Writing shorter emails.

In the world of email, being efficient equates to being succinct.  Here’s some tips on writing shorter emails:

  1. Use the subject line for a quick response eg “thanks for that, see you Friday at 2pm”  “Perfect!  I’ll send you a copy in the mail” etc
  2. Use bullet points and key words instead of long, drawn out sentences.  Bullet points are far easier to digest and keep things visually simple.
  3. Want less email altogether?  Pick up the phone. A phone call is superior when dealing with conflict, negotiations or decision making.
  4. You also might light to try this  Steve Jobs email reply generator.  It’s lots of fun! We found it via Jeri Dansky. It always makes me laff.

What are your best tips for keeping emails shorter?  I’d love to hear them.


    6 responses to “Writing shorter emails.

    1. I’m glad you like the Steve Jobs e-mail reply generator, Lissanne!

      And a big YES to avoiding long, drawn-out sentences. We all get so much e-mail that we need to be able to skim our messages; succinct bullet points really help with that.

    2. At my husband’s office, they use an internal wiki for a great deal of information: notes from meetings, calendars, project updates, etc.

    3. Good tips. But I regard e-mail as – in most circumstances – more polite. A phone call or a personal visit interrupts the person being called. An e-mail does them the courtesy of allowing them to deal with your issue at a time that suits them, not a time that is optimal for you.

      I often tell people over the phone to e-mail me.

      There is a myth that the old-fashioned face-to-face ways are best. But this is a myth, and a dangerous one, in many circumstances.

      But I’d love to hear your take on this.


    4. Hey Keith, I’m glad to hear you encourage people to email you… I personally would love less email in my life and do the opposite – I often ask them to call me! If I don’t want interrupting, I will take the phone off the hook or not take the call.

      I personally find the phone far more polite and personal than emails.. but your comments illustrate just how different we all are!

      I am curious Keith – how many emails do you receive a day, on average? I definitely would prefer more phone calls over emails!

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