Emails are a big part of our work life. They are a big helper but they can also be a killer.
Here are my top tips and tricks for managing emails to your advantage.
First sentence is key. It should contain everything to understand the jist of the email. It only takes one sentence to get your point or request across, even if you have multiple items to cover. You can provide the deets further down. Promise me you’ll make an effort to summarise in your opening liners, k?
Remove the word ‘just’ from your vocab. Right now. You don’t need to open an email with, ‘I just wanted to let you know…’. No you didn’t just. Instead you can say, ‘I wanted to let you know…’ See the difference? It’s so much stronger. Using ‘just’ diminishes what you’re saying and it’s not needed. We tend to add in fluff words, which get in the way of the points we need to make. You gots to empower yo’self, girl!
Avoid writing essays. We all lead busy lifestyles and long emails are too hard to read and take in. Don’t make the receiver roll their eyes at the sight of your emails. Instead, brevity is welcomed. Keep things succinct.
Bullet points are your friend. They help us to be more concise and clear. Also putting things in bold can help make significant points or headings stand out.
Subject lines are important. It explains the email in an easily digestible format. Use them to your advantage.
Answer questions in red. Have you ever received a long email from someone with a bajillion questions? The best thing to do is answer each question in their email in red or another colour, so you’re answers stand out and you don’t miss any questions. That way it’s super clear for ‘em.
Email signature is required. I repeat, email signature is required. It pains me when I can’t find the person’s phone number on their emails. #Fail. Make someone else’s life that little bit easier and have all the key info under your name when you sign off.
Use email folders. I love me some good organisation! Structure your inbox with folders for each topic/client/project. It will seriously make your life easier and help to de-clutter that overflowing inbox.
Colour coding. Mark certain emails that you’ll need to refer back to with a little marker. You can select different colours for different topics, such as Finance, Important Docs, Log-Ins etc.
Use the little red flags. Instead of leaving emails marked as ‘unread’ you can put the little flag on them. That way you won’t leave the office with 10 unread emails in your inbox but instead you have a clear list of what you need to do, or reply to, the next day.
Get emails on your phone. It seriously helps to stay on top of things. I’m all for leaving work at the office when you walk out the door but sometimes we gotta check in. You don’t want to be doing this all the time in your own time but if you’re out at a meeting it’s super handy.
No need to finish off saying ‘I hope this makes sense’. Of course it makes sense. You wrote it. Back yourself.
What are your email hacks? Share in the comments below!