How to write smarter emails

11 Apr

I’ll try to keep it short, and define some guidelines for how to communicate using emails. I found these to be working and helped me communicate better and with greater impact.

  • Start using skype/phone/in-person communication instead of emails when you need to ask/tell/consult with a specific person.
  • Start you email with the name of the people it is important for i.e. “Hi John”
  • TO – in the TO list put people who needs to do an action with your email.
  • CC – use the CC list for people who may need to know about this issue.
  • Do not send an email to a group unless you have to.
  • Thank you emails – if you really feel the need, send directly to the person you refer to and not to the group
  • Keep it short, and make sure you write what you want in the first 2-3 sentences
  • Consider highlighting the important aspects in the email
  • Use outlook conversation view so you won’t need to waste time reading 10 emails if you can check the last one only.
  • As much as possible use email to communicate decisions (see #1) not asking questions.

Following these guidelines will empower you to:

  • Send/Receive less emails.
  • Get higher relevance for the emails as today many of these emails are not relevant for most of the people who get them.
  • Improve email productivity as today many of these emails are too long and don’t have a concrete action item or purpose.

Use direct verbal communication that is much more effective in many cases.

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