Frequently Used Answers

I know we all have these occasions where we are retyping the same answer or looking up old emails that contain our carefully phrased sentences on a question we already answered in the past. Many email programs and other pieces of software have tried to address this by making returning pieces of text available to you under one click or otherwise. My findings are they cost me more time than they really save.

I have come up with a simple trick that actually works really well and has kept working with different email programs and roles. I will explain how it works best in Outlook 2010 but is applicable to any email client. It is my “FORWARD ONLY” trick.

How to do this. Create the draft email (or find the one you wrote before and copy and paste) in a way you believe it will work generically. Write the lines, do the formatting, add attachments. Whatever is required. Then in the TO field write FORWARD ONLY.

If you now save this email (do not send) it will become a concept with clearly stating FORWARD ONLY in its TO field in the DRAFTS folder. Each time you think, I have already written that, you can return to DRAFTS folder and rather than opening the email make sure to forward it (Ctrl-F) which will open a copy of the original. Now you can replace the FORWARD ONLY with the recipients, change any of the lines or add detail and send it off. The original concept is still there untouched for future use.

The big trick is the FORWARD ONLY part, this will make it stand out and help you recognize it in future days. Give it a try, it has saved me significant time sending requests for information or even proposals.