Monday, September 15, 2014

Email anyone?

The office memo has been gone for 20 years, but it seems we're still learning how to email effectively. It's as if all the "memo composition rules" were throw out and not passed down to the email generation.

Anyway, enough whining; here's my FIVE RULES for EFFECTIVE EMAIL (I'm shouting here!)

1. Only one subject per email in the body text
2. Subject line is relevant to subject matter (no generic subject lines)
3. Use key words in subject or body that will be used for search later on when you are looking to recall the email; think about how you would write a SQL SELECT statement to retrieve the email
4. If you reply to an email received on subject "A" but want to divert the topic to "subject B", then edit the subject line to start a new thread
5. Avoid river raft paragraphs (long flowing text without breaks); every couple of sentences should be separated with a space. People read online with a different attention span and reading pace than they read on paper.

Did I say five rules? Think about the sixth: Imagine your email in the New York Times... are you ok with what it says?

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