Story by: Colophon Editor
August 1, 2006

These quick tips will help you turn your email into one of your best tools instead of a liability. 5 DON’TS

1) Don’t use email to give people bad news.
Email is best used for exchanging information and saying “yes”! If you need to criticize, get emotional or say “No”, pick up the phone or do it in person. As we all know, the great majority of our intentions are either seen, or heard in voice tone. Make the time to deliver a difficult message in person.

2) Don’t carbon copy over someone’s head.
If you are trying to drive a point home and feel that the boss must know, it is not a good idea to copy her in on your correspondence with a co-worker. The boss usually deletes this kind of email without reading it, and your co-worker will resent the attempt at a strategic power-play. They will see you as a tattetale trying to get your way.

3) Don’t reply to all.
Keeping a close eye on who is getting your email responses is an important part of making email a better tool. Reply to all is mostly an annoyance for people on the TO: list. Replying to everyone is sort of like getting on a loudspeaker and broadcasting to the whole neighborhood. If you need to reply to more than one person copy only the required names.

4) Don’t address your emails until AFTER you have reviewed them.
Have you ever hit the Send button and then regretted it? There is no taking it back. Often, especially when working quickly or writing an emotional email, you make mistakes. Protect yourself by composing the email with no address in the TO field. Then when you have reviewed everything and done your edits, add the TO address. It will then go to the correct person with the correct content.

5) Don’t send large attachments.
Most office environments and people doing business from their homes have broadband Internet connections. However, there are a number of email services that still reject email with large attachments. This causes problems with bounced mail, error messages and full inboxes. As a general rule don’t send attachments over 2.0 MB. There are some great services that allow you to store files and then send a link to your contact for them to download the file (see FTP sites are also a good solution for projects that require large file sharing.

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