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Email Challenge Day 4 – Create 5 Email Templates

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Before we get to today’s email challenge, let’s quickly recap what we’ve done so far:

1. You’ve recorded how often you check email
2. You have archived emails older than 30 days
3. You processed emails for 30 minutes

The reason we started this email challenge was to help you cut your email time in half. You’re well on your way doing that.

Now let’s move on to today’s challenge.

One reality we have to face is that email is here to stay. Several research reports show that we’ll have to deal with even more email in the future. That’s why it’s so important that we get a grip on our email inboxes today before things get worse.

I had a conversation with my mom about this the other day. Over dinner at a sushi restaurant, we got on the topic of all the things that are inevitable in life.

“Thanh, what sort of things do you think are inevitable?”

I said, “death and taxes.”

“What about you, mom?”

“Getting fat.”

I spit out my miso soup. I couldn’t hide my laughter.

“If you don’t take care of your health now, it’ll only get worse.”

At the same time, there was a lot of wisdom in there too. It reminded me of the book 30 Lessons For Living – one of my favorite books of 2014. It’s about life lessons elderly people wished younger people knew. One of them was to take care of your health as much as possible while you’re young. It’ll help you age gracefully without illnesses, aching pains and expensive medical bills.

Email is like that too. We’ll get more and more emails so it’s best we take matters in our own hands now before we lose even more time – the only commodity we cannot renew.

If we don’t get a grip on email now, we’ll end up paying for it later.

And if we have to deal with email, we might as well deal with it in the most efficient way so that we use our precious time for other more important things like:

  • Taking your kids to school and seeing them grow up
  • Go on a vacation and enjoy life without any form of stress
  • Take an afternoon off and do whatever you want

Today’s challenge is about giving you a quick tactic to save time on email.

Email Challenge Day 4: Write 5 Email Templates

Your challenge for today is to write 5 email templates.

After working with hundreds of clients, we have noticed that most people write the same kinds of emails over and over again.

You do this too. Just think of the last 5 emails you wrote. Chances are you can re-use one email that you wrote.

Imagine how much time you could save with this.

That’s why for today let’s write 5 templates that you can re-use every day. This simple tactic alone has given our clients easily over 30 minutes of newfound time in a day.

Here’s how you can get started:

1. Go to your Sent email folder and look at your last 20 emails.
2. Look for patterns in your emails. Do you notice subject lines you repeat? Do you notice one-liners you always use? Do you notice URLs or resources you always mention?
3. Now write a template for this that you can re-use.
4. Store this template in a text file on your desktop that you will use every day.

That’s it!

See if you can get 5 templates. These could be URLs, subject lines, one-liners or whole paragraphs.

Note: if you’ve followed us for a while, you know we would recommend you use a tool such as TextExpander (Mac/Windows). This tool allows you to type abbreviations and keywords to trigger words appearing on a screen. If you ever considered it, now is the time to use it. We have a whole tutorial on it here.

Let us know in the comments when you’ve written your 5 templates. Are you starting to see how much time you could be saving?

See you tomorrow for the last day of this email challenge.

Discover the 1 Lifehack of Highly Successful People

This one lifehack led to the biggest breakthrough of my career. People like Steve Jobs and Oprah have used it to catapult their success, and now you can too.


Posted by Melissa  | October 1, 2017 at 11:06PM | Reply

For my email templates, I made a Google Doc with a hyperlinked table of contents. To make this easy to find, since I have the Google Drive app, I made an alias (shortcut but for Mac) on my desktop that I can click to open!

Posted by Samuel  | September 26, 2017 at 1:48AM | Reply

Took me awhile but I was able to craft 5 templates. I work in sales so at first I thought this one wouldn’t apply to me. Realized soon how wrong I was… :)

Posted by Anne Fry  | September 24, 2017 at 7:40AM | Reply

I already had a few templates set up for my business. I looked through my last 20 replies but most are individual responses. I will keep an eye out for any emails that I send at home or at work that would benefit from setting up more templates. I keep these as drafts in my email account. I am very interested in text expander and plan to look at this in more depth this week. Thank you for these informative tips.

