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Making Your Email More Effective And Reduce Your Volume September 29, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, email.
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This isn’t really techie but I feel compelled to help you all today.  I just finished reading The Hamster Revolution by Mike Song, Vicki Halsey and Tim Burress.  I must say that you if you teach me how, I will tell others so that they too can educate everyone on improving our email.  These are my top 7 takeaways from the book to reduce email volume and make you more effective:

  1. If you can say it all in the subject line please do so, then end the subject line with EOM (End of Message)
  2. If you are annoyed with volumes of thank yous and acknowledgements use NTN and NRN (No Thanks Necessary, No Reply Necessary)
  3. Use these words when appropriate in your subject line: Action, Request, Info, Confirmed, Delivery
  4. Have a clear & helpful auto signature – include your phone number (duh)
  5. When crafting email, the body should be in the ABC format.  After the greeting use these Headings: Action Summary, Background, Close
  6. Use bullet points to keep things concise
  7. Use the “rules” feature to automatically sort your email  

My additions to this include:

  • For my construction industry friends put the JOB NUMBER or PROJECT NAME in the subject line! 
  • For my association friends, use the association letters AGC, ASA, CFMA, NAWIC etc in the subject line if association related.
  • If the email you received has a meeting date, drag the email to the calendar and set the date, start/stop times immediately so you don’t forget it!
  • If you use your phone to email, take the time to create shortcuts for Action, Request, Info, Confirmed, Delivery so they aren’t misspelled.

If you are interested in just how much lost time you spent with email there’s a chart on page 15…which shows you how many days per year you’ll save,  if you reduce your email volume by 20%.  There’s something to the beauty of brevity that we all appreciate.  Maybe that’s why Twitter has so many users today.  It forces you to think and get to the point! 

Have any other suggestions?  Especially things that are quick and easy…please share them with us all and add your comments to this blog.

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