Gmail automation can help you keep your inbox clean and save so much time. But what exactly can you automate in Gmail and how do you set it up? In this video, Scott Friesen shows you 5 different ways to add automation to your Gmail account and which settings to use to get the most out of these functions.
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This video is sponsored by NetHunt for Gmail. More about them a little later in the video. If you can learn to automate more features as a part of your day, you're going to automatically save a lot of time, so in this video, we're looking at several different ways in which we can automate functions right here within Gmail. Hello, everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And we're going to be looking at everything from creating templates, snoozing emails, scheduling emails in the future, and a whole lot more. So let's dive in with tip number one. And yes, we're talking about scheduling emails in advance sometime in the future. So let's take a look at this example. In this case, I want to remind a client that we are meeting sometime in the future. And let's say that I'm thinking about this. I'm thinking about sending Ted a reminder on Monday, but our session actually isn't until later in the week; it's not until Friday. So I've already written the email, what I can do is come all the way down here and instead of hitting Send, which, of course, will send it immediately, I can hit this dropdown arrow and select Schedule send. So if I want him to receive this on Thursday, for example, the day before, I can select that time. Now, you will be presented with a few default options here. So, for example, I've been given tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, and Monday morning. Well, that's way too far in advance, and these two are too early, but Gmail tries to be helpful by giving us a few suggestions. In most cases, I'm going to come down here and select Pick date & time. So in my example, yeah, I want to send it out on Thursday and I can adjust this specific time if I want. Maybe 1:00 pm is a little later in the day than I would like, so let's make that 10:00 am. Perfect, and then I can select Schedule send. Now the message is gone, essentially it's off of my screen as if I sent it. But over here on the left-hand side, you can see that we have this Scheduled area or this Scheduled menu item. If I come here, I can see a full list of all of the messages that are scheduled to go. And over here, it's showing me May 5th. That's the date as to when that message will be sent. So if I need to come in here and edit it or change when that message is sent, I can always do so. Now the next tip on our list has to do with automatically forwarding certain emails to someone else, such as a personal assistant, a virtual assistant, or maybe some other member of your team, or maybe just your own personal inbox or some other email address that you manage. Now, in order to get started with this, we need to come up to the gear icon and select See all settings. And then we're going to come over here to Forwarding because we need to make sure that we've added that email address to our forwarding section. Now, in my case here, I already have the address that I want to forward to, but if you haven't done so before, you're going to need to come down here and select Add a forwarding address, enter in that email, and then it will confirm it with that other address. Of course, you can't just put in anything here. You need to make sure that that other individual, or perhaps the other account that you manage, is going to accept forwarded email messages from yourself. It's a pretty straightforward process. But now that we have that email account added here, take special note of the two radio buttons. Now the first one is actually what we want in this case, and that is Disable forwarding, meaning we don't want all of my email forwarded to this account. If I did want that behavior, well, then I would select this second option down below. But in this case, we want to keep it at Disable forwarding because we're only going to forward certain messages. If you've made some of these changes, make sure to come down to the bottom and select Save Changes before we head back to our inbox. Now, in this case, what I want to do is forward any emails that are coming from Trello, coming from the trello.com email address. So I'm going to come up here to my search bar and I'm going to start with an asterisk, so that's going to be a bit of a catch-all in this case and then use the @ sign and then put trello.com. Remember, you can use that asterisks as a wild card in a variety of ways. So no matter who that message is coming from, as long as it's from @trello.com, it's going to be captured in this filter. So whether it's email@example.com whether it's firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, it's all going to be included here. Now we can hit Enter at this stage if we want to just sort of double check what kinds of messages will be included. Here you can see, we've got everything from Taco from Trello and a few other ones that are simply listed Trello. This is perfect. This is exactly what I want to be forwarding to maybe a personal assistant or someone else who is managing my Trello boards on my side. Next up, we want to come up here and show my search options. So we have the Has words *@trello.com, that's what it's going to be looking for, but here in the next step, we want to select Create a filter. Now I know in most cases, when you hear that term filter, you might be thinking of filtering messages out of your inbox or maybe adding something else to it. Remember, in Gmail, they sort of use this term filter for a catch-all of a number of behaviors. So in this case, we are given a relatively long list of different things that can happen to this email, but where we want to pay attention is about the fifth one down, Forward it to, and here is where we can choose an address. Now, if you still haven't added a forwarding address in the previous step, you can do so here as well. but since we