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A while back, Sharninder took you through Gmail Labs and some of the cool features that they were offering Gmail users. Well the other day, they brought out another new feature and this is one that I will personally find really useful as Make Use Of editor – “canned responses”. I’m sure if you do a lot of emailing, you will find it really useful too.
“Canned responses” is a feature which allows you to save standard email templates inside Gmail and then use them later by dropping down the menu and selecting which one you want.
Every day, I find myself typing out the same kinds of emails – acceptances, rejections, confirmations, facts, figures, etc. It can get rather tedious – and time consuming – writing out the same basic format of email. It can also be really tiring on the hands!
So for the past few months, I was keeping the email templates in MS Notepad files and copy-pasting them into emails whenever I needed them. But I haven’t liked that method very much as it involves too much folder opening, file opening and copy-pasting. Whenever I am trying to clear my inbox, I like to stay in the same browser window/tab and do things fast with keyboard shortcuts. So I was looking for something quicker and easier, something where I could just pull up a standard email template with just a few clicks.
So you know, I am convinced Google is pyschic because whenever I think about wishes like that, suddenly a feature like “canned responses” comes along! :-)
To switch the feature on, just go to Gmail Labs in your Gmail account, scroll down, find “canned responses”, click “enable” and then click “save changes”. Now whenever you go to compose a new email, you will see “canned responses” above the new email window (underneath the subject line) :
When you first enable it, it will be empty. The one you see here is mine that I quickly filled up to give you some examples.
To save some templates, just write the email then click the “canned responses” link seen above. In the “save” section, there is an option called “new canned response“. Click that and you’ll then get the following box :
Just type in what you want your canned response to be called and click “OK”. It will then be saved.
That’s it basically. If you want to test it out, just open a new email compose window, drop down the “canned responses” menu and choose your template name. It will then immediately appear in the email window ready to be sent! No typing necessary!
This is probably one of the best, most useful features that Gmail Labs has brought out. What do you think? Will you be using this one? Is there anything Gmail Labs can do to improve it? Let us know in the comments – you never know, Gmail might end up reading it!