Google Labs Gives Gmail a New Feature: Sender Time Zone
Article by George Norman
On 09 Apr 2009
Did you ever get an email message in your inbox and wondered about replying it straight away or waiting for dawn to come and sending it out first thing in the morning? Scheduling outgoing emails to be sent out is a relative easy task, as long as you use the right online service (details here) or the right piece of software (details here); but is that really the best option in all cases?

Software Engineer, Marcin Brodziak explains: “Let's say your girlfriend sends you an angry email. It's mostly about how you behaved at the party last night and then left for a business trip without saying goodbye. You read it from the other side of the globe, jet-lagged after a 12 hour flight. You want to call and sort things out, but forget that it's now almost 3:00 AM her time. After waking her up, things only get worse.”


There is a new feature in Labs that can help; it is called Sender Time Zone and it can be activated if you follow these simple steps:
Step 1 – Go to Gmail and login to your account. If you do not have one, perhaps this would be the best time to sign up (it’s free and you get tons of features to play with). If you already have a Google account and you are logged in, access Labs by simply clicking here.
Step 2 – In the top right corner of the screen, right next to your user name you should be able to see “Settings”; click it. Now locate “Labs” and click it as well.
Step 3 – Locate “Sender Time Zone” and select “Enable”. If you do not see it, just press Ctrl + F and type in “Sender Time Zone” in your Firefox browser – the shortcut, one of many other Firefox shortcuts, will take you directly to the feature. Click “Save Changes” (at the bottom of the screen) and you’re done.

After you have activated the feature, you will notice the following:
- A green phone icon if it is anywhere between 9AM and 6PM in the sender’s time zone. A red phone icon if the sender is not reachable, meaning that it is not an appropriate time to call that person (later than 6PM).
- See at what local time the sender emailed you by clicking on “show details”.
- See what time it is in the sender’s time zone now, when you are reading the email.
- Local time info included in the message headers.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Google Labs, Sender Time Zone
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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