Get Productive: Email Do's and Don'ts

English: Outbox, inbox, phone box. These three...
We all know how much time email eats into our day - in fact it's been shown to take up to 40% of our time and it's often one of the most frequently discussed problems.

While it's difficult to avoid email, here are few ideas to create a more professional and efficient email process that can be applied to both small and large businesses.
  • Is email the best and most appropriate means of communication?  Sometimes it's quicker and more effective to just pick up the phone.
  • Only send it to the person who needs to read it.  Don't clog up someone's inbox if they don't need to see it.
  • Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions.  Avoids additional emails being sent back and forth.
  • Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.  This should apply to any form of communication.
  • Make it personal - "Dear Sir/Madam" is so formal.
  • Don’t attach unnecessary files.  Large files can clog up an email system - especially when they get sent to multiple addressees.  Think about using Google Drive or Dropbox for file sharing.
  • Don’t write in CAPITALS - that's seen as shouting in the online world.
  • Don't leave out the message thread - especially if it relates to what you're discussing.
  • Read the email before you send it - we all mistype and skip words - check it through.
  • Don’t overuse Reply to All - does everyone really need to see your reply.
  • Don’t request delivery and read receipts - have their uses but may also be switched off anyway by the recipient.
  • Avoid excessive use of the high priority option, URGENT and IMPORTANT (unless it is!)
  • Don’t use email for confidential or sensitive information.
  • Avoid email ping-pong – pick up the phone instead. 
Look out for more info and tips for a more effective and organised Inbox.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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