Here are your 9 rules of email etiquette. They will make you a better person. Promised.
Is there a four digit number in bold next to your Inbox? No one is immune to the flood of communications inundating our inboxes at all times of day. Keep the alerts on and your smartphone will light up like a Christmas tree.
This constant flow contributes to several survivalist yet counter-productive techniques. While it may lead to a higher stress in some, others have abdicated and are willfully ignoring the email tsunami at the cost of missing important messages amidst the flow. Hopefully these pieces of advice on email etiquette will help rein in the electronic wave gnawing our time away.
When writing an email, consider the following:
RULE 1 – Email or Not
Is an email appropriate? Consider alternatives such as a quick phone call, a face to face visit or perhaps a chat to achieve the same purpose.
RULE 2 – Subject Clarity
Clearly label the topic. Do not use student names in subject line. If you send regular emails on a topic, be consistent with the subject. (Subject Line Abbreviations: FYI: For Your Information; EOM End of Message: the whole message is included in the subject; URGENT Urgent attention required)
RULE 3 – Short
Write short, concise emails. It’s OK if responses are not overly detailed. Short messages are not considered rude. Use bullet points to organize information, and bold important messages. Take the time to make your emails easy to process.
RULE 4 – Timely
Where possible, try to respond to emails within 24 hours, even if only to acknowledge that it requires further follow up and a later reply.
RULE 5 – Cut Contentless Messages
You don’t need to reply to every email, especially not those that are themselves clear responses. An email saying “Thanks for your note. I’m in.” does not need you to reply “Great.”
RULE 6 – Cut CC & Ban Reply All
Use CC to FYI people. You should never use Reply All except if you are certain that every single person included in the original email needs to receive your response. Make it clear to all people in a threaded conversation if you are forwarding or adding others to a conversation.
RULE 7 – Email Groups
Target your email to the smallest email group concerned (e.g.: TeachersES vs Teachers vs All)
RULE 8 – Review, Don’t React
Never send an email while you are angry. Take a break, respond only when you are calmed down.
RULE 9 = Disconnect at Night and Weekends
Personal time is precious. For ‘urgent issues’ use the telephone.
A Lofty Goal
If you are interested in further taming your inbox, consider project inbox zero to arrive at the Babylonian number.
Break Email Etiquette
Do you ever break these rules? Let us know why by leaving a comment below,