Canned Responses, a Gmail Must-Have

hustle and flow

I sing the praises of gmail.  If you’re still using yahoo or hotmail or (reee-whirrrr-reee-skktch) AOL, you may want to consider gmail. Let me show you a little trick I have.

I will often get the same four or five questions/inquiries via email in the same day, so I started using the “canned responses” feature in labs. Think of it as a FAQ section for your emails. (gmail>>settings>>labs>>canned responses and click “enable”) You can save a few responses and label them for easy retrieval.

So if I get a “FAQ” like “Can you tell me more about advertising on your blog?” or “What’s your hourly copywriting rate?” or “I would rather play leapfrog with various specimens of roadkill than read your blog, what do you have to say for yourself?” then I simply click on the canned response button, select the one I want, personalize it and add a pertinent sentence, and send it off.

In reality, no one offers me hot beverages… yet.

No longer am I a broken record.  No longer am I a broken – yeah, yeah, you’ve got it.

And a bonus, to add to your time saving capabilities.

I have long, dry, thick, prone to getting ca-ra-zy hair.  After years of trying different shampoos, conditioners, treatments, etc, the best thing for my hair is if I don’t wash too often.  Twice a week-ish, and I use dry shampoo to keep my hair freshy-fresh.

I brush the top half of my hair with a boar bristle hair brush (not the bottom if I haven’t used a flat iron to straighten it – it has a natural wave and brushing messes with the wave pattern).  I spray with the dry shampoo, and then brush it some more.  One minute in front of the bathroom mirror instead of shampoo, condition, air dry, blow dry, heat style, ba ba da daaaaa.

Flip dat hair.

At $2 a bottle, Suave is super cheap, but I also recommend Batiste and Bumble + Bumble. This photo up there? That’s four days after shampoo, condition, air dry, blow dry, heat style, ba ba da daaaa.

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  • Reply Kelly November 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Totally jealous of your hair. Mine is way to oily to let it go for days even with dry shampoo. :/

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      If I shampoo too often my hair looks like…..

      :::makes explosion motions above my head:::

      Like dat.

    • Reply Leah April 9, 2013 at 11:52 am

      You might be surprised! I always thought that, and then I tried not shampooing for awhile. It took a few months of transition and some bandanna/hat days, but now I am on the twice a week bandwagon even though I have superfine, straight hair. It does help that I keep my hair up most days, but I can still go 2-3 days even if my hair is down. You just have to train your hair.

      • Reply Roo April 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        Totally agree… training your hair can definitely work! I stopped using sulfates and silicones regularly (I use a clarifying shampoo once in awhile) and it took awhile for my hair to get used to it, but it finally did.

      • Reply Elizabeth April 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        What if you exercise a lot? I like to run a couple times a week and I get really sweaty.

        • Reply Leah April 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm

          I run a couple of times a week, and the sweat in my hair doesn’t bug me. Of course, your mileage may vary. I keep my hair up in a pony when I run and then let it airdry afterwards. I do take a shower, but I just don’t get my hair wet. I get pretty sweaty, but we are all different, so you’ve got to go with what works for you. My hair routine is pretty uncomplicated (brush hair, put in pony/bun, go), so maybe that’s part of my ease of use.

  • Reply Christina @ Homemade Ocean November 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    You know the word gangster draws me in like a moth to a brand new silk cami.

    I do love me some dry shampoo….I would like to kiss the inventor….a lot.
    As in give them many kisses, not as in how bad I want to kiss them.

    More ganster tips please…maybe a video of Remmy doing the shoulder lean?

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Let me see ya bounce right to left and let ya shoulder lean!!

  • Reply Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} November 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Can I just say how super jealous I am of the 4 days post shampoo hair? I have to do the wash, dry, straighten routine EVERY day or I look like an oil slick. And since I still have the standard 9 to 5 job that requires I go in public, I can’t get away with the dry shampoo routine for 4 days. Boo.

    P.S. Love that you’re giving these gangsta tips!!

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Emily, I was doing some research on hair (that sounds weird) and I discovered that when you use shampoo with sulfates, it strips your hair, so your scalp produces more oil to compensate.

      Have you tried doing a sulfate free silicone free routine for a bit? I was conditioner only washing for awhile and it helped my hair. I don’t have time for that, so I just stick to sulfate free/silicone free and do a clarifying wash every once in awhile.

      But I’m sure your hair is awesome!! Just a thought if you wanted to try it for the sake of your time schedule. :)

      • Reply Emily {Pink Tiger in the Kitchen} November 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        So I just wanted to let you know that I’ve started on a sulfate free shampoo / conditioner routine and trying to skip a day… But I’m only a week in so I’ll have to let you know how that works. Thanks for the tips (and already done research)!!

  • Reply corinne a. November 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Dry shampoooo! I have a similar hair situation and I only wash it twice a week or so. I have been wondering what to do in the in-between times when things get gross. I’m going to try some Suave!