Posted by Katie  | September 23, 2017 at 9:45PM | Reply

I haven’t made any templates since I use email mostly as information gathering and most responses I give are very specific. But I will keep this tip in mind because it may come in handy when I deal with parents in my studio.

Posted by Liz Rolle  | September 23, 2017 at 8:02PM | Reply

I’m in transition and my recent emails show no real patterns. I did write two templates. One is ‘Our mutual friend, X, suggested I contact you. Let’s have coffee.’ The other is, ‘Here are my best times to meet.’ On the lookout for additional possibilities. I appreciated reading the comments which alerted me to some possibilities of opportunities to watch for. Especially looking forward to being able to formulate that elevator pitch email.

This has been great so far. I still have a very few items to sort through, but fewer and fewer, even within the last 30 days.

Posted by Amanda  | September 23, 2017 at 7:53PM | Reply

Great idea. I don’t often send recurring emails about a certain theme but I did create my greeting and salutation and two (2) templates related to project updates.

Posted by Dave  | September 23, 2017 at 7:52PM | Reply

I already had a couple of Canned Responses (templates) in GMail, but I’d forgotten them. This was a good reminder!

Posted by Raymond Perez  | September 23, 2017 at 12:00PM | Reply

Templates are relly helpful. Saved me 10 muinutes today.

Posted by Matthew Austin  | September 23, 2017 at 9:53AM | Reply

I’ve written three standard response templates that still sound personal and like I haven’t just pasted them. Great tip! I’m sure I’ll find this really useful.

Posted by Benjamin Marshan  | September 23, 2017 at 6:46AM | Reply

Templates created and already coming in handy.

Posted by Adam  | September 23, 2017 at 6:40AM | Reply

Didn’t really find a pattern to the sent email themselves but found some more common phrases which I’ve converted into textexpander snippets. Should have done them sooner.

I’ve recently been converted to keyboard maestro and adding a global hotkey to open textexpander if not open and open the search all expander snippets, which hopefully will save me some time in the future.
So thanks Thanh et al for this exercise! The comments have given plenty of great suggestions.

Posted by Valerie  | September 23, 2017 at 4:32AM | Reply

This was rather tough as the nature of emails I receive require unique responses. But it has helped me to think about some of the more routine aspects of my work (quarterly financial reporting) where I can use templates to request/disseminate information as part of the process. Will think about it more given quarter end is coming up soon!

Posted by Lynne  | September 22, 2017 at 7:32PM | Reply

How did I never think of this? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by Susan  | September 22, 2017 at 5:55PM | Reply

I already have a TON of longer email templates, so I made a handful of shorter ones. I’m going to research a text expander for Android, though. That would be really helpful.

Posted by Barb  | September 22, 2017 at 5:18PM | Reply

I had a look through my emails and I can’t find any regular patterns where templates would be useful right now. I don’t send a lot of emails like this. The main thing I have is my work hours in my signature block so I don’t have to keep telling people when I’ll be at work. I will file this idea away and use it if the need arises in future because I like the idea & can see where it could be very useful to do this.

Posted by jung  | September 22, 2017 at 4:36PM | Reply

Already had a bunch of templates in my Active Words (love), but managed to add 4 more for work emails.

Posted by Antal-Pap Judit  | September 22, 2017 at 3:42PM | Reply

Making these templates will help me lot in the future. Thank you for the idea.

Posted by Neil  | September 22, 2017 at 3:27PM | Reply

Created 3 – links to commonly requested project docs, a “Looks good to me” response and a request to convert a mail chain to a meeting. I have a few others previously defined for specific business functions where I work.

Posted by Kelley  | September 22, 2017 at 3:27PM | Reply

Genius idea! I’ve created email templates and helped me reduce my time in half.

Posted by Rena Wolf  | September 22, 2017 at 2:31PM | Reply

This was a great exercise and I think will save a lot of time in the future!

