I so had not planned on using this site for any technical posts. But it’s in my nature. It’s in my blood. I am a GEEK. Actually I’m a dorky geek with nerd like characteristics but that’s not the point. The point is, as an IT professional, I saw some advice on how to write better emails and felt I should throw my own 2 cents. My comments are in italics.
1. Don’t use email when you are angry. This is a tip from Joan Tunsall’s Better, Faster Email (non-affiliate Amazon link). While most of the time email does not convey your emotions, particularly humor, it somehow seems to transmit anger – even when you don’t intend it to come through..
Good point. Now if I could just unsend that flaming email to my co-worker who suggested I should reconsider my position on our Internet policy and allow him to check out Online Dating Services.
2. Be brief. Do not send excessively long emails if at all possible. Try to summarize your information so that your recipients are more likely to read the email and actually respond. When possible, break long emails into numbered point form so that recipients can respond by reference number.
As Slynn is probably laughing her butt off imagining me sending summarized short emails in numbered point form, I still vow to do this henceforth.
3. Don’t send email attachments to mobile devices. If you know that a colleague will be using their mobile device to check email for an extended period of time, avoid sending him or her attachments. Send a snippet of text instead, if possible, or a URL where they can download when they have access to a laptop or desktop.
Honestly, I say don’t send email attachments unless you have to. Especially if their embedded forwards after forwards and by the time you click open 12 messages, the joke isn’t that funny anymore.
4. Be specific with email titles. An email’s subject line is what enables its recipient(s) to appropriately handle it. The famed ‘Re:’ standing alone on a subject field is either spam, or a response to one of your less-informative titles. Specificity not only facilitates easy filing, but makes locating a given email in your sent box months after the fact (when you need to prove something, or again find that bon mot) a heckuva lot less time-consuming.
I try to use the subject line in everything I write and type. Most of my friends do not and I get 100s of emails from them with “Re: ” for the subject line. On the flip side, I would suggest you stay away from putting in potentially revealing secrets in subject lines such as….”Tripp’s birthday present” etc. Long story in that.
5. Rule 1 of email privacy: there is no true privacy. Keep that in mind, and write your emails accordingly.
Yes, this should be rule number one. I don’t know how many times my friends or new acquaintances will ask me, “Hey, is it possible that my work can read my emails?” *Laughs*