Using Gmail’s Canned Responses with Amy + Andrew

One of the most rewarding parts of building is seeing how our users integrate Amy + Andrew into their workflows, especially in ways we didn’t anticipate. Read on to learn how Time Lord Greg Rosner uses Gmail’s Canned Responses tool to make Amy + Andrew even more efficient.

Why use Canned Responses?

Canned Responses is a simple tool that does exactly what it says: it inserts a pre-made template into the email you’re composing. It’s one of a suite of email templating options from simple auto-responders like Gmail’s Smart Reply to more robust tools like Mixpanel. Time Lord Greg runs Pitch Kitchen, a presentation development agency for executives. Pitch Kitchen upgrades presentations through better story, structure, design, and training. As you might imagine, Greg meets clients often for new business and production meetings. A true Time Lord, he lives by the mantra of efficiency.

Greg prizes quality time with clients and his creative energy above all, so he’s committed to systematizing routine parts of his growing business.

“If I do it more than once a day, it’s on the list for automation,” Greg explains. “There are 101 things that can be more efficient, and scheduling is one of them.”

So rather than type and retype “quick” emails over and over, Greg turned to Canned Responses to help him set up meetings. Here’s how:

Set up Canned Responses

If you haven’t set up Canned Responses yet, you’ll need to quickly enable the tool in your settings.

  1. Click the gear icon from your Gmail homepage and select “Settings”. 
  2. From your settings, choose the “Labs” tab, search for the “Canned Responses” Lab, toggle to “Enable”, and save your changes. 

Send your meeting email

Once you’ve enabled Canned Responses and have a saved template, you’re ready to go. You can insert any of your saved canned responses anytime you’re composing or responding to an email.

As you’re writing, hit “More Options” (on the bottom right of the window) -> “Canned Responses” -> [Insert the template you want].

Once you select the response you want to “Insert,”, the subject line and body will populate your email automatically.

While you still need to tweak the email and add recipients before sending, using a canned response will help ensure you don’t forget any key meeting details (we’re only human, after all).

Right now, Greg uses just the one template above; he’s planning to split his template into a few different versions for different types of meetings—so he’ll have even fewer details to insert each time.

Key benefits

Greg finds that having meetings details carefully laid out helps focus the meeting itself. A good title and agenda means it’s clear from the beginning what the meeting will cover.

And Greg knows Amy + Andrew will handle the follow up to get key meetings on the books: “Amy and Andrew are more than scheduling robots, they’re relentless advocates for having the the most important conversations.”

Greg has been saving 6-8 hours a week by combining Amy + Andrew’s skill with Canned Responses. And while Canned Responses works only with Gmail, you can slot Amy + Andrew into the email templates you already use. We wrote about hacking Greenhouse in a similar way, by CCing Amy + Andrew wherever you’re using automated emails.

Are you using Amy + Andrew to automate your workflows? We’d love to hear more about it on Twitter!