In a separate post, I shared my love of Canned Responses in Gmail. What’s better than being able to save time by clicking on a “canned response” to send it out? Having your gmail do it for you! That’s right – if you always send the same response to messages containing the exact same phrase or from the exact same sender, then you can create a Filter that automatically replies with one of your canned responses. Super cool.
Tip: you may want to also select to archive the message, if you’d like it to also disappear from your inbox after the canned response is sent.
I am efficiency-obsessed. Anytime I can make something that I do in my job more efficient without compromising quality, I am in. Involve something Google-y in that and I’m not just in, I am psyched.
Canned Responses meets that criteria. It allows you to save certain email text (typically for replies) that you send regularly. You can then insert those messages when needed, make minor edits for personalization if needed, and send them out. Awesome sauce.
The only flaw is the menu – you have to be really careful to not accidentally overwrite your saved canned responses by clicking in the wrong spot (insert vs. save vs. new). But I can live with that!
Check out a GIF of Canned Responses after these brief setup instructions.
Click the gear in the top-right corner of your Gmail window.
Those used to be such exciting words. The news of having email was exhilarating. Nowadays, it’s nonstop. It’s a constant battle to keep-up and it takes tons of tact to send emails that get read and acted on, because your recipients are overwhelmed, too.
I’ve been using Boomerang for Gmail to help me survive the Battle of the Inbox. These are the 3 main features that I love about Boomerang:
1. Send Later
If you’re like me, you end up sending some 11:45 PM emails. And if your coworkers are like mine, most of them are not typically reading their email at 11:45 PM. So, schedule it to send first thing in the morning. Do lots of work on the weekend? Schedule emails to send on Monday. Find some spare time to send an email that actually needs to go out in two days? Type it now, schedule it to send later. Check it out:
This is the feature that the name came from. We often get emails that aren’t important yet, but will be important later. They’re not worthy of our focus at this point, but we should look at them before next Wednesday. So, throw them away and set them to boomerang back on Tuesday. Ah, that feels nice. Check it out:
3. boomerang if no response
Ever send out an email where there’s a time sensitive need for a response, but not get the response in time? Ugh! If I had known she wouldn’t respond in time, I would have texted her. With this setting, you can send an email or send away a received email and set them to pop back up in your Inbox if no one else responds. That way you know that you need to follow up with them in a different way! It’s also helpful when you’re hoping that someone else on the chain will answer a question, but this way you can insure that the question gets answered sooner or later. Check it out:
Note: I’m not affiliated in any way with Boomerang, nor am I being reimbursed for this endorsement. I just like their tool.
BTW – Right Inbox is pretty rad too. Boomerang is just my personal preference.
I don’t know about you, but I’m often reading and responding to emails that relate to scheduling things. When I am doing that, it’s great to have my calendar handy. Using the Google Calendar Gadget Lab in Gmail makes that possible. I can see my calendar, add events to it and quickly get to the details for certain events. Check it out:
As a Technology Integration Specialist, I end up sending the staff that I work with lots of emails. I work really hard to only send what’s important and to keep it brief. Occasionally, the things I send out are necessary and/or require some sort of response or action step. As you can probably guess, if my response rate was a test score, there’d be a red F written next to it.
And I understand, educators are uber-busy people. But I still need those action steps taken. So? I use some silly tactics. There are 2 in particular and here’s the first . . .
Memes & GIFs in emails
If I can get someone to open the email just because a colleague told them there was a ridiculous meme or GIF in there, well, that’s half the battle, isn’t it?
Here are a few that I’ve used recently. Got any others you’d like to suggest? Put them in the comments or send them to me @JakeMillerTech.
A word of advice if you decide to adopt this tactic: only use it sparingly and when you really need to draw in your recipients… a fun and novel approach ceases to be fun and novel when it becomes overused and annoying.