One of the things that consume me the most time is email. No matter how hard I try to bring my mailbox to zero inboxes, always, as soon as I turn around, I have fifty or a hundred new emails to process. Tools like Unroll.me have helped me a lot to control that constant avalanche, but one of the things that have been most useful to me is the use of predesigned responses or templates in Gmail.
These templates are, basically, drafts that you create yourself according to the circumstances that are most repeated in your daily use of email, and that when saved as a pre-designed response they become easily accessible and allow you to insert them with a couple of clicks on Any new email. The ideas that we bring you today are just some of the most common ways to use them, but you can identify what those emails you are writing over and over again, wasting your valuable time when you could easily shorten the process.
HOW TO CREATE CLIP ART RESPONSES
The first requirement to use pre-designed responses is to enable the option in Labs (for reasons I don’t understand, at this point the templates are still a kind of “experimental option”). “Labs” is located in the Gmail settings, and the pre-designed answer option is one of the first in the list.
Once we have enabled and saved these settings, we go to the main screen of Gmail and open a new draft, where we will write our first predesigned response. When it is ready, we click on the options menu (the arrow in the lower right corner) and choosing the option “Predesigned response”, we save our draft, which we must assign a name that makes it easy to recognize. To this same menu, but choosing the “insert” option, we will go when we want to use one of these templates.
FIVE IDEAS FOR USING GMAIL’S PREDESIGNED RESPONSES
The circumstances in which we need to write our personal data for a shipment, payment or similar transaction are very frequent. Depending on the case, it may be useful to have a predesigned response with information such as our address, telephone number or bank details.
If you handle a large volume of e-mails and try to maintain a certain level of courtesy, you may be wasting a lot of time writing messages that mean “received. ” You can create a template with a greeting and a couple of lines that say something like “I received your information, I will contact you soon”, or similar text.
Likewise, if there is a question that they ask you a lot, for example, a recurring query related to your work, it is useful to have the information at hand and not have to write it again. For example, I have a predesigned response telling readers who write to me where they can find my books and another with some basic information about the services I provide as a freelancer.
Configure automatic responses
If there is some kind of process that you are carrying out so often that it can be automated even more (for example, responding to a contact form on your website) you can create a filter and configure it to respond to the appropriate emails (for example, those that contain certain words in the subject) using automatically a predesigned answer.
Use multiple signatures
Gmail does not support multiple signatures, but for people who fulfil multiple work roles and would prefer to have the option to sign according to the role they are playing at that moment, this can be a way to implement them without needing browser extensions or other tools.
Gmail’s predesigned responses are often seen as silly or with little potential, but if you invest a little time adapting them to your needs you will see that they can become a tremendously powerful tool to save you time and effort in managing your email.