Email Overload

Time is everyone’s most valuable resource. By using smart and effective communication strategies for email, we can free up more time to be productive or do the things we want to do.

I recently read an interesting article in regards to using our time efficiently when handling our e-mails.

For me, personally, I have experienced first-hand the time consumed simply in dealing with e-mails. Reading and replying to e-mails takes up a good portion of my day. E-mails have become an important means of communication in my day to day agenda.

So if this form of communication is so important, shouldn’t I be a better steward of that time spent with it? If I am studying to become a “professional communicater,” shouldn’t I know the best tactics with tackling even the simplest of communication efforts?

Matt Spaulding from PR Daily provided some helpful tips in his article “Email overload?” Here are a few of them:

1. Include a strong subject line. Be concise, and use compelling words to get attention. Your email’s worthless if no one opens it.

2. Use numbers or bullet points. This is essential if you’re covering multiple issues; doing so will help the recipient address each one individually.

3. Watch the clock. If you take more than 15 minutes to write an email, it’s better to condense it and augment it with a phone call or in-person meeting.

4. Be careful when forwarding. If you’re forwarding an email chain and there is something of importance in that chain, don’t just use “FYI below” and expect the recipient to see what you’re hoping they see. Point out what they should pay specific attention to.

5. Get closure. Include calls to action and deadlines.

6. Avoid multiple sends. Wait for your recipients to respond before sending out another email on the same topic.

7. Wait if you have doubts. If you’re second-guessing your email, there’s probably a good reason. Listen to that voice in the back of your head. Remember: You can’t “un-send” an email. Better to keep it in your draft folder and think about it for an hour than to regret your haste.

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