It’s Monday. Most of you need to write better emails. Want to know how to do that? Read this: How to Write Less Terrible Emails If Writing Doesn’t Come Easy to You. You will learn several good things from that article, including how to structure your email. Essentially your emails should be in this form:
2. Ask or action requested
3. Concise description of context and impact
Now some of you may say: I don’t need email, I have Slack. Trust me: you still need email and you need to know how to construct good emails. Read that and you will.
If you don’t have to send email, then don’t. That’s the best option. But if you do, send a good one.
Have you’ve been putting off sending an email to someone because you don’t know what to say? Well with canned emails, you have a good start. Simply go to this site: Canned Emails – a minimal site with prewritten emails. and search for what you want to say. Want to catch up with someone? There’s an email for that. Does someone owe you money? There’s another one for that. Want to cancel a service? That site has you covered.
Some people have a knack of knowing what to write in any situation. For the rest of us, canned emails can help us get over the hump and get that communication going.
Give it a try.
(Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash )
Are you one of those people who have hundreds if not thousands of emails in your inbox? Would you like to get down to Inbox Zero? Or Maybe Inbox 99? If so, try this approach:
1) First, for these next few steps, you will not open or read ANY emails. Just look at your inbox.
2) Second, sort your emails by sender. Go through and delete all emails you don’t need: email from people you don’t know or don’t care to respond to, emails from mailing lists (don’t worry, they will send you more), unsolicited email, spam, emails from your ex, etc. Delete delete delete. Read nothing.
3) Third, sort your emails by date. Delete all emails that are a year old or more. Can’t bear to do that for some reason? Then if you must, create a folder called “Attic” or “Basement” and put them there. (You will no more read them then you will look at the stuff you have stuffed in your real attic or basement either, but if it makes you feel better). Again, no reading: delete or file.
4) Ok, you have emails from the past year. Go through and sort them by subject. See all those emails with the same subject, or the “re: re:…”. Chances are you only need to keep one of those. Then delete the rest.
5) Now sort them again by date. Go to the oldest. For everyone you see, ask yourself: is this referring to something that’s over or resolved? If so, delete it or put it in the Attic folder.
6) Go through emails from newsletters. Open only to UNSUBSCRIBE. Otherwise delete.
7) Reminders for bills, etc. Write that down then file or delete.
8) Meetings that have past? Delete.
Now whatever emails you have, you can open. Try to skim them, but do this:
1) If it is an FYI, file or delete. Do NOT reply.
2) If someone did you a favor or a service, reply through non-email: a message, text or phone message even. Do not reply by email.
3) If it is a complex email, figure out what the ACTUAL request is. Write it down. Send them an email just with the request and your response; file or delete the other email.
Now the only emails you have left that are either from colleagues or family and friends. Deal with the most important ones first. Of those, make lists of what they are asking. Then consider whether to just deal with them the next time you see them. Whenever possible, do not reply via email.
By this point you should have alot less email. Look at you being all productive and efficient. Congrats! You did good.
Slack may not be the end of email, but some version of it is likely going to result in a decline in email. If it won’t be slack, it might be one of the ones mentioned here:
Speaking of Google, the company has a Slack alternative of its own, called Hangouts Chat, as does Facebook, in Workplace. Microsoft has Teams, which is bundled with its Office software and which the company says is being used by more than 500,000 organizations. This multi-front attack on email is just beginning, but a wartime narrative already dominates: The universally despised office culture of replies and forwards and mass CCs and “looping in” and “circling back” is on its way out, and it’s going to be replaced by chat apps.
I doubt email will go away forever: that’ not how tech works. Dominant tech tends to fade away rather than outright collapse. That’s likely what will happen with email.
Will Slack et all be better? Good lord, no. Just different. Some aspects of it are better, and many aspects will be worse than email.
For the curious, here’s more on this idea: Slack Wants to Replace Email. Is That What We Want? – The New York Times
The New Yorker has the answer: Sorry for the Delayed Response – The New Yorker. (I think it is meant to be humourous, but it’s a little too close to reality to make me wonder. :))
Unsubscribing to mailing lists you no longer read or want is a good resolution to make and keep. Here’s why it’s a good idea:
- It doesn’t take long.
- It’s not something you have to do every day.
- It let’s you put off getting deep into work on your first day/week back from vacation. (Assuming this is you.)
- It will save you much more time than you think over the next month, season, year. If you spend 5 minutes a day deleting such email, over the year, that’s over 2 days of meaningless activity.
- It will help you get your inbox under control. It won’t get you to Inbox Zero, but it helps.
By the way, if you’ve been wanting to do a New Year’s resolution but haven’t come up with any, this one is easy.
This phishing attack is really good. Other than text like “we regret to announce” and a misspelling of “Apple”, most of the phrasing is well done and it all looks very official. Of course they sent it to my wrong email address, so that was another sign it was a phishing email. Most of the links are valid, too, except one that points to myioscare.uk. So yeah, beware. Here’s the text of the email:
Apple ID – <my email address at work>, (19 – September – 2014)
This notice is to therefore to inform you we regret to announce you that your Apple/iCloud Account (<my email address at work>) has been temporarily frozen until we can verify your iCloud Account details. This security measure to protect your Apple Account from unauthorized usage. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
You will be unable to access Apple sync/backup or the iTunes/App Store & Apps Store until you update your Apple/iCloud Account details on file, we urge you to complete validation as soon as you can. Failure to update your account details within a 74 hours can result in deletion of your Apple/iCloud Account to protect our system.
How can I validate my Apple Account and restore my iCloud/Apple ID?
Just proceed to the highlighted link below to verify ownership of your Apple ID. Log-in in using your Appe/iCloud login and password, then read the instructions.
> Validate My Apple/iCloud Account
While using Apple products and apps, you’ll still sign in with your primary e-mail address as your Apple account.
If you have queries and want support, please visit the Apple Account Care site.
Case Validation Request: #UJ13HA41317-EU11