There are times when you need a pre-fab, ready-made email to send to clients, employees, or customers. To tackle this task, you might already have something composed in a Word or Google doc that you copy/paste into an email. If you use Google Inbox, there is a very handy template feature that will go a very long way in handling your canned replies, custom signatures, frequent attachments, and more.

Google has done a great job of making it easy to use templates within Inbox, though creating templates in Inbox is not as obvious as you might think. I’ll walk you through the process of creating a template and then using it.

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Creating a template in Google Inbox

To create a template, open Inbox and then click the + button to begin composing an email. In the Compose window, click the far right drop-down and then click the Template button (Figure A).

Figure A

Click the Template button, and you’ll see it is actually a drop-down that allows you to select a previously created template, create a new template, and manage your templates. Click the Make This Draft A Template entry and a new Compose window will open (Figure B).

Figure B

Compose this template as you would write a regular email–that includes formatting, adding links, and attachments. After you finish the composition, click the CREATE button, and the template will be saved and ready to use.

Composing with a template

To compose an email from a template you created, follow these steps.

  1. Click the + button to compose the email.
  2. Click the Template button.
  3. From the Template drop-down select the template you want to use (Figure C).
  4. Complete your template (if you left placeholders for anything).
  5. Fill in the To field and the Subject.
  6. Click Send.

Figure C

You can also reply with a template in similar fashion as you would when composing an email. When you open a reply window, click the Template button and select the template you want to use from the drop-down.

Managing your templates

You can delete and create new templates from the Manage Your Templates window. To get to this window, scroll down to the bottom of the left navigation pane and click Settings. Click Templates in the resulting window and then click either CREATE A TEMPLATE or hover over one of your existing templates and click the trash can icon to delete the template (Figure D).

Figure D

Templates made easy

Google Inbox Templates is quite a handy system that can make your life considerably easier. Once you create the templates you need, composing and replying with pre-written and formatted text will help make sending email more efficient.