E-Mail Code of Conduct: 9 Tips to Control Your Inbox

Say goodbye to clogged inboxes and streamline communication with this straightforward going to email etiquette. Your co-workers will thank you, trust us.

By Chris Anderson (from the Washington Post) from Reader's Digest magazine | April 2012
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    1) Respect recipients’ time.

    The onus is on the sender to minimize the time e-mail takes to process.

    2) Give some leeway.

    It’s OK if replies take a while to come back and if the responder doesn’t give detailed responses to all your questions.

    3) Be clear.

    Start with a subject line that clearly describes the topic. If the e-mail is longer than five
    sentences, provide your reason for writing in the first line.

    4) Avoid open-ended questions.

    Don’t send a four-paragraph e-mail followed by “Thoughts?” Even well-intended open questions like “How can I help?” may not be that helpful.

    5) Slash surplus CCs: CCs are like mating bunnies.

    For every recipient you add, you are dramatically multiplying total response time.

    6) Tighten the thread:

    It’s rare that an e-mail thread should extend to more than three e-mails.

    7) Attack attachments:

    Don’t use graphics files as logos or signatures that appear as attachments. Also, don’t send text as an attachment when it could have been included
    in the body of the e-mail.

    8) Cut contentless responses.

    A response saying “Thanks for your note … I’m in” does not call for you to reply “Great.” That just cost someone another 30 seconds.

    9) Disconnect.

    If we all agreed to spend less time e-mailing, we’d all get less e-mail!


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