This was a tip that I learned at this year’s ITIP Ohio Google Summit – thanks to Lauren Richardson and Ashley Morrison from Indian Hills.

Have you ever wanted to collaborate with someone when drafting an email? Now you can.. with Google Docs!

This uses the recent Building blocks feature in Google Docs. Building blocks lets you add pre-formatted “snippets” to Google Docs.

To get started, create a new Google Doc, or work with one you’ve already got. Go to Insert > Building blocks and choose Email draft. read more

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In a Tech Tip from 2019, John wrote about the awesome snooze feature in Gmail. This feature allows you to defer email and have it return to your inbox at a later time.

Today’s tip is in a similar vein, but this time it deals with delayed sending of your email.

Scheduled send is the name of the feature and it is built right into Gmail. It’s super easy to use!

Compose a message as usual, but instead of hitting Send, hit the drop-down arrow next to the send button and choose Schedule send.

You will then be prompted to choose a time when the email will be sent. In this case my options are Tomorrow morning, This afternoon and Monday morning. read more

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We first got word of a planned update to the views in Gmail in December of last year. This week, it has begun showing up in Google accounts including our NWOCA email system.

I am calling this a facelift rather than an update since really they have mostly only made some cosmetic changes which appear to make perfect sense.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the two views: 

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Oftentimes, we find ourselves providing the same information in an email. This may be in response to a general inquiry. For example, when parents send an email asking for the yearly supplies list. You may copy the list and paste the information into a reply message and hit the send button. However, this still takes work. 😅

Gmail offers a feature to create an email template that will contain your email response. You will enter a specific subject to the template message and ask others to use that subject when messaging you about that topic. The subject will trigger the template to be sent. Whenever I think of using Gmail’s Automatic Email Response, I recall the Rice Krispie advertisement. If you need a quick laugh, click here to view. 😆

There are two parts in setting up your Automatic Email Response:

  1. Create the Email Template
  2. Create the Advanced Email Filter


Create Email Template

  • COMPOSE an email and the message you want to send when receiving a message about a specific topic. Be sure to add a SUBJECT. The SUBJECT will need to be used by the person submitting an email to you to trigger the automatic message.

  • At the lower right corner of the screen, click on the MORE button.

  • Select TEMPLATES from the menu.


  • Enter a NAME for the template.

  • CLOSE the email draft message by clicking on the X in the right corner.

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    This tip is for those of you that get a lot of email and like to keep it organized. In my position, I get a fair amount of email each day, probably around 200 per day not counting SPAM. As such it is a constant battle to stay on top of those emails and keep them organized.

    In the old days, we used to drag and drop messages into folders in Outlook Web Access or any other IMAP mail client and that was a good way to keep them organized.

    In a previous tech tip (The Art of Email) I shared how I now process my email each day and try and try to have zero messages in my inbox. A big part of that strategy is using a filter to move messages that I don’t need to read, to a folder where I can find them if needed.

    I wanted to revisit the whole idea of using filters again to highlight the great advantage of pre-filtering your email and automatically applying labels to your messages.

    Again in the Art of Email the =&0=& and simply put that removes the message from your inbox but leaves it in your All Mail folder so you can find it later using the search feature. The filtering option allows you to also label the message with one (or more) labels to make that message easier to find.  Those messages (e.g. Payment Notifications or Listserve messages) are usually from the same address every time so it is easy to create a filter to label those messages and skip the inbox.

    But to take the process a step further, what about if you wanted to have every message from a group of people (in my case a district) all get labeled with the same label. All you have to do is use a wildcard in the query that you use to create the filter. Here are the instructions.

    1. Open a message that fits the criterion you are after. In the example, it is a message from someone from Washington Local schools. Click the 3 dots menu and choose “Filter messages like these”

    1. Edit the search criteria (the address in the from: field) replace the username with an asterisk (*). The asterisk is a wildcard that changes the query to say any user from that domain.

  • Click the Create Filter button. 
  • Choose the label for your filter and click “Also apply filter to matching conversations” to label all existing messages that match the criteria.
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