Last week, Gmail made their Smart Compose feature available to G Suite users. This feature “intelligently auto-completes your emails [and] can fill in common phrases and relevant addresses, like that of your home and office.” For example, using artificial intelligence (AI), it sees you type “Have—“ and finishes “—n’t seen you in a while.” If you like Smart Compose’s suggestion, you hit the Tab button to accept it.
Like other predictive text technology, Smart Compose has pros and cons.
For those responses requiring simple confirmation of receipt, acknowledgment of a scheduled meeting, or a quick thanks, Smart Compose is an efficient way to help you save time. At Wordzen, we are big fans of such efficiency. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have built a company around email productivity.
Smart Compose Has Limitations
However, some reviewers of Smart Compose see a downside. “If you’re temperamentally inclined to care about how you come across in email, you’ll read that draft more carefully and overrule language that doesn’t adequately convey empathy, or authority, or flirtation, or whatever subtext the words on the screen must carry,” writes Corinne Purtill, who tried Smart Compose for Quartz at Work.
That’s where Wordzen comes in. If your message is important, informational, or needs to sell an idea, you need more than automated phrases to succeed. For such communications, the editors at Wordzen can take care of you.
Using the Wordzen Add-on for Gmail, you can have our editors review your message to make sure that it conveys the humanity you want to include your message — for example, excitement, empathy, humor, subtlety, persuasion, guidance, respect, frustration, expertise, or criticism. After all, you might want to say something one way to your old college roommate (“Hey, bro! Well done!”), and a completely different way to your boss (“I admired the nuanced message you sent to stakeholders.”). It takes an editor to interpret your intent and convey it as you wish, fine-tuning the language to advance your career and reputation rather than spinning off an automated phrase that, pretty soon, everyone will recognize as Gmail-like phrases instead something coming from the real you.
There are many ways you can use Wordzen. You can type a draft of your message or you can voice-record your draft email, and Wordzen will edit it for you. Or, you can type or record instructions, and we’ll write your email for you. Mix and match your approaches according to what works for you in the moment. You’ll find that you can save as much as 90% of the time you would otherwise spend on email.
For example, you can leave a six-second audio recording that says, “Tell my boss I will be out of the office tomorrow for appointments but will be back Friday. He can email me.”
And our editors will compose this:
I’m reminding you that I will be out of the office tomorrow (Thursday, October 4), for appointments and will return on Friday. If anything comes up that requires my immediate attention, you can reach me by email during most of the day.
If you’d rather write shorthand notes, our editors can transform this:
[Yes. Central Perk. 12:15. Might be late because of meeting]
Central Perk at 12:15 sounds great. I’ll be there.
I’ll be coming from another meeting, so there’s a chance I may be a bit late, but I’ll get in touch with you if that’s the case.
I look forward to seeing you then!
While technologies like automatic grammar-checkers and Smart Compose are helpful, nothing will help humans better communicate than, well, other humans.
That matters because life isn’t all about automated shortcuts. Sometimes it’s about maintaining respect, advancing your career, making sales quotas, applying for a new job, explaining complex technical matters in lay terms, convincing the team to adopt your idea, or making your email friendly enough to get a helpful response in return.
Finding a Balance That Works for You
If you’re a leader, you want to use your communications to set an example and establish clarity of direction for your team. If you’re a graduate, you want your new employer to see that you understand how to communicate in a businesslike way. And if you’re anywhere in between, you want to ensure you stay competitive so that you’re favorably viewed when it comes time to distribute raises or promotions.
That’s why our professional editors take the time to review your message for flow and comprehension, eliminating all spelling and grammar errors (and judiciously allowing exceptions when they’re warranted). We know how to create a message maximum impact — or subtle influence. Also, our editors take the time to double-check names of people, places, companies, and events you reference. As you use Wordzen more and more, the editors begin to know your business and care about contributing to it as part of your team.
In the end, you’ll need to create your own balance. It may make sense to use automated text functions to reconfirm that you’ll be at the 4:00 pm meeting. But if you’re writing about anything with more weight, Wordzen is your best resource. Both services will save you time, but Wordzen adds value well beyond time alone, make you more efficient, more personable, and more confident whenever you email.
Visit www.wordzen.com for a free trial.