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Google Docs update makes it easier to collaborate on email drafts within the app

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Google Docs logo (Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Docs on the web is getting a new template for drafting emails.
  • The new capability features Gmail integration and allows multiple users to collaborate on a draft.
  • It also makes it easier to send the draft without having to open Gmail.

Late last year, Google gave Microsoft Word a run for its money by supercharging Docs with a new feature for adding rich content (opens in new tab) to documents without having to switch between apps on the best Chromebooks (opens in new tab) or laptops. Google Docs' feature set is now being expanded (opens in new tab) with the ability to collaborate on an email draft directly within the program.

The latest addition is part of Google's smart canvas initiative, and it allows multiple users to build an email together using the comment and suggestion tools. If you're composing a message and need input from your colleagues, you can simply type "@" in your current document to mention someone.

This option adds a new email draft template to the canvas, powered by Gmail.

New email draft template in Google Docs (Image credit: Google)

Alternatively, you can navigate to Insert > Building Blocks > Email draft. The new template sits beneath the meeting notes option.

As you can see in the image above, the email draft template surfaces the necessary fields for email recipients, the subject field, and the compose box, just like the native Gmail view.

You can add recipients using only the @ menu and by typing their name, which automatically fills in their email address. This means you no longer need to remember their email addresses.

When you're done composing your message, simply click on the Gmail button in the top-left corner to bring up the Gmail compose window. This action automatically populates all the email fields "based on the email draft in the document."

The new Docs feature is available to all Google Workspace (opens in new tab) customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business users. It should go live for everyone by mid-April.

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.