save time with canned Gmail templates

One of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur is to establish clear processes and systems that utilize automation whenever possible. Your computer can and should be doing the work for you.

Templates are a great place to start. Specifically, email templates. While these instructions are specifically for Gmail, this process can be modified for any email service. If templates aren’t offered you can always create different email signatures that include prewritten text above the signature.


What type of email do you find yourself sending often? Can at least part of it be written generically so it can be reused?

A personal example: I send a disclaimer email with all final PDF proofs for printing. It’s always the same: check spelling, confirm information is correct, colors on screen are not as they’ll appear printed, etc. I created a block of template copy with this information, and all I have to do is drop it into the end of the email with the proof. This one template has saved untold hours of time.

Other ideas:

  • Request a Google review, with link
  • A process outline to send to new clients
  • A thank you + coupon code

These templates should be a small component in the larger part of your overall system and process. If you need help creating and implementing processes, click here to see how first pixels can help.

Choose an email you can set up in this way, pull up and let’s get started.


1. In Gmail, go click the gear in the top right, then ‘See all settings’

2. Click the Advanced tab, then under Templates select ‘Enable’ > Save changes


3. Click ‘Compose’ to create a new message

Make sure you use a subject line that will work for all recipients. This will become the email template title.

4. Type out your email and add any links

For this example I created a “Post-Project Survey” that links to a website form to collect feedback. Important note: delete your email signature from the template and hit hard return at the bottom of your text to add a bit of space.


5. When your email is ready to save, click the 3 dots on the bottom right for ‘More options’

Hover over Templates > Save draft as template > Save as new template.


6. Template title = Subject line. Click ‘Save’

And you’re done.

how to use your Gmail email template:

When composing a new email:

  1. Enter the recipient email address
  2. Click the 3 dots for more options > Templates > select the template you’d like to use
  3. The template email will insert into the body of the email
  4. Confirm nothing needs to be customized and click send.

how to update your Gmail email template:

  1. Compose to open a new email
  2. Click the 3 dots for more options > Templates > select the template you’d like to use
  3. The template email will insert into the body of the email
  4. Update everything until you’re happy with it
  5. Click the 3 dots/more options > Templates > Save draft as template > click the name of the template you’re editing to overwrite it with what’s currently in your compose window


That’s it. 10-15 minutes of tweaking settings and a bit of writing, and you’ll find yourself feeling more productive and less stressed about frequent email responses.



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