Email Productivity
How to be more efficient in written communications

Don'ts (common mistakes in email managment)
(From E-mail at the workplace)

Problems of form and substance

The following defects negatively impact the attitude of the recipient when reading e-mails, which in turn affects their attention and interest, their understanding of the message, and their motivation to respond:

An e-mail that is not easy to understand or recognize, because the content isn't clear or the information is vague.

The title of the e-mail is indistinct or too generic, making it difficult to identify or to follow-up related messages.

The title is generic, or the information contained in the message is too extensive, making it difficult to classify and store the e-mail.

An e-mail that contains too much information on different topics is more difficult to read and to understand, and it is more complex to answer.

The content is too long, particularly if there are too many mails to read (and longer messages tend to be irrelevant).

The "attachment" mentioned is not there, or is too heavy, thus hindering the reception of other more important messages.

The sender cannot be identified, because the name of the sender is an entity or department, or because the name of the person does not appear, only his/her e-mail address.

The message was not signed by the person who wrote it. Maybe the message is incomplete or the sender doesn't want to assume full responsibility of what he/she wrote.

The name of the other recipients to whom the mail is copied cannot be seen.

The content was not written correctly and has grammatical errors.

The first paragraph does not contain the main idea.

The mail contains unnecessary ornaments that make it difficult to read.

This list reflect the high sensitivity we have as recipients of an e-mail, regarding the "details" that can also seem unimportant when we write them.

According to the study called "Quality improvement of e-mail communication in work groups and organizations by reflection", the most frequent qualitative shortcomings that recipients must face in managing the number of e-mails received were:

Receiving multiple e-mails with the same or similar information, from different sources.

Receiving incomplete or poorly written messages means that they will immediately receive more messages on the same subject to complete the information or to clarify it.

In some cases it is difficult to understand to what specific activity or job the mail corresponds to.

Receiving e-mails from unknown senders.

Receiving e-mails where the purpose of the sender isn't clear.

Receiving incomplete messages that require clarifications by telephone.

Receiving messages where it is difficult to establish the importance and/or urgency.

(Fragment from E-mail at the workplace by Juan Carlos Jimenez. See it at Google Books).

Are we aware of how we use e-mail at workplace?


Don'ts (common mistakes in email managment)

See my Blog about
the email at the workplace - Juan Carlos Jimenez

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