E-mail Templates and Macros

Polite chit-chat takes a lot of typing. Signatures take a lot of typing, and answering the same question over and over and over takes typing. Fortunately, there are several most excellent solutions to your e-mail woes.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #8

E-Mail Macros

A macro is a keystroke or short set of characters that turn into something longer when you type them. Let’s say your boss has you saying “No” to a dozen different requests each day: a dog show invitation, a request for money, and someone claiming to be a long-lost child, asking to be added to the will. These are pretty different. You want to respond to each individually, but your responses can have paragraphs in common. All might start like this: “Mr. Boss appreciates your letter. Your tragic plight is touching.” Then you add a paragraph or two crushing that person’s lifelong hopes and dreams, and you finish up with, “Mr. Boss regrets that he can’t do more for your deeply troubling situation.”


What you do is define a macro so you type “opening” and it turns into Big Boss’s statement of appreciation. You define another macro so you type “wrapup” and it turns into the paragraph on regrets. Then to type the full letter, you just type “opening,” the custom paragraphs, and “wrapup” and there it is!
I use a macro so I just type GIDG and it turns into “The Get-it-Done Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More.” That way I can mention my show by its full name and save my fingers for more important things, like picking the pretzels out of snack mix.


Automatic E-mail Signatures

Signatures are just what they sound like, “Sincerely, Senator Duzzalot.” You set a signature in your e-mail program and it gets added to every outgoing message. You’ll never have to type “Sincerely” again. Depending upon your boss, this could save your integrity.[[AdMiddle]

The specifics for setting up stationery, macros, and signatures depend on what computer and email program you use. Search your help file for the words “stationery,” “templates,” “macros,” and “signatures” to find the details. I’ve prepared a handout with step-by-step instructions for some common e-mail programs that you can download from a link in this episode’s transcript

FYI, I have an entire folder devoted to e-mail questions on my Quick and Dirty Tips page.  Check it out for more information.

If you have questions about how to Work Less and Do More, e-mail your question to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com, go to the Get-It-Done Guy section of www.quickanddirtytips.com, or leave it on voicemail at 866-WRK-LESS.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

Link: http://www.steverrobbins.com/getitdoneguy

E-mail image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.