Owner's manual



With Tempo, our goal is to offer a calming experience to help you focus on email, work, and everything in between. And with this opinionated approach, comes a workflow that's different from regular email clients.

Here in the Owner's Manual, you'll learn why the Tempo workflow is the way it is, as well as find a list of all features, and a few helpful tips here and there.

We’re happy to be of help.

To do

To start, let's introduce you to your To do list. The To do list is your starting point in Tempo, as it’s where you find all the important emails that you've marked as To do.

More about marking your emails as To do below.

Within the To do list, you can enter Focus mode to respond to everything important one-by-one, without being disturbed by distractions.

Shortcut tip

Easily jump between lists using:



It's invigorating receiving an email from something or from someone that you care about.

But inevitably, the noise creeps in, and your inbox soon becomes overwhelming. This is why we keep it separate from everything else.

By default, Tempo uses a classic single inbox. If you prefer, you can split your inbox to filter out certain emails.

Primary filters email sent from humans, Newsletters filters out all your newsletters, and Other being for everything else. If you notice something important slipping into the wrong inbox, you can always Mark it manually.

To set up your inbox, go to Tempo -> Preferences → Inbox split.


A constant stream of email notifications is distracting. We don't want that.

In Tempo, new emails are bundled together and delivered to you in batches. By default, batches are sent to you twice a day but are fully customizable to fit your schedule.

It may take some time to get into the flow of batching, but soon, you'll notice the benefits.

Fewer email distractions give you more time for more in-depth, focused work, and more time to spend on the things you love the most.

Sneak peek into a batch

Expecting a verification email or waiting to hear back about something crucial? Cut the anticipation by peeking into a batch via the eye-icon.

Batch settings

While we recommend only sorting a batch twice a day Monday-Friday, you can fully customize your batch delivery times around your schedule.

Or turn batches off completely to silently receive emails in real-time.

Force a batch

Found some extra time in your day and want to sort new emails before a batch is due? Click and hold for a few seconds to force the next batch.

Sort now

Now a good time to sort through everything new? Hit Sort now to go through all new emails.

Keep in inbox

Prefer to keep an email in your inbox? Well, you can do so.


Not interested but might want to revisit it later? Just archive the email.


Sorting is designed to help you make quick decisions about what you want to do with your new emails so you can get on with your day.

When it's time to check out your latest batch, enter Sort mode to go through all your new mail at once, one-by-one.

In no time, you'll have sorted all your new mail.

Quick Reply or Forward

Quick reply lets you reply right away; we recommend keeping it short and sweet. Or, hit Forward and let someone else deal with it.


To do

If it's important, mark it as To do. When it's time to work on the email, it'll be safely located in your To do list.



Not a To do but you want to keep it in sight? Simply hit Keep and it will be added to your inbox.



Set a Reminder to never forget an email, keeping your inbox and your To do list clutter-free. Revisit them at any time in the Reminders list.



Hit Archive on messages that aren’t important. You can access archived emails via the More dropdown menu or by searching for them.



Do you need to address an email, but it can wait for another time? When sorting through your latest batch, click Remind, select a time and it will move to the Reminders list, keeping it clutter-free.

When choosing a reminder, you can set it for the following day at 9 am, for the following week, mark it as someday, or set a custom reminder. It's up to you.

The Reminders list is stacked based on your chosen reminder times, giving a clear overview of what's coming up, if you ever need to revisit them at any point.

When it's time to be reminded, you'll receive a notification nudging you to revisit that email. You'll notice that every reminder that has passed will be moved to the top of the Reminders list for it to stand out.

In the meantime, if you receive a response to an email with a reminder set, the thread will be moved from the Reminders list to your next batch, so you'll never miss a thing.

Shortcut tip

Jump to your Reminders list via:


Focus mode

When it's time for you to address your To dos, Focus mode gives you respite from the rest of your desktop, helping you focus on – and savor – the moment you correspond to what's important to you.

Focus mode helps you go through your To do emails consecutively. Once you're done with one, you're on to the next one. You'll spend less time on email, but enjoy every second.

When in Focus mode, you'll notice that the screen is split, with your To do email on the left and the reply compose view on the right. This gives you a clear overview of what you're responding to. When you're done, hit Send & archive, which archives the To do email and moves on to your next email in the list.

Alternatively, hold the Alt key to Send & keep, which keeps the email in your To do space. This is helpful if you want to keep it in sight.

Shortcut tip

Launch the Focus mode via:



Set a reminder if now’s not the time, moving on to the next email in your To do list.