Posted by Tim Hauser  | September 22, 2017 at 2:13PM | Reply

I used Quick Parts in Outlook so I don’t have to leave my email program to grab those quick replies.

Posted by Heather  | September 22, 2017 at 12:49PM | Reply

These templates save a surprising amount of time.

Posted by James  | September 22, 2017 at 12:46PM | Reply

Templates are a great idea. Save so much time with the emails frequently used.

Posted by Myru  | September 22, 2017 at 12:02PM | Reply

Done! I just realized how fast it can get the job done with having templates. Thank you so much!

Posted by Oren  | September 22, 2017 at 11:36AM | Reply

Conference requested
Thank you for your support…

Posted by Kim  | September 22, 2017 at 11:02AM | Reply

I didn’t think I had any emails that followed a pattern until I started reading what some folks used for templates and looked at my past emails. I was able to put 4 templates together:
– Requesting conference rooms
– Scheduling meetings
– Weekly projects request of what was worked on this week from dept managers
– Weekly project status report out to department

Posted by Bob  | September 22, 2017 at 10:33AM | Reply

This one is really beyond my skill level. But the point I got from the piece is that I standardized responses are a time saving way to handle my inbox messages!

Posted by Niran  | September 22, 2017 at 10:02AM | Reply

Done – but they are short. I am not certain that this would be a huge help to me. However, I am more aware of looking for patterns so I can leek working on templates

Posted by Faith A.  | September 22, 2017 at 9:42AM | Reply

Created my templates! This is something I knew I should do based on the amount of repeat emails I send, and finally took the plunge. Excited to see how much time this saves me!

Posted by Kenny  | September 22, 2017 at 9:36AM | Reply

I’ve been making use of Text Expander for awhile for my common email templates. This has made me look for more common templates I can use without realizing it.

Posted by Helen Gunther  | September 22, 2017 at 8:46AM | Reply

Got 2 down straight off,
1- feedback required
2- update attached.

Now for the next 3

Posted by Karen  | September 22, 2017 at 8:40AM | Reply

Similar to others, I either don’t have a big pattern in my past 20 emails, or I’ve already made templates for the few situations where I would use one. But looking forward to exploring text expander!

Posted by Eric  | September 22, 2017 at 8:31AM | Reply

I scoured my sent email but wasn’t able to find any recurring things I could turn into a template. I already have a couple of snippets in aText that I use frequently. I’ll try and keep this top of mind as I’m emailing in the future to see if there’s anything else that I can add.

Posted by Randall Million  | September 22, 2017 at 8:27AM | Reply

Though there weren’t any repeats in the previous 20 work emails, I have a number of links to documents setup to be pasted via AutoHotKey. I also have a VBA shortcut in MS Excel to copy a hyperlink to the current shared document to the clipboard so I can easily email it.

Posted by Ted  | September 22, 2017 at 7:58AM | Reply

I have (a short) automatic greeting set up, like everyone else. I wasn’t able to find any good templates, however. I’ll keep looking…

Posted by Ruksana Ebrahim  | September 22, 2017 at 5:04AM | Reply

I actually have a similar template I adapt for all emails however see the benefit of having five or less as a strategy to save even more time…on my way to create this…thanks!

Posted by Emil  | September 22, 2017 at 5:02AM | Reply

I’ve created 5 email templates, some of them for general inquiries from our clients, some of them to be sent to our bank or suppliers.

Posted by Paul  | September 22, 2017 at 4:38AM | Reply

I made three…still searching for another two that make sense.

Posted by Kwame Moloko  | September 22, 2017 at 3:18AM | Reply

I don’t have a common theme in the emails.

