How to minimize mistakes and maximize writing efficiency in Gmail

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

You can configure Gmail to mark and fix potential spelling and grammar problems, suggest sentences and text for quick replies, and re-enter messages you send frequently. Leverage templates can be used to eliminate the need for Or, if you prefer to compose each message yourself without the aid of the system, you can turn all of these options off and trust your ability to write exactly what you want without errors.

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In most cases, I recommend that people who use Gmail configure the settings in the web browser as shown. Figure A And Figure D, These options not only help you reduce errors, but over time, can reduce the amount of time you spend composing emails. To get started, open Gmail in Chrome on a desktop-class computer.

Figure A

Screenshot of Gmail |  With general settings, grammar, spelling and autocorrect.  Suggestion writing, personalization, smart reply and smart features and personalization options are also all turned on.
To identify and fix potential errors, turn on spelling and grammar suggestions with AutoCorrect in Gmail. To give the system predictive suggestions, turn on the Smart Write and Reply setting.

How to Use Grammar, Spelling and Auto Correct in Gmail

Most people would like to allow Gmail to identify potential spelling and grammar issues and auto-correct many errors. The system can catch and correct all kinds of specific mistakes, including typos (for example, “teh”), volume compromise errors (for example, “a laptop instead of a laptop”) and stress problems (e.g., “a laptop instead of a laptop”). for, “we already order new equipment,” where the verb must be ordered).

In Gmail, select Sprocket (top right). View All Settings | Select General, then the following settings:

  • Grammar: Grammar Tips,
  • Spelling: On spelling suggestion, and
  • AutoCorrect: AutoCorrect is on.

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and select Save Changes.

Place your cursor over a word identified as a potential problem—underlined in red for a grammar problem, blue for a spelling problem—to display the option. Click (or tap) a suggested change to accept it, or select the rounded x to ignore it (Figure B,

Figure B

With spelling and grammar suggestions activated in Gmail, the system highlights potential grammar issues in blue and potential spelling errors in red.

How to Use Smart Compose, Smart Reply, and Personalization in Gmail

Smart Compose and Smart Reply provide opportunities to leverage the power of adaptive predictive systems in email messages. Smart Compose provides possible words or phrases for your sentence that you can select (with a tap or swipe) as you enter text in an email message. Smart Reply lets you choose a phrase for a faster response.

For these features to work, first sign in to Gmail, select Sprocket (upper right). View All Settings | Check the box next to General, then Smart features and personalization. Then select the following settings:

  • Smart Compose: Write suggestions on,
  • Smart Compose personalization: Personalization on, and
  • Smart Reply: Smart reply on.

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings page and select Save Changes.

Smart Compose and Smart Reply System (Figure C) Adjust the options offered over time as the system learns the phrases you use and chooses. If you want to try out these features, I suggest you enable both the options and leave them on for a month or so. This usually gives the system enough time to adapt to reflect your preferences and writing style. Simply turning on the feature and then composing an email or replying to certain messages won’t give you an accurate understanding of what these features do. Turn them on, leave them on for several weeks, and only then evaluate how well the words and phrases suggested by the system meet your needs.

Figure C

Two images: (left) labeled Smart Compose, with a sentence that
When composing Gmail, Smart Compose displays a possible message in light gray color (as shown on the left). Tap the Tab key to accept and use the suggestion. Separately, the system displays the Smart Reply option at the bottom of the email (as shown on the right). Click (or tap) any option to reply with your selected answer.

How to Use Templates in Gmail

The Templates feature in Gmail allows you to compose a message once, save it as a template, then retrieve the archived template anytime. Templates work well when you send the same message—or the same message—often.

To enable templates, open Gmail in a desktop-class web browser, select Sprocket (upper right). View All Settings | advanced | Select Enable under Templates. Select Save Changes to save the changes (Figure D,

Figure D

Screenshot of Gmail settings with the Templates option set to Enabled.
In Gmail Settings, select the Advanced tab, then select Enable under Templates. This allows you to save any message you plan to use often, then insert it while composing or replying.

Then, whenever you compose a new email or type a reply, you can select the three-dot menu (to the left of the Trash icon in the Gmail Compose window). Templates | Save the draft as a template. Save as new template, then name your message in a way that makes sense to you when you want to retrieve it for future emails. If your email message is otherwise blank, the name of the saved template will be inserted as the subject of your email.

Alternatively, if you select a pre-archived template, you can choose to replace a previously archived message with your current one. This allows you to update any saved message template as needed or desired.

When a Gmail message is open, select the three-dot menu (next to the Trash icon in the Compose window). Templates, then choose a saved template to insert into your message, as shown in Figure E, Note that you can repeat the process of inserting the template, which will allow you to archive and insert different types of messages into a Gmail message. For example, you can store one template that provides a summary of your organization’s work, and other templates that each provide details about a specific product or service. Select and insert one or more templates as appropriate.

Figure E

The screenshot shows the Compose window, with the Templates option activated, with the menu options for the two templates (title
Select the three-dot menu in the Compose window. Templates for accessing and managing Gmail message templates.

How do you write efficiently in Gmail?

In addition to the tips above, Google also provides Smart Compose and Smart Reply settings in the Gmail mobile apps for iOS/iPadOS and Android. However, the grammar, spell checking, and autocorrect options depend on the system settings. (For iOS: Settings | General | Keyboard, then enable auto-correction and check spelling options. For Android: Settings | System | Languages ​​& Input | Spell Checker, turn on, and, assuming you If using Gboard, tap the sprocket and enable grammar checking.)

Do you turn on error checking, auto-correction, and smart suggestions in Gmail? Or do you prefer to turn off one (or more) of these options? If you’ve used Smart Compose or Smart Reply, what do you think of the suggested messages? Do you often use suggested words or phrases? Tell me which combination of writing efficiency settings you prefer in Gmail, either with a comment below or on Twitter (@avolber,

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