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How to Type Emails Faster in Gmail

The Gmail logo.

Most of us always have a pile of emails we’ve procrastinated about answering. After all, there are only so many you can read and send in a day. Thankfully, Gmail offers a range of tools that can lend a hand when you’re composing emails.

Auto-Complete Your Emails

Gmail’s Smart Compose tool is like auto-complete for emails. It learns how you write your emails and tries to complete your sentences. This augments how quickly you compose a message and allows you to send out more responses in less time. The suggestions appear as you type, with just a keypress, you can accept or ignore the suggestion.

Smart Compose works best for obvious inputs. For example, if your recipient’s name is Susan, it can automatically add “Hello, Susan,” at the beginning.

To enable Smart Compose from the Gmail website, sign in, and then click the Gear icon at the top right. Then, click “See All Settings.”

Click the Gear icon in Gmail, and then click "See All Settings."

Scroll down to the “Smart Compose” section under the “General” tab, and then click the radio button next to “Writing Suggestions On.”

Select the "Writing Suggestions On" option.

Smart Compose can also cater to your personal writing style, but that means more data will be collected by Google. To opt-in, select the radio button next to “Personalization On” in the “Smart Compose Personalization” section.

Select the radio button next to "Personalization On."

Click “Save Changes” at the bottom to apply your selections.

Click "Save Changes."

On your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, launch the Gmail app. Tap the hamburger menu at the top left to open the side-bar menu.

Tap the hamburger menu to open the side-bar menu.

Scroll down to the bottom of the list, and then tap “Settings.”

Tap "Settings."

Tap your email address. On the following screen, tap the checkbox next to the “Smart Compose” option.

Tap the checkbox next to "Smart Compose."

Now, whenever you type an email, Gmail’s suggestions will appear in light gray. To select a suggestion, swipe right on it or press Tab.

Gmail's suggestions will appear in light gray next to your typed text.

Skip Typing Altogether with Smart Replies

A large amount of email responses only require a few words. Often, you just need to confirm a time with a “sounds good” or send a quick “thank you so much.” Gmail’s Smart Reply allows you to skip typing quick phrases like these altogether.

Based on the text in the email you’ve received, Gmail can recommend three canned responses. For example, if someone sends you a dinner invite, Gmail will suggest something like: “I’ll be there,” “Sorry, I can’t make it,” or “Looking forward to it.” You can choose one of these and immediately respond without typing a single word.

On your computer, head to the Gmail website and log in. To enable Smart Replies, click the Gear icon menu > See All Settings > General. In the “Smart Reply” section, click the radio button next to “Smart Reply On.”

Click the radio button next to "Smart Reply On."

In the Gmail app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device, open the side menu by tapping the hamburger menu. Head to Settings > [your email address], and then tap the checkbox next to “Smart Reply.”

Tap the checkbox next to "Smart Reply."

Shortly after you enable Smart Reply, Gmail will start displaying three auto-generated replies beneath the text in every incoming email.

Three auto-generated smart replies in an email in Gmail.

Reuse Your Most Frequently Sent Text with Templates

Many people send recurring emails every few days, like weekly project status updates or payment reminders. Gmail allows you to turn these into templates so you don’t have to retype them every time.

You can only create and add templates on the Gmail website, though. First, you have to enable this feature in the Settings menu. Click the Gear icon at the top right, and then click See All Settings > Advanced. In the “Templates” section, select the radio button next to “Enable.”

Click the radio button next to "Enable" in the "Templates" section.

To save a new template, return to your Inbox and click the plus sign (+) on the left to compose a new email. Type the text and subject you normally use for your recurring email. Leave the “Recipients” field blank if you don’t send these emails to the same people every time.

When your draft is complete, click the three dots at the bottom right. Click Templates > Save Draft As Template, and then select “Save as New Template.” Type a name for your template, and then click “Save.”

Click "Templates," "Save Draft As Template," and then select "Save As New Template."

The next time you need to send your recurring email, click the plus sign (+) to compose a new email. Click the three dots at the bottom, hover over “Templates,” and then select your template.

Hover over "Templates," and then select the one you created.

Create an Email Signature

You can also salvage a few extra minutes each day if you don’t have to type your name at the end of all your emails. Thankfully, you can create a signature in Gmail that will be added to the end of all your emails automatically.

On the Gmail website, sign in, and then click the Gear icon. Next, head to See All Settings > General. In the “Signature” section, click “Create New.”

In the "Signature" section, click "Create New."

Name your signature, and then select “Create.” You can also save different signatures for new emails and replies. In the textbox, just type and customize your signature using formatting tools.

Type your email signature in Gmail.

Under the text box, you’ll see the “For New Emails Use” and “On Reply/Forward Use” drop-down menus. Choose the signature you want to use for each of these, and then click “Save Changes.”

Now, your emails will automatically include your signature.

Shubham Agarwal Shubham Agarwal
Shubham is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. He has been covering technology for over four years for publications such as Digital Trends, HuffPost, Lifehacker, and more. When he's not writing about whatever's trending in the world of technology, you will find him either exploring a new city with his camera, binge-reading non-fiction books, and novels or playing the latest game on his PlayStation.
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