What is Inbox Pause, and how does it work?

Imagine you saw an ad for “one weird email trick” that could help you feel less stressed and get more done, while still responding to messages just as quickly. You’d probably think it was a scam.

But new research shows there is in fact one weird email trick that has all these benefits, and the idea is startlingly simple. Just turn off email notifications, check email three or four times a day, and don’t look at your Inbox any other time. 

Sounds great – and easy, right?

But in practice, it isn’t easy at all. A lot of work touches email, so it’s easy to get sidetracked in your Inbox when you’re trying to get something else done. Inbox Pause can help address these issues by giving you control of when messages arrive in your Inbox. Here's how it works.

What is Inbox Pause?

First, you’ve gained an easy-to-use, distraction-free mode for your Inbox. You can pause (and unpause) your Inbox at any time, temporarily hiding incoming messages from appearing in your Inbox and preventing notifications. The average email user gets upwards of 100 messages a day, which translates to a lot of pocket vibrations, desktop pop-ups, and lapses in focus. Every time you get interrupted by an email notification, it can take up to 20 minutes to regain focus, so this feature is perfect for when you need to put your head down and focus on a presentation, want to get through the emails already in your Inbox, or simply want a relaxing weekend free from work-related distractions

While extremely useful, Inbox Pause offers more than just a pause and unpause button. Users can set up delivery exceptions to allow important emails to arrive even if their Inbox is paused, based on the email’s sender, keywords, or email domain. You can also automatically turn on an auto-responder when your Inbox is paused so people know that you’re not currently receiving messages.

And lastly, Inbox Pause can enable batch delivery so you only receive new emails at set periods of the day. Receiving emails in periodic intervals not only helps reduce your distractions. A study from the University of British Columbia found that users who checked email three times a day were much less stressed, without a negative impact on their responsiveness.

No matter how you use Inbox Pause, it will let you work (or relax!) with fewer distractions, increase your productivity, and reduce your stress levels.

How does Inbox Pause work? 

Inbox Pause harnesses the magic of Outlook rules to temporarily hide your email from your Inbox and bring them back when you want them. The emails are still kept inside your Outlook Inbox, they’re just hidden from view inside a special label or label that we create. None of the emails you receive when your Inbox is paused are stored by Boomerang.

If you pause your Inbox on desktop, it will pause your Inbox (and notifications) across all your devices until you unpause.