How to Block Email Inboxes but allow Sending Email
You can do this trick to block your inbox but still allow creating and sending of emails. This guide works for Outlook and Gmail.
The first thing you do is to create shortcuts for composing new email. You can then set it up to block the email itself and only allow the shortcuts for creating new email.
The process of creating a shortcut may differ depending on the browser you use. For this tutorial, we’ll be using Google Chrome.
Launch Chrome and check if you have the Bookmarks bar.
Tip: If you don’t see the bookmarks bar, click on the three dots on the upper right corner of the browser, select Bookmarks, then put a check beside “Show bookmarks bar”.
Right-click on an empty space in the bookmarks bar then select “Add page…”
On the window that pops up, type in a name in the name field. In the URL field, copy and paste the following:
Then hit “Save”.
You’ve just created a shortcut to composing a new email for Gmail. It will appear in your Bookmarks bar. Clicking on it will show this window:
Note the URL in the new mail window. You can copy it somewhere (this is the URL that will be whitelisted).
Alternatively, you can put “mail.google.com/mail?view=cm” in the URL field (without the quotes). It opens up the same compose mail screen in the same window (not in a different window).
You can create the shortcut to compose a new message for Outlook from Windows Explorer.
Look for outlook.exe by searching for it in Windows. Once you find it, right-click on it and choose “Open file location”.
Windows Explorer will show up, showing the location of outlook.exe. Right-click on it and select “Create shortcut”.
You might get a message asking to place the shortcut on the desktop. Just click “Yes”
Now go to the desktop and right-click on the outlook shortcut you just created then click on “Properties”.
On the properties window, go to the Shortcut tab. At the Target line is the path of outlook.exe. Add the line “ /c ipm.note” (without the quotes) after it. Then click “OK”.
Now this shortcut will open up a new mail message for Outlook. You can rename it appropriately.
Creating the Focus Plan
Once your shortcuts are created, the next thing you do is either create a new plan or edit an existing one. To create a new plan, hit the “add plan” button on the upper right. To edit an existing plan, you can either right-click on the plan and select “Edit Plan” or hit the respective cog wheel icon on the right.
Type the name of the Focus plan (for editing existing plans, the name shows up here) then hit “Next”
On the Websites page (2/6), make sure the Blacklist tab is selected, then click “Add.”
Go to the Custom tab and type in “mail.google.com” (without the quotes). Set the type to “URL” and click “Accept”.
The blacklist tab should now have mail.google.com as an item. Now go to the Whitelist tab and then click “Add”.
Go to the Custom tab and then type in the URL for the new Gmail message window from earlier – “https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?view=cm” (without the quotes).
Note: the URL from earlier might be a bit longer, but you can remove anything after “?view=cm” as they are parameters that might change.
Make sure the type is set to “URL” then click “Accept”.
Your whitelist should look like below. Click “Next” to go to the next page.
Before going further through the wizard, launch Outlook and the shortcut you made earlier for creating a new mail.
On the Blacklist tab of the Applications page (3/6), click add.
Go to the Windows tab and look for Outlook (the one with your inbox). Set the type to “Window Title” then hit “Accept”.
Do the same thing on the Whitelist tab but this time, select the new message for Outlook.
Your Blacklist and Whitelist tabs should look like these, respectively:
Set the Focus type to “Just block” on the next page (4/6) and click “Next”.
Go through the rest of the wizard following your own preferences. Once finished, click “Done” to save your Focus plan.
Testing your Focus Plan
All that’s left to do now is to test your Focus plan. Try to launch Gmail or Outlook. You would notice that FocusMe blocks them instantly. Next, try to create a new message by opening either or both of the shortcuts you made. FocusMe will allow access to them.
In case it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to, check the Focus plan again. There might just be something set incorrectly.