Reading E-mail

·          Set up scheduled intervals for reading e-mail, rather than reacting to each e-mail as it arrives. This tip alone will save you time, since you lose 10 minutes of productivity when you switch from one activity to another.


·          Make decisions right after you read each message:

-  Reply immediately, whenever possible, to save the time of reading the message later.

-  Delete the message if you don’t need to keep it.

-  Create subject folders, and move messages you need to save to the appropriate folder.


·          Create follow-up reminders if you’re not replying immediately.


·          Change the subject line of messages you’re saving if it doesn’t reflect the message content.


·          Save the sender’s address to your contacts and/or address book.


·          Stop e-mail subscriptions you don’t have time to read.



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Sending E-mail

·          Watch your subject lines:

-  Be concise.

-  Change the subject line when replying if it’s no longer appropriate.

-  Send separate messages for separate subjects.


·          Organize content for maximum readability:

-  Keep messages short. If a message must be long, use bullet points and short paragraphs.

-  State the purpose of the message in the first line, even if it’s in the subject line.

-  Indicate, at the beginning of the message AND in the subject line, if a deadline or action is required.

-  Got lots of questions? Number them.


·          Using Reply and Forward judiciously:

-  Reply only if appropriate. Not all messages need a reply.

-  Choose “Reply to all,” “Copy,” and “Return Receipt” only when necessary.

-  Don’t forward virus hoaxes.

-  Don’t overload friends and colleagues with joke e-mails.


·          Use a “signature” with your name, company, and contact info.


·          Use virus-scanning software and keep it up-to-date.


·          Sending an attachment? Tell your recipient and indicate the type of document attached (PDF, Word, etc.). Consider posting attachments to an internal website and sending the link instead.


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