Three Tips for More Productive Email

There are many simple ways to make email more productive and less annoying.  Here are three quick tips you can implement right away. And the more these ideas get around, the more they will be standard procedure, making it better for all of us. Start using them today.

  • Add your phone number to your signature on ALL of your email correspondence. Too often it’s only on the first message in a thread and you can’t count on that message still being available to the reader. It’s easy to create a few signature options if you don’t want your full signature block added to every email.
  • Email isn’t always the best option. Sometimes messages can bounce back and forth four or more times to accomplish what could have been handled in one phone call. That’s four or more interruptions in your day instead of one. It’s not very productive to rely on newer technologically when old fashioned ear-to-ear conversation makes more sense.
  • I once received an email in all caps (which means the sender was yelling at me) stating that the sender was none too happy with me for deleting without reading the email she had sent. The problem? I had read it – but in preview pane and it was not an email that asked for a response. Takeaways from this experience?
    1. It’s never smart to yell at someone via email. Yelling via any method is never a good idea, but nasty emails escalate in ways that face-to-face disagreements usually don’t because of the “safety” of distance.
    2. Setting email preferences to be notified when messages have been deleted unread isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Clearly it doesn’t work if the recipient is reading messages in preview pane. Know all the ins and outs of these email settings before using them.

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