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      I find that the boar bristle brush helps distribute oils, too!

      • Reply corinne a. November 14, 2012 at 11:13 pm

        I never thought I’d have a conversation on the www about distributing my hair’s oils. But you know what? It’s 2012. Plus, it’s almost Christmas. (Thanks for the help!)

  • Reply Danielle November 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Although I don’t always get to work from home in my current position, but in the past I have and here are a couple things that I found that helped me:
    -On Sunday I literally pick out my outfits for the entire week, including jewlry, shoes, etc. Obviously sometimes us gals can’t make up our mind, so sometimes theres a last minute change, but this helps me save lots of time every morning. Otherwise, I’d stand in my walk-in closet for 20+ minutes every morning unable to decide. LOL
    -I also have a daily to do list, and I break it down to the rediculus and as each task is completed I mark it off. Keeps me on track, and at the end of the day I feel like I actually got something done.

  • Reply Natasha November 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hmmmmn ok def going to try the dry shampoo-I can usually shampoo & blow dry, then sock bun it and get 2 good days, but 4 is kinda pushing it. Even though my hair is always in a ponytail by the end of the day anyways…..the baby can reach and grab now….

  • Reply Erma November 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to try dry shampoo. I’m so glad Suave makes it affordable to me!

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      So cheapy!

  • Reply Amanda November 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    i work from home and i have to say that gmail is AMAZING. i have a personal email address and a work email and i have them forwarded to the same account so i only have to check one. #winning i also love the task list in gmail. it has saved my desk from getting buried in 10000 post it notes and still gives me the satisfaction of checking things off. i’ll have to check out the canned responses. thanks for the tip!

    • Reply Roo November 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Oooh I do that too, Amanda, and I love it!

      I’ve never actually used the task list, but I’m going to have to try it out.

  • Reply Cait November 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Oh man I love Suave dry shampoo! I just discovered it early this year and always thought that I needed to wash and dry and style my hair every. single. day. Better believe that my superthick hair is usually up in a ponytail or bun. I don’t have any excuses any more….

  • Reply Rita November 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I’m madly in love with dry shampoo. It’s such a huge time saver. I have super oily hair though, so I can only do a max of two days. BUT STILL! Ahhhmazing.

  • Reply Catherine November 15, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I have had mixed results with the dry shampoo – maybe I am doing something wrong? I just throw some talcum powder in there and brush it through. I try and go days without washing too as I have the same problem of firecracker (bouffant?) hair on day one.

    • Reply Roo November 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Maybe try a different brand? I feel like there are a lot of drugstore/high end options out there – maybe one will work! :)

  • Reply Meg November 15, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Ok, so this whole deliberately not washing your hair every other day… how long do you have to go into hibernation before your hair adjusts and looks fantastic rather than an oil slick??

    • Reply Roo November 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Ooof, your mileage may very, but when I switched to sulfate-free silicone-free shampoo/conditioner, it took my hair about a month to adjust.

      We’re coming upon hat weather… maybe that will help? Wide headbands or low ponytails with a camouflage-y braid at the crown? :)

  • Reply Katie November 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

    This post needs to be longer. MUCH longer.


    And my hair is crazy dry lately. I’ve been washing like 3x/week but maybe I’ll try that dry shampoo now and see what happens.

    • Reply Roo November 15, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Hahahaha. It was already long with the intro, but I’ll throw some more fake knowledge at you next time. ;)

      If you’re doing 3x a week, I bet you could stretch the in-betweens to make it 2x!

  • Reply Evelyn @ Smallish November 15, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Awesome post. Can’t wait for more worldly knowledge from you Roo! Oh. And leapfrog with roadkill? Siiaaahhhkkkkkk. :)

  • Reply Amy @ drivethirtythree November 15, 2012 at 9:36 am

    thank you for reminding me that i forgot to use my dry shampoo today. this explains why my hair looks like it does.

    looking forward to more tips and tricks so i can become the gangster i am meant to be :)

  • Reply ColleenwithMurals&More November 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Are you KIDDING me?!? Not the dry shampoo. My locks got chopped when I danced 6 days/wk. (“ChoppedLocks – new reality show?)

    No, I’m in gahgahamazement about gmail canned response. I seriously thought you just made it up. Then I tried it! shutthefrontdoor. This is cool. Especially since I gave a Google+ webinar last night – hardeeharhar – and here I am learning about gmail.

    Ah, sweet Irony, I loves ya.

  • Reply Ingrid November 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I did not know that Suave made a dry shampoo! I’m about to be all up in that. I also wash my hair only about 2 or 3 times a week because I have bleached the crap out of it and it is so damaged now. I’m on the road to hair recovery now, and this stuff could get me an extra day out of my blowout! Lovin’ the new 90s theme too :)

  • Reply Jen @ Cuddles and Chaos November 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Best post everrrrrrrr!

