We are all sending and receiving scores or even hundreds of emails a day. Even with the onset of text and emails sent by smart phone, we can still strive to have our emails make sense and conform to the conventions of English grammar and mechanics (especially when we are sending professional emails). Here are a few to consider, to help keep chaos at bay:
- Use upper and lower case. Proper nouns (especially the pronoun “I”) should always begin with an upper case letter.
- Use upper and lower case. The first letter of a sentence should always be capitalized.
- Use upper and lower case. TO USE ONLY CAPITALS IS TO YELL AT THE RECEIVER!!! to use only lower case is to prove that you don’t know rule #1 or #2.
- Proofread your email before you send it. The first step in proofreading is to actually read what you’ve written and see if it makes sense. Correct any confusing sentences or concepts.
- Proofread your email before you send it. Spell check the entire message.
- Carefully check the email address before you send it. Make sure it’s going to the intended receiver.
- Use a salutation on professional emails. “Hi:” is satisfactory for your co-workers, but if this is an important client or your boss, “Hello Mr. Smith:” or simply the person’s name “Ms. Jones:” is acceptable. You don’t have to repeat the salutation on a return email.
- Use a signature line. You can usually have a signature automatically added to your message.
- Avoid using text messaging language, such as “LOL” in an email–particularly if it’s a professional email. Think about who the receiver of the message is and what level of formality you need to be using. Be smart. Your email is permanent.
- Limit your use of emoticons (smiley faces, etc.) They may or may not add to your message. You want to make sure they don’t detract from your message.
You may think I’m a fuddy duddy. I just want you to be thoughtful (both meanings, i.e., considerate and reflective). There are several of the ones above that I constantly have to check for–whereas others are automatic to me. It’s worth our extra effort, particularly in the professional realm. Your personal emails are something different for you to consider – but do remember that all email is permanent.
Note: A phone call still works great – and is often to be preferred to sending an email.
If you like these tips and would like more to help your professional goals you will want the Get a Plan! Guide® to Seven Sane & Sensible Email Practices part of the Get a Plan! Guides® series designed to give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion