Sunday, July 10, 2016

Email in the Real World: Top Ten "Don'ts"

Although I have been told that "this generation" doesn't want to "do email" in lieu of texting, we do a disservice when we allow their emailing to be texting in another medium.  We rarely do anyone a favor when we make excuses for their behavior.  Email is not going away, so we might as well do it right.

1.  Don't send an email when a conversation will do it better (confidentiality, too complicated, etc.)  You can spend a lot of time drafting an email that could take ten minutes to take care of with a walk across the building and short conversation.

2.  Don't send an email you don't want sent to or seen by others.  Email is forever and easily passed on.

3.  Don't forward an email unless you know the other person wants it forwarded (or wouldn't be bothered by it).

4.  Don't type in all capitals.  Some people still do this.

5. Don't forget the "Dear" or "Greeting."  It's just plain rude otherwise.

6.  Don't forget to sign it.  People don't know your name from the email address usually.

7.  Don't reply all.  It's rare that it's necessary to do so.

8.  Don't put a long list of names in the to:  Put it in the blind carbon copy slot.  That way if someone does reply all, it won't go to everyone, and the readers won't have to scroll down and down.

9.  Don't be lazy about learning all the functionalities of email.

10.  Don't email when hacked off at the original sender.  Just walk away.  You may have misunderstood or misinterpreted something.

11.  I would add a personal pet peeve:  don't use out of office if you are going to check the email every hour anyway.  It just means the senders will get double the emails. 

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