How to manage your business emails
Posted on 4 April 2014 by Emily Stella
I have mixed feelings about business email and I’m on a mission to reintroduce the telephone. I’d like you to join me. Here are my reasons why.
- Remember that time you wrote something about someone in an email and then your mind slipped and you sent it to that very person? Can’t happen on the phone.
- You bcc’d someone into your email. The person bcc’d then hit the ‘reply all’ button and, hey presto, everyone now knows you blind copy people into your emails.
- Email is permanent. You think you’ve deleted it by pressing delete, and then going the extra length of deleting it from your deleted items. But guess what? It’s still there, lying dormant in the server, waiting to rear its ugly head.
- It’s difficult to interpret a person’s tone in an email. Did you know a new punctuation mark has been created to represent sarcasm in text? I’m not sure this symbol will take off. Well, I’d never seen it until now – so let’s assume it hasn’t. But my point is that clearly there’s a need for such a thing. The answer: pick up the phone!
- Emails nurture office politics. I don’t know one person who likes office politics and email often fuels it. It’s so much easier to gossip about people through an email. Hold off the email and when you do have the opportunity to share your gossip, you’ve forgotten all about it.
How to manage business emails
While I advocate picking up the phone over an email in many instances, I’m not a dinosaur. I get that we live in the email era. So here are a few ways to minimise email mishaps.
Write your email in this order: body of email, followed by subject line, and only then fill in your recipients’ email addresses.
Set a delay for when emails leave your outbox. You can delay an email by one or two minutes (up to 120 minutes if you wish). This gives you time to edit the email or add the attachment you accidently forgot, if you need to. For instructions on how to set an email delay, check out Microsoft’s website.
Keep your finger on the button. If you click the send button and realise there’s a mistake in your email, you CAN still rescue the situation. Keep your finger pressed down on the mouse and drag the mouse away from the send button. Only then let go. This one might take a bit of practice.
But yeh, I still vote phone! Who’s with me?