    First of all, I didn’t know about this canned response business and I’m totes checking that out (stat).

    Second of all, I am a fellow horse hair haver and I love to hear others tell their tales of rarely washing their hair. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gotten the you’re GROSS stink eye from someone who just doesn’t understand (and usually routinely compliments my hair on day 4 post-washing). Also, I didn’t know Suave makes dry shampoo! I’ll have to check it out! I’ve been using Tresseme because of their cheap factor.

  • Reply Megan November 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

    I am not kidding, I finally figured out my suave dry shampoo yesterday… I bought it months ago but I never quite got the hang of it. I, like some of your other readers, also have pretty oily hair, so it really only buys me an extra half day or day, but since I love to sleep (and would rather do that than most things, including shower), I love me some dry shampoo! I haven’t tried the boar bristle brush, though… maybe that would make it even better??

  • Reply Valerie {all mussed up} November 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I’m a broke brunette, so one day instead of drugstore/salon dry shampoo I scanned the recesses of my pantry and pulled out the (pure) cocoa powder. DUDE. Revelation of 2012. It works wonders and I smell like brownies all the time, so I nix perfume too. (:

    • Reply Mia April 11, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Whaaaaat, okay now I just *must* try that! Fantastic.

  • Reply Christine Schwalm Design November 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Holla for the $2 dry shampoo. I used that very same brand this morning and it is a godsend!

  • Reply Amanda H. November 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    my hair does the same thing. AND the Suave brand seems to be my favorite so far, and not just because it’s only $2. i havent tried bumble + bumble though. my husband doesn’t understand that i just cannot wash my hair daily. i can shower..but cannot wash my hair more than 2-3 times a week or it makes my hair look like a broom that’s been as a witch’s ride for 200 years.

  • Reply Ashley November 18, 2012 at 10:19 am


  • Reply Danielle November 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    OMGoodness…I tried the Suave Dry Shampoo and I’m in love! I’ve been on a hunt looking for one that wouldn’t way my hair down and leave it still somewhat greasy looking. This stuff is amazing!!!!! Thanks for the recommendation! :) Just saved me so much time, and saved my hair the greif of wash/blow dry/style everyday. :)

  • Reply Kim of The Made Thing November 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    WOAH. CANNED?! Awesome. Not that I get routine email queries but maybe someday. I want to break into freelance blog writing (hey, people that need interns, I’m available for FREE) and this will come in handy someday. Thanks, gal!

  • Reply Joy G November 21, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I mean this in the nicest way it can be meant: The picture of you in this post looks like how I pictured Bella Swan when I read Twilight. Really, that’s a compliment. I promise.

    In other news, thanks for the tip–I also have hair prone to getting CA-RAAAAA-ZY. I’m totally getting on the dry shampoo train!

  • Reply Marisa November 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Ok…have been thinking about it for awhile, but after this post I definitely am wanting to go to sulfate/silicone free shampoo. Need suggestions on brands!!! I have a friend who does only baking soda for shampoo & follows with apple cider vinegar to condition, but I don’t know that I’m quite ready to make that jump! A little help Roo! I already knew about the wonders of dry shampoo and LOVE it! I often spray it in my hair and then run the hair dryer over it for a minute or two to get it really worked in.

    • Reply Roo April 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

      Marisa, I’m years late answering this, but did you find one that you love? I bounce around a lot, but am currently using Burt’s Bees. Haven’t found one I adore yet.

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  • Reply Madison December 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Dry shampoo is seriously amazing stuff!! And it lets me sleep in for longer before class in the mornings, therefore it’s awesome!

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  • Reply janice April 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Canned responses? I think I’ve died and gone to heaven…….

    Thank you!

    (will have to try the dry shampoo….)

    • Reply Roo April 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Haha, you’re welcome, Janice!

  • Reply Jeanne April 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I have gmail but I can’t seem to get the canned response to show. In fact, my reply screen looks completely different than yours. Any thoughts about why that is and how to fix it?

    • Reply Roo April 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      When you compose a message, at the bottom right hand corner of the box, there’s a triangle. Click on it and you’ll see the option for a canned response. Let me know if that works!

      • Reply Jeanne April 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm

        There was a little triangle, but there was no option that said anything like Canned Response. But it did let me switch back to the previous formatting temporarily. I did so to see if that was going to give me the Canned Response option. Nope. Not even a triangle now. Just 4 boxes at the bottom Send & Archive, Send, Save Now and Discard. This is a mess. I don’t want to gobble up all your time, I thought that it would be an easy fix. I’ll figure it out…

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  • Reply Abby April 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Though i love the convo on dry shampoo I too am trying to figure out the canned response in the new version of gmail. Any tips appreciated- I’m assuming it is like a draft but more gangster.

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