If you find yourself sending the same email message to people repeatedly, you may wish you had a magic wand you could wave to send replies easily. Good news! Gmail Canned Response can be your magic wand. You can save yourself a lot of time and keystrokes by creating Canned Responses to frequent emails you get.
With Gmail Canned Response you don’t have to type the same response over and over and over again. Type it once and then access it any time you need it, saving yourself a lot of time and unnecessary effort. With just a few clicks you can send out email responses such as reminders, thank you messages, polite refusals, notices and other frequent messages.
How to Enable Gmail Canned Response
To use Gmail Canned Response you need to first activate it:
- Click the gear icon in Gmail
- Choose Settings from the drop-down menu
- Click Labs in the menu bar. You’ll see a list of tools you can use with Gmail, including Canned Responses.
- Click Enable to begin using Canned Responses
- Scroll to the bottom and click the Save Changes button
How to Create a Gmail Canned Response
Next you need to create some Canned Responses. Think of the emails you get often from people where you feel as if you’re typing the same message too many times.
To create a Canned Response, click on Reply to an email you want to respond to with a message you’ll use as a Canned Response in the future. Start typing your response into the text area of your reply email. You can also paste text if you have a previous response you want to use.
Write the response you want to use as your template. You can use blanks if you need to include [—names—], [—dates—] or any other information to make your response look personal. If you have an automatic signature, such as WiseStamp, don’t include that or else it will be entered twice.
Click the down arrow ∨ at the bottom of the message, next to the trash can:
Click Canned responses in the drop-down menu, then click New canned response.
You’ll be asked to give your new Canned Response a title. Google suggests the subject line as a title but you may want to be a bit more descriptive. Type in the title of the Canned Response and click OK.
Congratulations! You’ve just created your first Canned Response!
Using a Canned Response
Next time you get an email where you want to use your Canned Response, click Reply, then click the down arrow ∨ next to the trash can. Click Canned Response. Choose the title of your Canned Response under the Insert heading.
Voilà! Your Canned Response will appear in the text of the email.
Editing your Canned Response
If you decide your Canned Response needs some tweaking, you can edit it without having to start from scratch. Make your changes, click the down arrow ∨, choose Canned Response, then click the title of your Canned Response under the Save heading.
You’ll see a warning message asking you to confirm that you wish to overwrite your Canned Response. Click OK. Your edited Canned Response will be saved.
Deleting a Canned Response
If you find you don’t want to use a Canned Response any more, click Reply in any email. Click the the down arrow ∨, choose Canned Response, then click the title of your Canned Response under the Delete heading.
You’ll get a pop-up confirming your request to delete. Click OK and your Canned Response will be deleted.
Ideas for Using Canned Responses
You can use Canned Responses to:
- Give people directions to your office, home or other location
- Answer frequently asked questions (for example, bloggers can use this for advertisements, guest post inquiries, etc.)
- Share favorite recipes, links to websites, book recommendations, fitness tips
- Thank people for congratulating you for winning the Nobel Prize, a gold medal in the Olympics, the Powerball Lottery, etc.
- Direct press inquiries/contract offers to your agent
✪ Be sure to check out Gmail Undo Send – Saving You from Your Mistakes in case you quickly regret sending out your Canned Response!
Have you ever had to respond to multiple emails saying the same thing? Did you ever wish you could wave a magic wand to reply automatically? Have you ever used Canned Response? When would you use Canned Responses? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Gmail icon (edited) courtesy of AJ Cann via Flickr and Creative Commons