But I will create a template with a greeting and salutation

Posted by Simon  | September 22, 2017 at 2:30AM | Reply

This task has been coincidentally on my mind for past few days. I used to have just one “auto e-mail reply” in Text Expander for a situation when I can’t reply quickly enough for being on the road or being focused on my specific topic/problem. I was thinking of creating more templates for more situation to save my time. … I work in business development… Thus, I too often receive dozens of “offers” from various companies for cooperations, purchases, advertisement opportunities, etc… Most of it is garbage. Now I’ve created 5 templates to answer this and other similar e-mails. (1 – Ultimate No, 2 – No but contact me again maybe next year, 3 – Busy I’ll get back to you within a few days, 4 – Fake out of office reply, 5 – Yes interesting send me more info.) I estimate this will save me 2-3 hours a week for sure.

Posted by Susanna  | September 22, 2017 at 2:18AM | Reply

Most of my emails need a personal/unique response, but my email is already so much cleaner. I’m gonna be thinking about the template option, however, just to make sure it isn’t something I can use.

Posted by Tara  | September 22, 2017 at 2:16AM | Reply

I used Outlook to create and save my templates. I created each and saved it as a signature.

Posted by Joe P.  | September 22, 2017 at 2:02AM | Reply

Templates made and stored in TextExpander.

Posted by Kacy McKibben  | September 22, 2017 at 1:53AM | Reply

I looked through my last 20 sent emails and found a few that could be combined into a template so I created a template and saved it to my own Slack channel for easy copying in the future!

Posted by Mark Badeau  | September 22, 2017 at 1:43AM | Reply

Made a few templates, a couple aimed at work requests for my assistant.

Great idea, thanks!!

Posted by Milan  | September 22, 2017 at 1:08AM | Reply

I use the Temple in Word for answers to the Employer and the Contractor. I have a dozen saved, according to the topic of the letter, which are positive or negative technical responses in accordance with the contract. Most mail applications offer the option of creating, storing and using templates. In half an hour I made eight templates, which I can use in everyday correspondence, and that they look very professional, unlike the previous ones. I’m really interested in what kind of reactions will be made by associates.

Posted by Steven  | September 22, 2017 at 12:38AM | Reply

Struggled to create five templates. I created two so far. My field of work requires a lot of specific mails. I will pay attention to see if I can create more.

Posted by Edgar  | September 22, 2017 at 12:03AM | Reply

I was able to make 6 templates based on the number of emails I customize per day. Three are professional templates and the other three are just general for conversations I have quite often.

Posted by Dan Roberson  | September 21, 2017 at 11:39PM | Reply

This one was a bit more challenging, but I finally got my five done. I’m using Typinator on the Mac as my “text expanding” option if anyone needs a non subscription based app. I know there are others but this one works well for me and I already use it for work anyways.

Posted by Paul L  | September 21, 2017 at 11:32PM | Reply

I re-read my last 50 emails and I could only build one template. My job actually requires very specific responses to individual emails (firefighting individual issues). I wish my responses could be more scripted, but it’s not currently an option.

Posted by David  | September 21, 2017 at 11:14PM | Reply

This is such a great idea! I’m constantly addressing similar issues with clients (like how to make tax deposits and requesting supporting documents for month close). Setting up a template for this will easily save me 1-2 hours a month. Now, what to do with this free time……..

Posted by Jeffrey  | September 21, 2017 at 11:06PM | Reply

Templates made!

Posted by Rob Boswell  | September 21, 2017 at 11:02PM | Reply

Thanks. Found 4 reoccurring emails that I developed into templates.

Posted by Shay  | September 21, 2017 at 10:53PM | Reply

I love templates! I wish I could make form filling email templates so I could just tab through and put in the info that needs personalized like you can in Word. Also, I’m working on teachng l teaching myself VBA so I can program my Database to Send automated emails to my techs when their documentation is about to expire. This will be awesome when it works, saves mne time and helps keep us in compliance! Meanwhile, I have templates built in Outlook for several things I send now that even includes the email address of those I always send it to.

Posted by Cheryl  | September 21, 2017 at 10:53PM | Reply

Done – one to reply to job seekers, one for grade changes, and a couple based on meetings and projects. I also have things that repeat once a year I have a set of emails I reuse each year.

Posted by Jonathan  | September 21, 2017 at 9:53PM | Reply

I looked at my last 20 sent emails, not much of a pattern but i’ll pay attention at my future emails to be sent for opportunities to use templates. Also I need to try text expander!

