Level Up Gmail With Labs 

gmaillogoDespite significant advances in digital technologies, email continues to be a dominant communication tool used in virtually every industry, including education. Fortunately for Gmail users, there are loads of tricks designed to alleviate some of the stress associated with a flooded inbox. Some of the lesser known Gmail organization tools can be found in Labs.

Gmail labs are experimental features that can help tame an unruly inbox, improve efficiency, and allow educators to focus on more important tasks, like teaching! There are a variety of labs users can benefit from and one of my personal favorites is Canned Responses. Installing the lab is a cinch:

  1. Click on the settings gear
  2. Select settings
  3. Click on the labs tab
  4. Scroll to canned responses and click enable.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click save changes in order to active the Lab.

Once enabled, you can create a canned response and send that particular email when applicable. Inserting a saved canned response is much quicker than writing your response in a Doc and copying and pasting. Here’s a canned response scenario:

Suppose a parent wants a weekly update about how her child is performing in your class. Rather than writing the same response over and over again, you can save time by inserting the canned response. I’ve found canned responses particularly useful when folks reach out to me inquiring about scheduling  a Hangout with me to learn more about the BHS Help Desk program. The brief video below demonstrate the exact process of enabling and using the canned response lab.  It is a must use simple and effective tool for busy educators. I can assure you that a three to five minute investment of your time on the front end can save you from drowning in email and ultimately save you loads of time over the course of a school year.

Enjoy and you’re welcome!

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