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  • Patricia Simpson

Email Dos and Don'ts

Email has become such a part of our professional (and personal) lives that we often forget to employ what once were common sense rules such as never reply in frustration and do not use all caps when sending messages.

Work email messages should be responded to within one business day, unless you have an automatic message stating otherwise. Messages should be short (most of us use our phones at least some of the time to review email) and include bullets if they can't be short. Since many email messages are now also sent out on devices that have auto correct 'help,' be sure to go back, re-read your messages, and ensure they're written with proper grammar and spelling (we've all seen instances when auto correct wasn't as smart as it thinks it is!).

It's also a great idea to include a subject line (and appropriate greeting and closing) so that your reader knows whether your message is one that should be read and responded to immediately or whether they need more resources to respond appropriately.

Use Reply All only if everyone truly needs to be included on the message...we all get way too many email messages, so if you can just respond to the sender, others on the group email would probably appreciate it. Also, use CC and BCC sparingly (though do blind carbon-copy when sending to an extremely large group or when you want to keep individual email addresses private!).

Finally, at work, remember your email account is your employer's property so they have full access to what you send and keep it professional.

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