Posted by Vickie Ruggiero  | September 21, 2017 at 9:18PM | Reply

No obvious patterns in my school and personal emails that lend themselves to templates, though I do use signatures. I have set up a handful of templates in my work email for invoicing, reminders for student workers, initial inquiry responses, etc.

Posted by John  | September 21, 2017 at 9:12PM | Reply

I already have templates saved for common situations like forwardingvarious types of documents to others for review or returning documents that I reviewed. I didn’t find anything in common in my last 20 sent e-mails.

Posted by Keri  | September 21, 2017 at 9:09PM | Reply

I’ve created templates for emails I send often. Now I just need to remember to use them. Thanks to the person who commented with the tips for using templates with gmail.

Posted by KG  | September 21, 2017 at 9:07PM | Reply

I created templates to answer common questions I frequently get asked about:

–a couple of courses.
–a few different products and services.

Posted by James W.  | September 21, 2017 at 8:42PM | Reply

5 templates knocked out. Feels good!

Posted by Jarrod  | September 21, 2017 at 8:39PM | Reply

Just downloaded TextExpander and will start adding commonly used text, whould be a great time saver. Already have some standard emails for client queries, will add to that list as part of this exercise.

Posted by Sam  | September 21, 2017 at 8:22PM | Reply


Posted by Jim  | September 21, 2017 at 8:13PM | Reply

Struggled to come up with 5 templates so I settled for 4. Still on the lookout for template #5

Posted by Richard  | September 21, 2017 at 7:59PM | Reply

I made around 7 templates but I’m afraid that this number may grow in the future and end up making this too complicated. What did you guys base your templates on?

Posted by Josh A  | September 21, 2017 at 7:58PM | Reply

Love the templates feature with Airmail 3. Gmail labs has canned responses you can turn on too.

Posted by Todd  | September 21, 2017 at 7:16PM | Reply

Got the templates done. TextExpander is a big help.

Posted by Joe Powers  | September 21, 2017 at 7:15PM | Reply

This is a great trip for newbies. I’ve been using TextExpander for years And it’s saved me an insane amount of time. I suppose I have around 150 snippets. Several of which get used all day long.

Posted by Mat  | September 21, 2017 at 7:02PM | Reply

Quite ingenious- I followed the advice and figured I will have even faster processing of corporate emails from now on.

– I distilled the three most common intros
– Took my three most-used signatures out of the email program
– and I added the three most used greetings

and threw all of that into Text Expander. Looking forward towards the next email ;-)

Posted by Christine N  | September 21, 2017 at 6:58PM | Reply

I could only come up with one template! I consider answering emails with thoughtful replies as part of my job, or even how I add value. I will have to keep looking for opportunities. A tip for Outlook users, you can create and save your templates in your Signatures, then they are just an easy drop and click away!

Posted by edward  | September 21, 2017 at 6:50PM | Reply

was a challenge to get five templates for whole emails… but I was able to find a lot of repeat phrases/strings of thought that I type out a lot… automated them with Alfred’s text expansion ability.

Posted by Alex Ferrero  | September 21, 2017 at 6:48PM | Reply

Templates created, and I convinced some of my co-workers to do the same!

Posted by Dani Smith  | September 21, 2017 at 6:48PM | Reply

Templates for invoices, reminders, due diligence checklists, and a followup to a meeting created. Still trying to think of another that I use frequently.

Posted by Diane Thompson  | September 21, 2017 at 5:54PM | Reply

I managed to make 3 templates for things that I do on a regular basis: send out minutes and invoices. I realize that I probably could save some time with templates, so now that I am aware of them, I will be looking for ways to use them.
Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by AA  | September 21, 2017 at 5:45PM | Reply

only 2 templates were possible, but i created shortcuts for signatures and monthly reminders using text expander. Will be on the lookout for any future templates.

Posted by Diana  | September 21, 2017 at 5:34PM | Reply

Made template for thank you letters for after interviews.

