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101 Tips for Writing and Managing Email

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101 Tips for Writing and Managing Email

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Have you ever clicked Send and instantly regretted it? Are you drowning in a flood of email or struggling with a bloated inbox? This practical handbook is packed with tips for writing more professional email, and managing more effectively the email you receive. There are ideas for managing your inbox, staying out of feuds, deciding how to delete messages, how to write subject lines, and much more.


Have you ever clicked Send and instantly regretted it? Are you drowning in a flood of email or struggling with a bloated inbox? This practical handbook is packed with tips for writing more professional email, and managing more effectively the email you receive.

Even without all the spam we receive, many of us are overloaded with email. How do we know that? Type "managing email" into Google, and you get over 261 million hits. Popular topic — 261 million is hard to match with any two-word business-oriented search phrase.

Email has become a nightmare for most of us, but you can help restore it to the useful tool it once was. All you have to do is learn to write email that works, and learn to manage the email you receive.

I had to deal with this same problem myself, so over the years I've figured out a whole array of tricks, techniques, and just plain good practices that help me manage the emailstorm. I've selected the best and put them into a jam-packed ebook that shows you how to write more effective and professional email, and how to deal with the mountains of email you receive (whether it's professional or not).

What's on this page:

Sample content

Here's a sample:

Be nice
People who ordered this item also ordered Where There's Smoke There's Email.Write only approving things about people, companies, organizations, countries, races, species and planets. Never criticize. You don't know where your message will go after it reaches your intended recipient.
Send weekend email late
If you send your message early in the weekend to someone who's taking the weekend off, by Monday your message will be old — deep in the queue. Send it late in the weekend, or queue it for delayed delivery early Monday morning.
Set your own priorities
When a message arrives with a high-priority tag, remember that the sender assigned the priority. The message is apparently high priority to the sender — but maybe not to you.
Write subject lines with the most general terms first
When you write subject lines that start with the most general terms, subject sorts later on will group related messages together. For instance, choose "Alson account question" rather than "Question on Alson account."
Table of contents

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Create great content

  • Be brief
  • Be nice
  • Be informal
  • Use please, thank you, and thanks
  • Don't type when you're angry
  • Get therapy elsewhere
  • Avoid email feuds
  • Resolve emotional issues face-to-face
  • Use proper spelling, capitalization and punctuation
  • Expect to be misinterpreted
  • Think of at least three interpretations
  • Don't send off-color "humor"
  • Forward only new humor
  • Present complex point-by-point rebuttals elsewhere
  • Remember that humor is cultural
  • Avoid sarcasm
  • Avoid color, graphics and fancy fonts

Apply psychology

  • Choose an easy-to-remember address
  • Make sure that your "From" matches your business card
  • Make your message easy to read
  • Use mixed case
  • Put a blank line between paragraphs
  • Use a greeting and a personal signature
  • Remember that a geographically dispersed team cannot live on email alone
  • Send weekend email late
  • Don't become an expert
  • Set your own priorities
  • Consciously choose the priority level of your reply
  • Remember that others set their own priorities
  • Avoid taking action items
  • Think carefully if you receive no reply
  • Stand aside in the beginning of group discussions

Understand attachments

  • Be judicious about attachments
  • Consider alternatives to attachments
  • Know how to send and receive attachments
  • Attach the attachment
  • Get permission for large attachments
  • Remove attachments from your reply
  • Send attachments in formats people can read

Take care with addresses

  • Reply only to the people who care
  • Know the difference between Reply and Reply All
  • Include everyone important
  • Type addresses correctly
  • Don't get their address by replying to an old message
  • Put BCCs in the BCC field

Craft the subject line

  • Have a subject line
  • Don't recycle the subject line
  • Don't put the entire message in the subject line
  • Be specific in the subject line
  • Write subject lines with most general terms first

Work effectively

  • File incoming messages in mailboxes
  • Know how to search your files
  • Consider storing messages in more than one mailbox
  • Label messages before copying
  • Use filters or rules
  • Tame your inbox
  • Consider delayed queuing
  • Use your address book
  • Use a nickname pattern in your address book
  • Be careful about multiple nicknames
  • Read before printing
  • Check for new email judiciously
  • Check for new email only when you're interruptible
  • Reply to non-urgent email only when you have time to kill
  • Triage new messages
  • Reply with relevant context
  • Reply with relevant context only
  • Don't rely on your spell checker
  • Know how to use stationery
  • Arrange for forwarding

Master spam, viruses and hoaxes

  • Don't infect your friends or colleagues
  • Don't send spam
  • Send only plain text format
  • Forward no hoaxes or chain letters
  • Don't unsubscribe from spam
  • Report all spam
  • Get a commercial spam filter service
  • Use filters to manage spam-tagged messages
  • Put names in the To, not the Subject
  • Avoid having your message tagged as spam

Miscellaneous Mechanics

  • Choose a newsletter format that fits
  • Keep all your newsletters in one mailbox or folder
  • Become a touch typist
  • Correct your device's clock and calendar
  • Remember to click Send
  • Reply promptly if at all
  • Don't trust return receipts
  • Think before you use "Out of the Office Autoreply"

Security & legalities

  • Keep copies of all outgoing messages
  • Delete old outgoing email with care
  • Pretend that bad people are watching
  • Use password common sense
  • Use a different password for every account
  • Avoid the keyboard mapping
  • Be careful about writing down your passwords
  • Never tell anyone your password
  • Don't carry your laptop in "sleep" mode
  • Change your passwords occasionally
  • In the open, type your password quickly
  • Choose the time to change your password
  • Know what you can't delete
Details and additional information

This item is also available in 10-copy packs (USD 3.60 per copy), in 50-copy packs (USD 3.30 per copy), in 100-copy packs (USD 3.05 per copy) and in 500-copy packs (USD 2.45 per copy).

101 Tips for Writing and Managing Email is in Acrobat format, which gives you several advantages. You can print it, and read it like any book. Or in electronic form, you can use the search capability of Adobe Reader to find passages of special interest to you. If you load it onto your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device, you can read it anywhere — and it's weightless, too. 18 pages.

More info

File size:627 KBytes
Print length:18 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage:Unlimited devices, but single user
Publication date:January 25, 2004
Sold by:Chaco Canyon Consulting

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Last modified: 02 Sep 2016 04:14 Eastern Time


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