have, I'm going to have this dropdown menu. I only have the one to choose from at this point, so I'm going to select that in this case. Now I can choose to add a few other things here as well if I want to maybe delete it after it arrives, or skip the inbox, or add a particular label, but let's keep it very simple in this case. What will happen now after I have created this filter is that whenever I receive an email from trello.com, it will automatically forward that same email to this other address. Again, that can be very, very helpful if you are working with an assistant or maybe other members of your teams and you want to make sure that they're on top of specific emails, whether that's from a specific sender or maybe it just includes specific words in the subject line. Now, if you're enjoying today's Gmail tips, you're going to love this ebook from my friends at NetHunt. NetHunt has put together The Gmail Book: How to turn Gmail into a sales management tool. And if you'd like to gain access to it, you can do so for free. Now this guide has more than 50 pages on how to get even more automation out of your Gmail account and is especially helpful if you use Gmail for your business, or for sales, or for marketing. If you'd like to get your free copy, be sure to click the link in the description down below. Now, if there's one automation feature that I don't think gets enough attention within Gmail, that is templates, being able to repurpose a certain response or a certain email over and over again. Now, step one in creating a template is that you want to go into your settings and make sure that you've enabled templates. So here we want to come all the way over to the Advanced tab and here you will see the Templates option. Make sure that you have this enabled so you can start using templates and start saving a whole lot of time. Now, when we go back to our inbox, let's hit the Compose button here. I'm going to maximize this for just a second, and all we need to do is come down to the lower right-hand quarter, pretty close to the garbage can, pretty close to the delete. But here we're going to select that More button, and here you can see that we have a Templates option. Now, in my case, I've already created a few different templates, and these save me so much time so I don't have to write out the same message or maybe most of the same message but I can still make edits to them. So, for example, I've got one here called Learn more about Simpletivity. And if I select that, you can see I've got several sentences written here, I've got a couple of links, I've even got my logo as a part of this template. So when someone asks me a particular question, I can just hit this template and then send it off. I don't have to write out the full thing, I don't have to go somewhere else and copy and paste it; I have it here right at my fingertips. But the great thing is, is that we can edit and have as many templates as we want. So let me just delete this for a moment. I'm going to hit that Compose button once again, maximize here and come back to our template. So in order to create your new template, all you need to do is, well, write a new message. Now, we're going to want to start with the subject, and this is very important because the subject of your email is going to become the name, it's going to become the title of the template. So, in this case, I'm just going to say New Template Example so it stands out from the rest of mine. And then, of course, down below, I can add as much as I want as a part of my template. So again, links, images, full product descriptions, whatever you want to add as a part of this template, you can add it here. Now, when I come down here and hover over that Template option, instead of inserting a template, I want to hover over the Save draft as a template. Now you're going to see that it's going to give me the option to overwrite any of my existing templates. In this case, I don't want to do that. I'm going to say Save as a new template. It will give me an option to rename this in this case, but keep in mind that the name of your new template, by default, when you first create it, is going to take that subject line. So I'm going to hit Save in this case, and now when I come down to Templates, you can see that I have that as an option here, my New Template Example. Now, if I want to change this template, let's say I've added a lot of great information, but I want to add a little more, for example, and yeah, we're going to use a capital U there in but. Let's say I want to add a little more to this template, what do I do now? Well, all I need to do is use that overwrite feature. I'm going to say Templates here, and I'm going to say Save draft as a template, but instead of saving a brand-new template, you know what, this is just an enhancement. This is really just a version two of New Template Example, so I'm going to choose that one here. It's going to give me a prompt, "Are you sure you want to overwrite this saved template?" I'm going to say Yes, and beautiful, now I've got that template saved here as well. One quick tip for you when you are creating your templates is to make sure that you actually remove your email signature, and I'll show you why. Let me get rid of the text here, let me get rid of the subject, and I'm going to add that template that we just created. Remember, New Template Example. and what you're going to see is that it's including the email signature within the template. So what I should have done when I was creating that template from scratch, I should have just got rid of my email signature altogether. And that goes for when you're updating your template as well, otherwise your signature will become a part of the template and you probably already have your default signature listed here for each and every new email. So that's a pro tip when you are creating or modifying your templates in the future. Next up, let's take a look at one of the easiest automations to implement but also perhaps one of the biggest time savers as well. As you're processing and going through your inbox, you're probably