Posted by Chris Davidson  | September 21, 2017 at 5:31PM | Reply

Created my templates!

Posted by LInda Maye Adams  | September 21, 2017 at 5:15PM | Reply

I do repeat a lot of emails, but templates are overkill for that in Outlook (more steps). I use signature as a form of templates instead. I pulled some email text from One Note and did eight additional signature blocks.

Posted by Sonya  | September 21, 2017 at 4:42PM | Reply

I created the template for items that I continually send requesting or updating information. Typically, I am answering someone’s questions, so there is not a clear pattern for the emails I send. I have made templates for my standardized items.

Posted by Mary  | September 21, 2017 at 4:36PM | Reply

I didn’t get to 5 templates, but I did make 3 for projects that I frequently have to request the same information over and over again for. I saved them as drafts in my email client for easier access. In the same vein, I edited my signatures to include the sign off greeting instead of having to type “thanks,” constantly. Thanks for the tips!

Posted by Mark Schollenberg  | September 21, 2017 at 4:27PM | Reply

Done. It was useful to go through sent items to see what my standard responses were. Templates are sure to be a timesaver.

Posted by Raymond  | September 21, 2017 at 4:10PM | Reply

I did the five and im trying them this afternoon. Never realised that these patterns were there before.

Posted by anthony j  | September 21, 2017 at 4:04PM | Reply

i’ve managed to setup 3 new short templates. generally my email replies are short anyway and if i need to create something longer it’s more non generic so templates won’t work.

Posted by Alexander Malmström  | September 21, 2017 at 3:43PM | Reply

Ok, so this was tough because I couldn’t find any patterns. I do have a bunch of signatures with all my info and the best regards and all that stuff in it. I’ve also used signatures as templates before to send out emails that are supposed to look the same to every recipient.

I do use textexpander and have some stuff saved up there as well.
I did create one new template in Airmail thou so a little step further on.

Posted by Josh Click  | September 21, 2017 at 3:36PM | Reply

Templates made. Nice to get them out of my mind and into the computer.

Posted by David Mullens  | September 21, 2017 at 3:35PM | Reply

I’ve use a few templates already. Looking through my sent email, I didn’t see much of a pattern. However, I did come up with a few ways I could use a template. I decided to create a ‘generic’ greeting and also a “reminder” that I send out every other week reminding participants of our meeting. Thanks!

Posted by Yanesh Tyagi  | September 21, 2017 at 3:30PM | Reply

Template won’t work for me except simple phrases such as thanks, noted or approved. For this, Gmail provides one-tap suggestion.

We have developed a culture to write informal emails. For example, if I send an attachments, I write ‘see attached’. This is to value my time as well as recepient’s time.

For other emails, they are usually longer providing solutions to a new kind of problem or analysing something.

Posted by Deirdre S  | September 21, 2017 at 3:10PM | Reply

First three were easy, last two much harder!

Airmail made this supper quick though,

Posted by Jim  | September 21, 2017 at 3:07PM | Reply

Work email is blocking me from getting textexpander. I will have to download tomorrow. Looking forward to trying it!

Posted by Jonathan Wheeler  | September 21, 2017 at 2:33PM | Reply

Because of the nature of my work, I’m always doing something new. There’s a lot of repetition when I’m writing documentation, but very seldom do I repeat emails.

That being said, I took some time to write a few more TextExpander snippets for my url, full name, email, dates, etc…

Posted by Sonya  | September 21, 2017 at 2:27PM | Reply

With my line of work, most of my emails are very project/detail specific. I can’t think of anything that I repeat often for the need of a template. I do see how this would be very helpful for some professions.

I do have my signature with important contact information included.

Posted by CBK  | September 21, 2017 at 2:24PM | Reply

Task complete. We use Google Apps for work so I already had a couple of canned responses in place. It was a good exercise to review and add a few more to help speed up the email process.

Posted by Angel F  | September 21, 2017 at 2:17PM | Reply

I actually already have those in Drive because of the type of work I do. TextExpander is on my purchase list!

