Up Your Game with Google

This week ETS shares a top 5 list of Gmail and Drive “must know” features that could make your digital life easier.

Our top 5 are (drumroll, please):

  1. Gmail templates
  2. Confidential mode
  3. Delayed sending
  4. Blocking downloading, printing, and copying in Drive
  5. Named revisions 

Feature #1
Let’s start with Gmail templates. Do you receive the same or similar questions frequently and are you tired of typing the same response over and over again? Compose your reply once and save the email as a template. Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (2:26 mins). 

Step 1: Enable Templates in Gmail

  • Open Gmail
  • In the top right corner, click “Settings” and then select “See all settings”.
  • On the next screen at the top, click “Advanced”.
  • In the Templates section, select “Enable”.
  • At the bottom, click “Save Changes”.

Step 2: Create a Template

  • Open Gmail and click “Compose”.
  • In the Compose window, enter your template text.
  • Click More "" and then select “Templates”.
  • Choose an option:
    • To create a new template, click “Save draft as template” and then “Save as new template”.
    • To change a previously saved template, click “Save draft as template” and select the previously created template that you wish to update
    • Click “Save” to update it.

Note: You can create up to 50 templates.

Feature #2
Up next Confidential mode. This feature protects your sensitive information by permitting you to control who can copy, download, forward, or print your emails and attachments. You can set an expiration date, revoke message access at any time or require recipients to use a verification code to open messages. Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (1:13 min). 

  • Open Gmail and click “Compose”.
  • In the Compose window, enter your text.
  • Click the lock icon at the bottom of the Compose window.
  • Set an expiration date and require a passcode to open the message if you wish.
  • Click the “Save” button.
  • Send the message. If you are requiring a passcode, then after you click send you will be prompted to type in the recipient’s phone number.

Feature #3
Let’s move on to Delayed sending. There are 2 options for delayed sending. First, you can delay a message sending for up to 30 seconds so that you can undo the send when you see that typo at the last minute. Second, you can schedule a message to be sent on a specific and time. Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (2:43 mins).

Undo Send Instructions

    • Click the gear in the top right of Gmail.
    • Select See all settings.
    • Scroll down to “Undo Send” and set the cancellation period (the amount of time you have to decide if you want to unsend an email).
    • Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.

Schedule Send Instructions

    • At the bottom of the Compose window, next to Send, click the Down arrow.
    • Select “Schedule send”.
    • Specify a date and time to send the message.

Feature #4
Next up Blocking downloading, printing, and copying in Drive. Do you occasionally need others to have viewing access to documents, but you don’t want them to be able to download, print or copy them? Did you know that you can block these abilities? Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (1:09 min).

    • Open the Google document that you want to restrict for people that you are adding as Viewers
    • Click on the “Share” button in the upper right
    • Once the Share window opens, click the gear in the upper right
    • Uncheck the option “Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy”

Feature #5
Finally, let’s talk about Named revisions in Google Docs. If a document has multiple co-authors it can be difficult to keep track of all of the changes. This feature is a quick and easy way to mark and find preferred versions. Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (1:43 min).

    • Once you have finished making revisions to the collaborative document, click on “File” on the top menu of the document
    • Select “Version history” -> “Name current version”.
    • If you need to see past versions select “Version history” -> “See version history”.

Bonus tip: Smart Compose – A love it or hate it relationship. If you hate it, Follow the instructions below or watch this quick video (1:45 min) to learn how to turn it off.

    • Turning off Smart Compose in Gmail
      • Open Gmail
      • Click the gear in the top right of Gmail.
      • Select See all settings.
      • Under “General,” scroll down to “Smart Compose.”
      • Select “Writing suggestions off”.
    • Turning off Smart Compose in Google Docs, Sheets & Slides
      • Open a file.
      • On the top menu, click Tools and select Preferences.
      • Uncheck “Show Smart Compose suggestions”. You may also choose to uncheck “Show Smart Reply suggestions”, which appear when others comment on a document.