going to come across several emails that you need to reply to or you need to address but you just don't want to do it at the moment. You'd like to do it sometime in the future. Now for many of us, that may require adding a particular label and moving it somewhere else outside of the inbox. But the risk is that you might forget it and you might not come back to that particular label. Instead, what we can do is use the snooze feature right here which is listed on every single email. Now we can either do this one at a time. In fact, you can often just scan or glance at your inbox and say, "Yeah, I need to address that, but I'll do that a little later," and hit the snooze icon here. Or what I can do is actually open up any email and you'll see that snooze function here at the top as well. But perhaps the fastest way to use snooze is to take a look at maybe those several emails that you want to address a little bit later in the day, select them all here with the checkbox, and then come up and select snooze. Now, wherever you decide to select snooze, you're going to see an option something like this. Gmail's going to give us several suggestions as to when we would like to snooze. Now there's a couple of helpful defaults here, including later today, tomorrow, next weekend, next week, for example, but you can also come down and pick a specific time. Now you may be asking yourself, "Why is it suggesting 6:00 am for all of these options except for the one that is, of course, later today?" Well, here's another pro Gmail tip for you. If you want to adjust these default times, you need to go into your Google Keep account. Yes, these times are tied with your Google Keep reminders. Let's jump over to my Google Keep account and show you what I mean. If I come up here to my settings, you'll see that I have a few different options but about halfway down, I've got my Reminder Defaults. So here you can see 6:00 am is my morning reminder. So as long as both your Keep reminder settings and your Gmail snooze settings are similar, or you'd like to keep them the same, you can make those changes here. So, let's say for example, 6:00 am is too early for me, I'm going to adjust this to 7:30 and I'm going to hit Save here. If I jump back to email, I might have to refresh my screen, so let me just refresh my inbox here. But I'm going to go back and I'm going to select a couple of my messages here, and then I'm going to hit snooze. Now, you can see, as a part of the defaults, it's providing 7:30 am as the time as to when it will come back to my inbox. So I'm just going to say, "Yeah, let's deal with these messages a little later this week," I'm going to select that option. Those selected messages are now removed from my inbox and will be returned at the time that I specified. But what if I want to address them sooner or just keep tabs on all of the messages which I've snoozed? Well, on the left-hand side, our third option down is Snoozed. So if we select that option, here you can see all of the messages which are scheduled to come back sometime in the future. So I can go and address them now if I want to or I can just review them here. On the far right-hand side, you can see the dates as to when they are scheduled to return to my inbox. So don't worry, they're not hidden. You can always go find them. You can always respond to them even at an earlier date. Now, if you've made it this far into the video, I want you to prove it to me by adding the word automation in the comments down below. And while you're there, why not ask me a question or maybe provide a suggestion as to what other Gmail-related content you'd love to see right here on the Simpletivity channel. Now for our last tip today, we're taking a look at something that is maybe not necessarily automation but something that will certainly save you a lot of time right here within Gmail, and that has to do with managing and inserting multiple email signatures. Many Gmail users don't realize that they can have more than one email signature, but also change them on the fly, depending on who they're responding to or who they are writing to right here within their inbox. So here, I've got my default email signature here, but depending on who I'm writing to, I may want to change that. Down below, you can see that we have this little pen icon, which is the insert signature icon. And if I select that, you can see the list of all of my signatures here. So for example, maybe I don't want a signature, I can always choose that option. Or maybe I want to give this particular person a special discount, so I'm going to give them this simplified signature, but it has a link right in the signature. This is very, very helpful, especially if you're giving a discount or a special offer for a limited time, so you don't want to use this as your default signature but maybe just for certain clients or for a certain period. So where do you go to change and manage and add your email signatures? In order to do so, we need to go back to our full Gmail settings, and near the very bottom of the screen, we have the option to manage our signatures. Now, here, in this case, you can see that I already have about four listed here, but if we want to create something new, all we need to do is select this Create new button. And as you can see, I've got a simple one here. I've got a reply one here with maybe a different set of icons or a different invitation, or here's that special discount signature, which I can add on the fly. Now down below, you want to pay special attention to the For New Emails Use and On Reply Use This. So now once you've created your email signatures up above, you can choose from any of them as your default, but also, you can choose a different one for your reply. So again, depending on your audience, depending on your purposes, then you can manage your email signatures right here within Gmail. And don't forget, you can grab your free copy of The Gmail Book from my friends at NetHunt absolutely free. Just be sure to click the link in the description down below. 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