Gmail’s New “Undo Send” is Almost Exactly what you’ve Been Waiting For

Ross MacKenzie
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New Feature “Undo Send”

We’ve all been in this situation before.  It’s the end of the day and you’ve had one last coffee that you probably didn’t really need. It’s time to fire off a final few emails while at the same time exchanging banter with friends and colleagues. Fingers flying you’re almost finished- but stop suddenly and switch to your Sent items.

That “funny” quip you had intended to send to Danielle your office intern has instead gone to Daniel Peters, Managing Director of your most prestigious client. What now?

Gmail has finally rolled their “Undo Send” capability out of Beta and into the standard preferences of your inbox – finally providing you with a 30 second window to hit the brakes on that potentially embarrassing email you just sent. Whether you fat-fingered a name in the “To” field, missed an incorrect auto-complete or simply forgot to add/remove a recipient sending an email to the wrong person can be embarrassing, but it can also be costly.

Email Mistakes

Consider the accidental email that was sent by a staff member at the Bank of England to the Guardian laying bare contingency plans in case Britain voted to leave the EU. Embarrassing yes but also a terminal twist to career prospects at your current employer.

Providing users with an extended confirmation window to send messages is useful, but true email recall remains elusive due to the underlying technology behind how email is delivered. You can effectively ask permission to rescind a message but the fate of your email ultimately lies in the hands of the recipient.

Fortunately, the rise in popularity of “Secure Email” add-on services offer not only greater security around content but more control over what happens to your email even after it is delivered. But is this technology right for you and your business? At the end of the day these tools should provide you with enough benefits to be worth the investment, while minimizing the complexity or extra steps required. People are busy enough as it is without having to re-learn a new email platform.

Gmail’s new functionality will be great for your personal email, but ask your technology provider what options you have to add more control over your corporate messaging.

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