Email is one of the main ways we communicate in business and our personal lives. Being able to quickly draft professional emails that get results is an important skill. Many people use Microsoft Word to write emails, but Google Docs has some useful features that can help streamline your email drafting process.
In this blog post, we’ll walk through step-by-step how to draft emails in Google Docs. We’ll cover setting up your template, using keyboard shortcuts, integrating other G Suite apps, and best practices for writing effective emails. By the end, you’ll be able to use Google Docs to efficiently compose emails that make an impact on your recipients.
Step 1: Set Up Your Email Template
To start, you need to set up a template in Google Docs that you can use every time you want to draft a new email. Here are the steps:
- Open a new Google Doc.
- Set the margins to 0.5 inches all around.
- Make sure the default font is a professional one like Arial or Times New Roman at size 12.
- Add your name, job title, and company at the top. You can apply a header to these lines so they appear on every page.
- Skip a few lines and type “To:”, “From:”, “Cc:”, and “Subject:” in bold.
- Leave plenty of space under each heading to fill in later.
- Click File > Save as Template. Name your template something like “Email Template.”
Now each time you want to write a new email, you can select File > New from Template and your email formatting will be ready to go.
Step 2: Use Keyboard Shortcuts
One major advantage of drafting emails in Google Docs versus MS Word is that you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate and format your document quickly. Here are some of the most useful email shortcuts:
- Ctrl + B: Bold highlighted text
- Ctrl + I: Italicize highlighted text
- Ctrl + K: Insert a hyperlink
- Ctrl + Enter: Insert page break
- Ctrl + Shift + V: Paste text without formatting
- Ctrl + Z: Undo
Spend some time getting familiar with keyboard shortcuts – they can save you lots of time compared to reaching for the mouse to click formatting buttons.
Step 3: Integrate Gmail and Contacts
To make your email drafting process even more efficient, integrate your Gmail account and Contacts into the Google Doc.
- Click Tools > Email drafts.
- Follow the prompts to connect your Gmail account. This will allow you to easily import contacts.
- Click Tools > Contacts. You can now insert contacts from your address book straight into the To:, From:, and Cc: fields.
Connecting these other G Suite apps makes it simple to populate your draft emails with the correct contacts so you can send with just a click once you’re done writing.
Step 4: Best Practices for Writing Emails
Now that your template is set up and integrated, it’s time to write effective emails. Follow these best practices within your Google Doc drafts:
Keep subject lines short and descriptive
Subject lines should concisely communicate the main purpose of the email so recipients know what it’s regarding at first glance. Keep them under 50 characters.
Start with the main point
Don’t bury the most important information. State clearly upfront what you need or why you’re contacting someone.
Proofread before sending
Double check for typos, grammar issues, incorrect contact names, and any formatting problems. Errors look unprofessional.
Mirror tone of recipient
Match the formality, personality, and communication style of who you’re emailing as much as possible. This helps build rapport.
Close with a call to action
At the end, be specific about what you want the recipient to do. This gives them direction and makes follow up easier.
Step 5: Convert to Gmail Message
When your draft email is finished, converting it to send is simple:
- Proofread one final time.
- Click Tools > Email drafts
- Select your email account
- Click “Send” and confirm.
Your email will now be delivered straight from Gmail.
Composing polished emails doesn’t have to be a chore. With a few tweaks to set up a template, handy keyboard shortcuts to format fast, integration with Gmail and Contacts, and following best practices – Google Docs can help you become an email drafting pro.