Get emails out of the way for now without fear of losing (or forgetting about) them. Find out here how to set up and use a “not now” email folder with any IMAP email account and SaneBox.

First, a Profound Conviction

I would prefer not to talk about Bartleby today, Herman Melville’s scrivener provocateur.

For Bartleby has an employer worthy, too, of examination and remembrance. That employer, who goes on to tell Bartleby’s story of polite refusal, calls himself

filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best.

Even if that is not your conviction: how about making your emailing life a little easier—and, I wager, better?

How to Make a “Not Now” Email Folder with SaneBox

To set up an email folder that lets you set part—snooze—emails for the while you are processing your inbox (and has them return automatically when you are done) using SaneBox and any IMAP email account:

  1. Open your SaneBox Dashboard in a browser.
  2. Go to the Folder category.
  3. Under Snooze Folders, click Add a custom Snooze folder.
  4. Type a name for the “not now” folder under Folder name:.
    • Pick something like “@SaneNotNow,” perhaps.
  5. Make sure 3 Hours is selected under Hold for:.
    • If you see no choices under Hold for:, click Hold for: to enable the selection.
  6. Click Create.

While you are here, you can also enable the @SaneTonight folder: make sure it is ON under Snooze Folders. It lets you put off emails for the (working) day.

How to Use Your SaneBox “Not Now” Folder

To manage your email productively using the new SaneBox “not now” folder:

  1. Process your email at distinct times (and only at these times).
    • It is usually best to put email processing on your calendar with a fixed beginning and, more importantly, a fixed end. Be cognizant of this limited time.
    • For a maximum of efficiency at both email and life outside it, the times you process email should be some 2–3 per day and at least 3 hours apart.
  2. Go through your emails in order.
    • Ideally, take one of four actions:
      • turn the message into a to-do item,
      • reply to it,
      • archive it or
      • delete it.
  3. Move any email you cannot or do not want to deal with right now to the “not now” folder you created.
    • It will return for your next email session.
    • By default, the message will show up where originally you found it; you can have it return to a more prominent place, though (see below).

How to Make a “Not Now” Email Folder with SaneBox: FAQ

Where will emails appear once their snooze time is over?

By default, SaneBox will return the emails

  • whence they came (including the original date and time).

You can change that to make the placement more prominent, though:

  1. Go to your SaneBox Dashboard.
  2. Select Folder.
  3. Under Snooze Folders, pick the desired folder for Restore snoozed emails to::
    • Original sane folder: the original folder, say the inbox or @SaneLater, with the original delivery time and date.
    • Inbox: your inbox, even for messages you snoozed from folders such as @SaneLater, with the message’s date unchanged.
    • Top of Inbox: your inbox with the message’s date changed to the current time to make sure it appears top of the list.
    • Top of Inbox with date in subject: same as “Top of Inbox,” but with the message’s original delivery date noted in the subject for reference.

Will Emails Return Read or Unread from the “Not Now” SaneBox Folder?


Whether they were unread when you moved them to the “not now” folder or marked read, emails will always come back as prominently unread.

Can I Restore (or Delete) Emails from the “Not Now” Folder Manually?


You will find the snoozed emails in their respective SaneBox folders. There, you can open or delete them, reply to them and archive them as usual; you can also move any back to their original folders, of course.

They will not return (and duplicate) to the original folder or inbox.

What about the other SaneBox “Snooze” folders?

By all means, do enable (or create) more SaneBox “Snooze” folders.

They let you put off messages until the next morning, next week or next month, for example. You can even set up messages to show up in your inbox periodically as a recurring reminder.

(How to make a “Not Now” email folder with SaneBox tested with SaneBox in a desktop browser; updated January 2018; title image: StockUnlimited)