The Code of No-Code

Mar 02 2016

Even if you have an undo option (which most email clients don't have) there is a certain point during the drafting of an email when you start to cringe at the thought of accidentally hitting send. Maybe there are some funny comments you want to keep with the main email, nsfw, or ns-for-the-recipient-list, or your just not sure who exactly is on the list and don't want to stop typing, or maybe your in a meeting and need to keep the flow. Whatever the scenario there are times when you'd like to click a button (or something) and have your client (gmail, outlook, whatever) stop you from sending that email.

Here is the easiest and most fool-proof way to stop accidentally sending emails:

  • Jump to the top of the email and find a blank sender section (To, CC, BCC, whatever). I use the To line, but don't usually have lots of email addresses there so it's not a problem
  • Type something ridiculous! (I usually use qwerty!@#$). anything will work as long as it is a "malformed email address"
  • Don't hit send, instead know that even if you try your email client will stop you with some sort of "malformed email address" error message before letting you send that email

That's it! Not much more too it. I think it goes without saying, but just to be thorough, you will want to test your "blocker" by first trying it out on an email you don't care about accidentally sending. For example:

To:, qwert!@#$
Subject: This is the coolest thing you'll learn all year!

This is a test of this really great idea I just read on Brett's blog:

Trying sending that, get an error, remove the "blocker", then send it to someone you think could use the knowledge.