Email Netiquette

Sometimes people can find my email manner abrupt or rude, and I’d like to take a moment to address this.

Email has its place, it’s a useful communication tool, however as its generally misused, replying to email takes far too long.

I believe that the majority of emails should be no longer than FIVE sentences.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate detail, or that I have a short attention span.

Simple rules of thumbs;

  1. Is the issue urgent?  Yes: PICK UP THE PHONE, No: Send email
  2. The longer the email, the longer it will take to get a reply
  3. There are other channels for quick/short communication – ie: twitter
  4. 4:1 ratio – an email that has taken 4 minutes to write will usually take 1 minute to read
  5. Does the email require Action/Reply/Archive – if its “just for information” it doesn’t need a reply
  6. Detail should be put into documents and attached to an email, not in the email body
  7. I don’t believe in sending “Thanks”, “Received” etc emails – that’s what read receipts are for
  8. Replying to “did you receive my email” etc emails – that’s what delivery reports are for

These are my personal opinions and my own personal preferences, everyone has an approach that works for them.  This is mine.

If you are trying to streamline your email life, do feel free to reach out and let me know what you are trying and how its working.

Some useful resources;