Archives the email and moves on to the next one.


Not sure how to reply, or maybe need more info? Skip it and address it another time.

It's essential to be able to find an email from anywhere, saving you time. In Tempo, you can search from anywhere using the search window.

Tempo uses a separate search window to help you access information when you need it, without needing to stop your workflow.

Whether it's a specific email or email address, start typing away and you'll find what you need, opening up within the search window. To find an attachment, click the attachment icon.

Tempo also supports Gmail's search operators to help you refine your search, see examples of these in the tip box.

Shortcut tip

Access search from anywhere via:


Advanced search operators






See them all here →



We believe that writing an email should be a joyful experience. From the moment you start typing to the point you hit send. Tempo offers a zen-like writing experience that enables you to fully focus on composing your message.

You can select between which accounts you're sending from, change the email signature, add attachments by dragging and dropping in an attachment to the bottom of the email, or hit the attachment icon.

Want to save as a draft? Click the back button and the email will be kept in the Drafts list.

Tempo uses Markdown, a plain-text syntax that offers only the essentials for editing. This eliminates being spoilt for choice, which in the end only disrupts your focus.

See below for the basics in Markdown. For a full Markdown guide visit here.

Shortcut tip

Compose a new email using:



Bold via *your text* or hitting


Italic via _your text_ or hitting




Set a reminder

Want a nudge to be reminded to follow up on an email? Set a reminder to be notified to catch-up with the recipient just in case. You can revisit the email in the Reminders list.


Toggle VIP on to get a notification as soon as a reply hits your inbox.

Quick reply & quick forward

You'll notice when sorting your batch, you can Quick reply to an email. While Tempo encourages you to sort through your new email and move on, sometimes you need to respond immediately. If you can't reply under 140-characters, we recommend marking it as To do and keep on sorting.

If you need to pass on information ASAP, you also have the option to Quick forward an email.

Shortcut tip

Want to Quick reply when sorting through new email, hit:



It's easy to create signatures in Tempo. We recommend adding a new signature with Markdown, as it keeps things clean and simple. Once you're done, toggle preview to see how it looks in context, then give it a title, and remember to mark a signature as default.

However, some workplaces require a stylized signature. You can do this by adding a signature with HTML and pasting the raw code. To add an image, you'll need to find an image hosting site. We recommend Imgur.

When sending an email, your default signature will be auto-assigned. You can then select between your email signatures towards the bottom of the email body.

To add a signature, head to Preferences → Signatures.

HTML signatures

For more advanced formatting of your signature like images, tables and etc. you can use HTML.

If you don’t know how to write HTML there are a bunch of signature makers online such as:

HubSpot signature creator  →

Organization of mails


Adding labels to emails helps you keep them organized and offer an extra level of clarity. To add a label, click on the label icon next to the VIP button, select one of your previous labels, or add a new one by typing and clicking add. To remove a label, click it and it'll go.

To find a label, open the search bar via ⌘F and enter the command label: to bring up the list of existing labels. Then click on the label to display all attributed emails. Labels created within Gmail will automatically be synced with Tempo and vice versa.


Are you waiting for a crucial email that you can't miss? If you mark an email as VIP, you'll get notified instantly when a reply hits your inbox.

To turn off VIP notifications, head to the thread and click the red VIP button, which will turn back to its original state.

Turn it VIP

Hit the button to mark/unmark a message as VIP.


Setup & customization


In Tempo, you can have up to five Gmail accounts connected to at once. You can add new accounts via Preferences → Accounts.

Here, you can also select your main account, which is the default account when composing and replying.

All connected accounts become unified within your inbox to sort new mail across all accounts in one go. Or, click All accounts to toggle between individual accounts.

Email providers

Gmail and Google Apps is fully supported.

Outlook & IMAP is coming later.

To get notified for when Tempo supports for preferred provider, leave your email address here.

Platform support

We want to support as many providers as possible, but at the moment, we're perfecting Tempo on Gmail. After that, we'll port Tempo over. We're a small team, so it might take some time.

Tempo currently supports: MacOS & iOS

Coming soon: Android


To get notified for when Tempo launches on your preferred platform, leave your email address here.


In Tempo, you can access a good number of the app's key actions via keyboard shortcuts. For a full list of keyboard shortcuts, head to Tempo → Preferences → Shortcuts. Here, you can also customize your keyboard bindings.


To see which actions have shortcuts, hold down ⌘ anywhere in the app.

and hold for two seconds