I’d like to continue acquainting you with Shared Email Templates and tell you a few tricks on how to create and manage drafts in Outlook, and then use them as templates for your messages. First, I'll show you how to make a new draft, find or change its folder and remove and restore your drafts. Then, I’ll teach you converting drafts into templates and sharing those with others.
Let’s start from the very beginning. What is a draft? For example, you were creating a message and accidentally closed the New Email window. This unfinished message will become a draft. Or, let’s say, you’ve written something, re-read it and thought “I can do better”. You save this incomplete email to finish later - this is your draft.
So, a draft is an unsent email. Now let’s see how to manage drafts in Outlook and what they can be used for.
There is unlikely something easier than creating a draft. There are just 3 steps to take to save a draft in Outlook:
That’s pretty much it :) This unfinished email will be saved as a draft in your Outlook.
But how to find drafts in your Outlook? You may see all of them in the Drafts folder on the Navigation Pane:
Tip. If you have too many folders and subfolders on your Navigation Pane and you have no time for checking where the Drafts folder is in your Outlook, just enter “drafts” in the Search field and the necessary folder will be opened:
Double-click on any draft and it will become an email that you may continue editing or send.
Tip. You may enable the automatic saving for the emails you create and set the time frame for the autosave in Outlook options. Go to File -> Options -> Mail and check/uncheck the necessary options on the “Save messages” group:
I told you, it couldn’t be easier :)
It may happen that there are too many drafts and some of them were created accidentally, hence, there is no need in them. How to get rid of the drafts you don’t need? Easily! There are several ways to remove a draft in Outlook:
Restoring drafts doesn’t differ from restoring messages at all. There are also a few ways to go:
Please keep in mind that once you send a draft, it gets converted into a sent email and it will no longer be available. Draft is a to-be-sent email so when you finally send it, you actually lose your draft with all its content.
Disappointing a little bit, right? But what if I told you that there is a way to save a draft and use it as a pattern for the outgoing messages? Would you like to know how you may make your drafts Outlook templates so that they don’t get lost, removed and can be used as long as you want? Keep up reading ;)
If you want a re-usable draft so that you could paste the pre-saved perfectly formatted text as many times as you need, I have a solution for you. Let me introduce you to our Shared Email Templates - a simple yet very efficient Outlook add-in that’ll help you make your email correspondence as quick and easy as never before.
I’ll give you an example of this add-in’s work so that you understand and share my excitement on this case. Imagine the following situation - your company has just launched a promo about your new product and the feedback is great! There are many users emailing you every day asking for more info and the special links to make the purchase with a special discount.
Although you may be thrilled to get such feedback at first, you’ll get bored retyping or copy-pasting the same text over and over again very soon. Here comes the draft solution for Shared Email Templates.
First off, you’ll need to create a draft of your future reply: write some text, apply coloring, paste an image and include a link.
Here is the draft. But how to use it for the future replies? Simply! Save it as a template.
Looks like nothing difficult, right? I’ll tell you more, once I walk you through the entire process and show you how effortlessly and quickly it is, you will not want to write repetitive emails manually anymore ;)
For Shared Email Templates to “see” your drafts, you’ll need to place them in a separate folder in Outlook and then connect it to the add-in. To begin with, create a new folder and place your future templates there.
You may create several folders and place different sets of drafts in each of them or share the particular folder with the particular people.
Now you need to add this folder to Shared Email Templates.
Once the folder is ready and filled with drafts, let’s connect it to the add-in to make them templates. So, start Shared Email Templates, choose a folder on the add-in’s pane, right-click on it and choose “Connect Outlook Folder”:
Then browse for the necessary folder with your drafts, add it and it’ll be available as a new folder with a small O letter on its icon:
If you expand this folder, you’ll see all the drafts you’ve created.
Tip. If you don’t see any recent updates or newly created templates, first try to refresh your data.
If your teammates want to use the templates you’ve created too, there is no need to send them the content and make them follow the same steps to create and add drafts in Shared Email Templates. You may simply share your own drafts with the rest of your team. It’ll take no more than a few minutes, let me guide you through this process:
You’ll see the newly added accounts with the None permission level. In this case, your teammates still won’t see your drafts and won’t be able to use them. Stand on the necessary account, open the Permission Level drop-down list, and pick Reviewer or higher.
One more step to take - you need to make your Outlook folder available to everyone. But it is not enough to open the drafts folder you are to share, you’ll need to share your Outlook mailbox. It’s easier done than said, see:
Note. No worries, the others won’t be able to access your account and emails once you enable the Folder Visible option. It just lets the add-in to check the structure of your folders, nothing more.
In case you forget to add a user’s account in the folder’s properties or don’t set the permission level, your teammate will get the following notification:
In this case you go to step 4 and in a minute your colleague is all set up.
See? It’s not rocket science, the drill is plain and simple. From now on, your teammates may use the drafts you’ve created as templates.
There are a few things I should point out so that you don’t get confused when working with your template-drafts:
I do hope I managed to convince you that it is easy to create and use drafts as templates and you’ll give our Shared Email Templates a shot :) If you have any feedback to share, please leave a few words in the Comments. And, of course, stay tuned as there are more tutorials are about to come ;)
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