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For Photographers: Implementing Gmail’s Canned Responses Into Your Workflow

February 14, 2018

Gmail Canned Responses Blog Header

As a wedding photographer and small business owner, I am always looking for time saving hacks, especially when it comes to client communication.  Since I use email for just about everything, I knew that there had to be a way to minimize the amount of time I was spending in my inbox.  I realized that I could save a lot of time by creating a document with email templates.  I could then copy and paste those templates into my email drafts, personalizing as needed.  But the coolest discovery didn’t come until someone introduced me to one of my favorite time saving tricks of all-timeand that’s Gmail “Canned Responses” application!

“Canned Responses” has been a lifesaver for my inbox management!  You can actually create saved responses and use them within Gmail.  It’s super easy to use, and in this blog post I am going to walk you through it step-by-step!

First, you’ll need to enable the “Canned Response” application in Gmail so that you can start using it:

  1. Open your Gmail and find the little gear on the top left of your Inbox.
  2. Click on “Settings.”
  3. Next, click on “Labs” from the text menu.
  4. Find “Canned Responses” and click “Enable.”
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes.”
  6. You’ve officially enabled Gmail’s “Canned Responses”!

Next, create your first saved “Canned Response”:

  1. Click “Compose” to open a new email.
  2. Type in what you want your saved email template to say, then highlight.
  3. Click the triangle shaped drop down button next to the trash can icon.
  4. Hover over “Canned Responses”, then select “New Canned Response” under “Save.”
  5. Type in the desired title of the your new “Canned Response” and click “Save.”
  6. You have now created and saved your first “Canned Response”!

Now, we will insert your newly created “Canned Response” into an email:

  1. Click “Compose” to open a new email.
  2. Click the triangle shaped drop down menu next to the trash can icon.
  3. Hover over “Canned Responses”, then select the title of the “Canned Response” you just created beneath “Insert.”
  4. You will see your template pop up in your new email draft!

That’s it – super easy! I will save you the details on how to manage your saved responses, because it’s all extremely straight forward from here!

The great news is that you can use your Gmail “Canned Responses” for everything such as:

  • The Inquiry and Follow Up Process
  • The Booking Process
  • Tips and Suggestions for Portrait Sessions and Wedding Day Prep
  • Vendor Recommendations
  • Client “Issues”

But isn’t this super impersonal?
It’s only as “impersonal” as YOU make it out to be! I like adding personal touches here and there as I respond to each email individually. The Canned Responses will help provide body to your emails, but you want to make sure you’re responding to the sender’s questions/comments as needed.
That’s it! You have potentially saved yourself hours over the course of the next year!  I hope you love implementing this little trick into your workflow – I know I did! Here’s to INBOX ZERO!

comments +

  1. Michael Shea says:

    Loved your advice about “Canned Responses” Would you mind sharing your canned responses? This is one area that I have struggled with. Thanks! Michael

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