Posted by Carolina  | September 21, 2017 at 2:16PM | Reply

I’ve created 4 templates, mostly to talk to professors about doubts in their lectures or asking them information for essays

Posted by Nate Lowrie  | September 21, 2017 at 1:12PM | Reply

I created templates for the following:
– We don’t do custom work. Here’s why.
– Let’s discuss this further. Please send a meeting invite to my calendar.
– Free shipping policy for our Saturn series routers including how to figure out if your address is residential or commercial.
– Elevator pitch for what the company is all about.

All were setup in TextExpander.

Posted by Peter D  | September 21, 2017 at 1:10PM | Reply

Most of my e-mails don’t follow a pattern that would make templates useful. However, I now have an empty Inbox. This is the first time that has happened in over a year!

Posted by Jessica  | September 21, 2017 at 1:02PM | Reply

I keep a “templates” folder in Outlook, but I always get caught up in trying personalize it even after I’ve decided to use a template. Need to just get over that!

Posted by Steve Page  | September 21, 2017 at 12:45PM | Reply

Just set up two templates…regular requests for PO’s and WO’s to my Assistant.
I,m leaving my office and will ponder on a couple more templates…i thik I will be able to utilize 4 templates…just have to sort the other two out.

Great tip Thanh.


Posted by marian phillips  | September 21, 2017 at 12:38PM | Reply

When I was a CSR in chat rooms some years ago, we had some canned responses and form letters to use, but we were encouraged to personalize them.

I created 3 work style email responses that just need specific details added before sending. DO IT ! They work and save you so much time to really concentrate on getting real work done.

Posted by Chris Williams  | September 21, 2017 at 12:30PM | Reply

I wrote my five email templates. I have two of them for scheduling meetings with a link to the appropriate calendly event. And the other three are informational emails I send to customers on a regular basis.

Posted by Laura  | September 21, 2017 at 12:13PM | Reply

I already had a few that I used regularly but going back through my last 20 sent emails helped me find more that I could template. Thanks for the tip!

Posted by Kristen Smith  | September 21, 2017 at 12:03PM | Reply

I’ve been using email templates for a while now, and I generally use Gmail’s “canned responses” tool, so I don’t have to copy and paste from a separate document.

I did go through my sent emails, though, and found one new template to create (one for sending expense reports to HR).

I haven’t played with text expanders before, but I actually think this will be more useful for me than full templated emails! Most of my emails are pretty individualized, but I use a lot of recurring phrases within those emails (“Works for me, ” “Sure, I can have that to you by…,” “Thanks for passing this along,” etc.). For now, I’m experimenting with Mac’s built-in version (System preferences –> Keyboard –> Text). But if I find myself wanting a more powerful version, I’ll definitely look into TextExpander. Thanks for the tips, as always!

Posted by Teejay  | September 21, 2017 at 12:03PM | Reply

Most of my personal emails require a response to a question. However, I was able to create three templates for some of the organizations at which I volunteer that will at least give them a response until I’m able to process the email (and buy me some time without looking like I’ve blown them off)!

Posted by Tim Howell  | September 21, 2017 at 11:48AM | Reply

WOW – such a simple idea, why did I not think of it before doh!
Sooooo…….. thanks to day 4 of the challenge, not only do I now have five templates ready to go but I have also discovered the benefits of text expander and airmail delay send function – Thanks Than!

Posted by Toby Carver  | September 21, 2017 at 11:35AM | Reply

I don’t use templates, but I use PhraseExpander to enter repeated text into email replies. It has saved so much time.

Posted by Anil Agrawal  | September 21, 2017 at 11:31AM | Reply

I don’t really have any patterns for my emails, but I do find and already have repeated texts, phrases, email addresses, my website links etc. All those are already in TextExpander

I even used those for this comment submission 😉

Posted by Maya Middlemiss  | September 21, 2017 at 11:31AM | Reply

+1 for saving into drafts. I have several pitch templates created as drafts in gmail, and actually find this more intuitive to use there than in Textexpander, for this particular purpose

Posted by Tyler  | September 21, 2017 at 11:29AM | Reply

Done. Not sure how much I’ll use all of them, but I now at least have them ready in case I do.

