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Google is always concocting new ways to help make your workflow more efficient. Such is the case with the newly added ability to compose a Gmail draft within Google Docs. This new feature is found within the Building Blocks submenu and makes it such that you compose the draft (or multiple drafts) within Google Docs, and then (with a single click) send the email.

SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is best for Mac, iPad, and iPhone users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Not only does this mean you can easily compose emails from within Google Docs, but you can also collaborate on those emails. And that, my friends, is worth the price of entry. Imagine, you have a team that must send out regular emails and you need input from the group. Create the document, share it out, and then start composing the email(s) within the doc.

Let me show you how.

What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to use this new feature is a Google Workspaces account. The new email compose feature works in both the paid and free versions of Workspaces, so anyone can access the new option. Let’s get to composing.

How to use the Gmail draft feature

Open the Google Doc you intend to use. With the document open, click Insert | Building Blocks | Email draft (Figure A).

Figure A

The Building Blocks submenu in Google Docs.
The Building Blocks submenu in Google Docs.

A new section will appear in your document, which includes To, CC, Bcc, Subject and body sections (Figure B).

Figure B

Creating a Gmail draft is as simple as it looks.
Creating a Gmail draft is as simple as it looks.

Compose the missive exactly as you would within Gmail (adding recipients, a subject and then typing the body). Once you’ve completed composing the email, you can either leave it as is or click the M logo to send it. When you send an email, a popup window will appear that looks exactly like the regular Gmail compose window. Click Send and the missive is off to the recipient(s). The only caveat is that you have to manually close the popup once the email sends. After sending the email, the draft will remain within the document.

Aha! a hint as to another way we can use this new feature. Say you send out regular emails to specific recipients, only the body of the email is altered. You could use this feature to create a collection of email templates (even collaborating on them) and alter the body of the email as needed and then send it when ready.

Imagine having a Google Docs document filled with emails that you send daily, only you no longer have to go through the process of composing them all from scratch. That’s efficient communication. Not only are you saving time, but you’re also making it possible to collaborate on such efforts so that they are more reliable and repeatable.

Give this new Google Docs feature a try and see if you don’t find some exciting use cases for it.

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