E-mail etiquette for a busy world

E-mail can become overwhelming. It clogs up our inboxes and slows us down. Sometimes, we pound out responses as quickly as possible to clear out our inboxes, giving little consideration to whatever we are actually writing. This really is unfortunate. There is a certain etiquette that we ought to follow when sending e-mails. If we forget to mind our manners, we could end up being disparaging or confusing the recipients of our e-mail missives. Here, then, is a quick look at some e-mail etiquette basics.

Sometimes it is possible to be too brief

How frequently have you gotten an exceptionally brief e-mail message? It’s not hard to think that the sender is angry with you for some reason. However, let’s suppose the sender was sending your message via an iPhone or iPad? It’s not a simple task to type on small mobile devices. And for that reason, many of us keep our messages short when typing on those irritatingly restrictive pop-up keyboards. To let recipients know that this is the reason for the brevity, create a specific signature for any e-mail accounts that you use on smartphones and tablets. According to the Web site Mashable, this signature should tell folks that you’re e-mailing using a mobile device, which is the reason your message is very short. For example “Excuse my brevity; I’m typing this on my Android” ought to do the trick.

Always reply

When your inbox is clogged, it’s easy to let some messages languish without response. You’re short on time. However, not answering an e-mail message from a co-worker, friend or family member is fairly rude. Even if you can’t yet address the specific question in an e-mail message, make sure you send back a quick reply explaining that you’re swamped with other tasks but will get to the request as quickly as possible.

Slow down

CBS News also recommends that you take the time to proofread your e-mail messages prior to sending them. It’s tempting to quickly dash off a note and hit “send.” Doing so can leave you with a message that’s full of typos, or autocorrect/autocomplete can completely change the meaning. "Your mom and I are going to divorce next month" is way different than "Your mom and I are going to Disney next month." Worse, you could forget to add an important attachment. Don’t rush. It’s respectful to make sure that you are sending a professional e-mail message.

Keep your voice down

Whatever you do, never ever send an e-mail message that is written entirely in capital letters. This is known as shouting, and no one likes it. It’s easy to see why: A message in all caps is tough on the eyes. Instead, stick to the normal rules of capitalization when drafting your e-mail messages.


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