Posted by Dayna Flumerfelt  | September 21, 2017 at 11:14AM | Reply

Looking back through the most recent emails, even looking beyond the last twenty, I didn’t find much pattern in my responses. Most of my email interaction tends to be work with the board of directors and my executive team for my local Toastmasters club. Each of these emails usually require a detailed, individual response. However, I will look out for other opportunities for templating throughout the day and in the future.

Posted by Steve Woodfield  | September 21, 2017 at 11:09AM | Reply

I’ve created some email specific TextExpander snippets, including a generic OOO (Out of Office), template, a committee response emails, and some social email templates.
Hitherto, I’ve been mainly using TextExpander for key words and phrases, but I can seen the potential time saving benefits from these templates, once I get into the swing of using them.
I’ve even use the field fill-in facility for , which I think will prove very helpful. It will also prevent me from copying messages and then forgetting to change the name of the recipient!

Posted by Gale Bates  | September 21, 2017 at 11:02AM | Reply

Great challenge. I’ve never done this. I always leave emails I want to repeat in my draft folder. Thanks.

Posted by Alice Ferris  | September 21, 2017 at 11:01AM | Reply

I already have several canned responses/templates in gmail, but this was a good exercise to look at my last 20 emails. The good news, my last 20 were all work related (whew), but there didn’t seem to be much of a pattern. I’ll work on this some more, I think!

Posted by DivaJo  | September 21, 2017 at 10:55AM | Reply

I use Gmail canned responses that show up at the end of emails received. I just learned I can make my own and they too will show up at bottom of received emails. So handy. Sometimes I use as is or to kick off my thoughts to add to. Best thing ever!

Posted by Rusty  | September 21, 2017 at 10:51AM | Reply

I’ve created some templates based on my most common emails sent :)

Posted by Dave  | September 21, 2017 at 10:44AM | Reply

Done. If you use Inbox by Gmail like I do, you can create and manage templates. Here’s Google’s help article or just search “gmail inbox templates.”

Posted by Tamika Sykes  | September 21, 2017 at 10:35AM | Reply

I created templates for responding to prospective client based on my 3 different locations. I saved them as their own unique signature so i can just click signature & select from the drop-down box.

Posted by Janeson  | September 21, 2017 at 9:37AM | Reply

So far I’ve developed three templates:
1. “Thanks, but I’m not interested….”
2. “Your invoice is attached….”
3. “I’ve completed the updates you requested….”
I saved them into my Drafts folder with a descriptive subject line.
As soon as I finished with the templates, I checked my email and had occasion to use one of them first thing. I opened the draft, copied the text of it into my reply, closed the draft, and send the email. Less than a minute! I’m excited thinking about all the keystrokes I’ll save!

Posted by Mike  | September 21, 2017 at 9:25AM | Reply

I already had several templates to respond to some basic technical requests. I went through and built 5 new templates / phrase blocks for some of of the more generic emails that come through. If using, I much prefer phrase express to text expander. It may be worth trying both.

Posted by Katie  | September 21, 2017 at 7:54AM | Reply

I created a couple of email templates for one of my employers (for various scenarios such as requesting reimbursement for work related expenses, submitting just a regular timesheet, etc). Every fortnight I have to submit timesheets, so I’ve got the templates set up. Because I have done my last shift for the fortnight, I could use the template to quickly set it up, and I used the delayed send in Airmail. It’s now set to email through at 9am on Monday, and I can forget about it! I also set up a quick format in text expander for the specific date formatting needed in the submission.

Using text expander, I’ve also created short cuts for:
* my regular sign offs to emails and correspondence
* each of my email addresses
* my contact details
* the instructions for deliveries to my apartment (because they seem to be unable to figure out where my place is 🙄: I have to write an explanation for every order for delivery, whether it’s food, books or anything in between!)

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