How to use email the right way

We all use email so you probably think this is a silly idea for a post, but do we use it to our and our colleagues benefit? I know even grandmothers are computer literate, but in the workplace, we need to use email to make communication clearer not just time saving for the sender.

How many times have you spent 15 minutes or more looking through your email box to find sought after information in-bedded in a mail that was about a different subject because the sender couldn’t be bothered to start a new mail thread?

Little things like not using clear subject lines, tacking on a new conversation to an existing one, not responding when the sender has asked for a call to action, these are the things that drive me nuts.

Email rules to live by

  1. Subject  – use clear and to the point subject lines. If you are sending an invoice do not use the subject  “Hello” because if the accounts guy needs to find the invoice, It might take ages to wade through all the emails with the subject line “Hello”.
  2. Start a new thread – when you change the subject you are writing about please start with a fresh email and subject. It is sheer laziness to tack on to an existing correspondence. It should not take you but a second to start a new email thread since the name of whom you are writing to should be cached in your email application and away you go. This is a huge pet peeve of mine because so often I can not find the information I am looking for because it was buried in an email about something entirely different.
  3. Respond – yes email is pretty reliable but if you are sent a contract or a call to action, it is polite to tell the sender that you received it. There is nothing worse than wondering if your call to action has been actioned.

Also published on Medium.

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