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.”
Scroll down to the “Smart Compose” section under the “General” tab, and then click the radio button next to “Writing Suggestions On.”
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.
Click “Save Changes” at the bottom to apply your selections.
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.
Scroll down to the bottom of the list, and then tap “Settings.”
Tap your email address. On the following screen, tap the checkbox next to the “Smart Compose” option.
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.
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.”
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.”
Shortly after you enable Smart Reply, Gmail will start displaying three auto-generated replies beneath the text in every incoming email.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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