I have been horrible at responding to personal email while taking time off. Rather than declare bankruptcy or write a pithy autoresponder, I was spurred by an acquaintance to figure out a way to mark threads in Gmail that may be awaiting a response from me. As a result, I got to learn about Google Scripts, finally sign up for my own Github account and virtually meet @hijonathan.
Jonathan Kim had the opposite problem from me. He sent a bunch of emails that he wanted to be reminded of when the recipient had not responded. He wrote a great script and published how to install it. I made some very slight modifications to his script to do the opposite (see below).
The AwaitingResponse.js script will look through your inbox for threads messages to you that are between 5 and 14 days old but that you have not responded to. It will label those messages “AR” and you can then use a search like this one to diligently respond to those messages. It is easy to customize the script to search a different label, such as just messages Gmail has categorized as “priority,” or for a different period of time.
To install and customize, follow these steps:
- Create a new Google Script (go to https://script.google.com/ and choose "Blank Project" and while logged into your Google account)
- Replace the template code in the blank project with the Awaiting Response code at https://raw.githubusercontent.com/amac0/miscpubliccode/master/awaitingresponse.js
- If desired, change the label to look in, the text for the label where messages will be placed and the age range to search. These are all at the top of the script and the comments will help you decide what to change.
- Save the script by choosing "File|Save" from the Google Script menu.
- Run the script by choosing "Run|main" from the Google Script menu. Go look at your inbox and make sure it worked (it may take a while).
- If desired, set the script to run every day by choosing "Resources|Current project's triggers" from the Google Script menu.