We’ve probably been using email for as long as we’ve been using the PC but does that mean we are any good at it? Even as a native speaker of the language you may sometimes end up conveying information in a less than impressive manner. If you are concerned about spelling errors, grammar, punctuation, word choice, sentence rhythm, and tone of your email, you ought to try out a new Gmail proofreading plugin called Wordzen that aims to help you write better email.
What makes Wordzen different from other automated proofreading services is that the proof reading is actually done by real people. The service is currently free and you can make use of the services 24x7. Wordzen's goal is to improvise your email within 10 minutes of you hitting the Smart Send button, but expect more delays during the launch period.
Wordzen Gmail Proofreading Plugin Review
Wordzen works only if you are using Gmail and either the Firefox or Chrome web browsers. Let’s take a peek at how Wordzen works. There are a couple of things you need to do to get started:
- Sign up for a Wordzen account
- Download and install the Wordzen plugin
We installed the Wordzen plugin from the Chrome Web Store on our Chrome browser to try it out. Once installed, the plugin shows up on the Gmail Compose window as a green Smart Send plugin.
We tested the service by creating a not so well composed email and hitting the Smart Send button. Wordzen appended the label Wordzen Pending to my email and moved it to the Drafts folder. Two hours later, I received an email that my email had been Wordzen'd. It had a new label tag Wordzen Done and was sent back to my Drafts folder. I was also given a link to view the changes.
- The improvised email took almost 2 hours to arrive. I'm not sure anyone can wait THAT long to send out an email. I'll put this down to the "getting started" phase, but if you can't impress right away it will be hard to impress later on.
- I'm not an English guru, but there were some glaring errors that were missed out in my improvised email. Here's one example: In the image below you can see in the circled area that the word away that has been wrongly entered hasn't been removed.
Wordzen on Other Devices and Browsers
While Wordzen works seamlessly on the web interface, it doesn't work as intuitively on the Gmail app on iPhone or Android devices. If you want to use Wordzen on the app, you need to manually add a label called Wordzen Pending to a message after you're done composing it. Applying that label will have the same effect as clicking the "Smart Send" button. You can also use Wordzen on any other web browser with no plugin support by manually adding the Wordzen Pending label.
Personal or Private Email
As far as private email goes, you can always avoid sending such email to the Wordzen team. Obviously, there will be no room for improvement in your email but that's the tradeoff. You can however, send your private email messages for proofreading to a personal assistant by tweaking the Wordzen settings.
At present, there are a few settings that can be tweaked to improve your Wordzen experience.
- You can change the Wordzen settings to send the email directly to the recipient instead of placing it in your Drafts folder.
- You can add the email address of a personal assistant who can proof read your personal/private email messages. When you hit the Smart Send button on a private email, your personal assistant will be notified via email and provided a link to edit the content of your email message.
Wordzen's service in my preview wasn't outright impressive, but it has lots of scope for improvement. It particularly needs to ramp up its speed and its proofreading skills needs to be simply flawless if it wants to find acceptability. The plugin is currently available for free, but after further assessing the user base the developers hope to use a subscription fee business model for their services.
If you are interested in giving Wordzen a try, click the links below to get started.