Email is meant to make our lives better through more effective communication. However for most of us email ADDS to our stress!
The following 10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral are excellent and should be adopted by all schools. Read more about the 10 Rules and sign up to the charter here http://emailcharter.org/
1 Respect Recipients’ Time
This is the fundamental rule. As the message sender, the onus is on YOU to minimize the time your email will take to process.
2. Short or Slow is not Rude
Let’s mutually agree to cut each other some slack and have reasonable expectations – don’t expect an immediate reply.
3. Use Clear Subject Lines – that clearly labels the topic and maybe includes a status category [Info], [Action], [Time Sens] [Low Priority]
4. Avoid Open-Ended Questions
Avoid asking open ended questions. Ask simple, easy-to-answer questions. “Can I help best by a) calling b) visiting or c) staying right out of it?!”
5. Slash Surplus cc’s
When there are multiple recipients, please don’t default to ‘Reply All’. Maybe you only need to cc a couple of people on the original thread. Or none?
6. Tighten the Thread
Whilst it’s usually necessary to include the thread being responded to it’s rare that a thread should extend to more than 3 emails. Before sending, cut what’s not relevant. Or consider making a phone call instead.
7. Attack Attachments
Don’t use graphics files as logos or signatures that appear as attachments. Time is wasted trying to see if there’s something to open. Even worse is sending text as an attachment when it could have been included in the body of the email.
8. Give these Gifts: EOM NNTR
If your email message can be expressed in half a dozen words, just put it in the subject line, followed by EOM (= End of Message). This saves the recipient having to actually open the message. Ending a note with “No need to respond” or NNTR, is also really helpful.
9. Cut Contentless Responses
You don’t need to reply to every email, especially not those that are themselves clear responses. An email saying “Thanks for your note. I’m in.” does not need you to reply “Great.” That just cost someone another 30 seconds.
If we all agreed to spend less time doing email and applying this charter, we’d all get less email!
Read the full charter and commit here!