features to the app, like email scheduling. There are also other Mac-friendly email applications have email scheduling built into them.
Below, you’ll find the plugins and apps we recommend getting for scheduling your emails 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 Microsoft Outlook. The tool integrates with your Mail app and offers message templates, email snooze functionality, reminders, task management, signature templates, email tracking, and a whole lot more.
Most 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.
Send Later is a feature in Mailbutler’s Essential plan, which is free to use. However, using this your emails will send with a Mailbutler watermark on them. To avoid the watermark, you can upgrade to Mailbutler’s Professional plan for $11 a month or $110 a year. There are also more expensive Professional+ and Business plans.
You can try Mailbutler’s 14-day free trial to decide if you want premium features. If you don’t, the trial transitions into the Essential plan, which still lets you schedule emails.
Download: Mailbutler (Free, subscription available)
MailSuite is another 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 for creating workflows 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, MailSuite lets you schedule emails from directly within the Apple Mail app.
MailSuite costs $80 for its initial purchase, which is pricey, but possibly worth it if you have to schedule a lot of emails. The app’s annual upgrades will cost you $45 per year, but you can always skip those and keep using the version you bought.
If you’re on the fence, MailSuite does have a 30-day free trial. Try out the plugin and see if you like it enough to buy it for yourself and your Mac for quick and easy email scheduling.
Download: MailSuite ($80, subscription available)
Airmail is a third-party email app designed for Macs, iPhones, and iPads that has email scheduling built into it. It’s an alternative to the Apple Mail app. Airmail supports multiple email accounts at once, and lets you view them all in one inbox. It has iCloud syncing, a large selection of themes, email snooze options, touch bar support, workflow creation for quick email sorting, and a Send Later function for scheduling.
Airmail is technically free to download, but the app itself doesn’t work without an Airmail Pro subscription, unless you’re using its three-day free trial. An Airmail Pro subscription is $2.99 a month or $9.99 a year.
It’s a powerful app, and we find it’s worth the cost for the features it offers on top of email scheduling. But try the three-day free trial to see if it’s really for you.
Download: Airmail (Subscription required)
If you’d prefer a free email app that allows email scheduling, we’d recommend trying out Spark. In addition to its Send Later feature, Spark lets you set reminders, do smart searches of your inbox, snooze emails, and share email drafts with other Spark users.
Spark does really push its Smart Inbox setup, which automatically orders your email by what it deems most and least important. The feature can be useful, but also inaccurate at times. It’s still a free email app that lets you schedule emails on your Mac though, so we can forgive some Smart Inbox errors.
Download: Spark (Free)
The Best Ways to Schedule Email on Your Mac
So what is the best way to schedule email on macOS? It depends on your needs. 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. Whatever you go with, we hope our advice here helps you find the right option for you!