Gmail Tips for Attorneys

If you are a starting a solo practice and need email, I would highly recommend Gmail. Even though I am Mac guy, I freely admit that Gmail is better than MobileMe for attorneys.

One of my favorite things about Gmail is that they are constantly adding new features. Here are a couple of oldies but goodies.

Make repetitive emails easy with canned responses

Adding your signature to your emails is important, but adding your signature to every email in a chain of emails is annoying. Instead of using the signature function, you can make a canned response with your contact information.

That way, you will remember to manually add to your first email. On subsequent emails, you can leave it out, but it will still be listed in the chain.

Undo send saves lives

I already mentioned this feature in a previous post, but it is important enough to mention again. Undo send allows you a brief period (choose from 5-30 seconds) to stop an email from going out.

If you tend to type and send angry responses to opposing counsel, this could be a lifesaver. If you tend to forget words, like me, this gives you a chance to reread your email and fix it.

Drag and drop attachments

It is easy to attach the wrong file when you are choosing from a long list of file names. Admit it—you have probably sent the wrong file at least once.

With drag and drop, the chances of sending the wrong file are significantly lower. This is not supported by any study, but my own observations over the last few months.

For even more great features, check out this recent article.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5167671844/)

Practice Management

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  • Pat Stoneking

    I didn’t even know about the “undo send” feature. I’m going to have to check it out.

    One thing I recently discovered is how to add a “chat link” on my website that connects web users to me via my gmail chat. People click the link on my site and it opens up a chat window with me through gmail. Really easy to do and pretty effective so far.

  • Jennifer Gumbel

    I appreciate the search function. My gmail address is my official address with the bar and I use it mainly for signing up for listserves. Now I have a database of listserve questions and answers without cluttering up my office email.

  • http://mattlegal.com/ Cindi

    Where is the canned response function that you are talking about?

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      You have to enable it in Labs. Go to Settings > Labs, and enable Canned Responses.

  • Shaun Jamison

    Is there a way to “PDF” gmail when you are ready to archive it like you can do on OutlooK?

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Unfortunately, no. Gmail only lets you print one e-mail thread at a time, which means it’s useless for archiving e-mails. I use Google Apps sync to sync my Gmail account with Outlook, and convert to PDF from there. It’s annoying, but Google doesn’t seem interested in adding any kind of bulk printing or PDF export feature.

  • Alex

    Good post. I just went through the gmail labs link and found a bunch of great stuff. Undo send is going to be a life saver.

    Thanks!