Injured Workers Support Network Training
Writing or responding to emails can be a chore but with a few simple rules that chore can become easier to manage
Most email programs will allow you to track your email (at least in part). In outlook this is done in the options menu when you open up the new email composition menu. Other systems will allow you to make a general rule to apply to all emails you send.
In general, these will prompt the recipient to click on a box to let you know they received or read your email.
There are other methods of tracking, involving other software which businesses use but the standard programs are just as valid for personal use.
All email systems have these files:
Deleted or Trash:
Junk or Spam:
Where all the emails you receive go to.
Where those emails you are working on are kept.
Where all the emails you have sent are kept.
Where the emails you want deleted are sent (you need to delete these again).
Where emails your system thinks are not personal or not asked for are sent. You should check these occasionally as some important emails can be caught unintentionally in this folder.
They also allow you to create new folders. It is a good suggestion that you create a new folder to keep emails from particularly regular email correspondence, and transfer those emails into this folder. This will allow you to find an old emails from that correspondent more easily.
You can set an email rule on most systems that will place an incoming email automatically into a folder you have assigned it to. Check in you help menu to see how you can do this on your email system.
In particular if you are going to have to take some time to answer the email.
This doesn't have to be the full reply, but a brief email saying you have received the email is better than ignoring it. This will also give you more time to think about your reply (remember, an email is just an electronic letter). A good standard response could be:
"Thank you for your email, I will respond to it as soon as I can. "
The first part of an email is the To: obviously this is where the intended recipients email address goes.
Underneath this is the CC and BC lines:
CC means Carbon Copy, it sends the email to another email address and provides that address to the first recipient.
CC is used when you want someone not directly involved in the email exchange to read or take note of your email (you shouldn't expect a reply from the person you include in the CC address).
BC means Blind Copy, This send the email to another email address but hides that address from the emails in the TO and CC addresses.
Use Blind Copy if you want someone to take note of your email without alerting the intended recipient. If you are sending an email to a list of people who haven't given their permission for others to have that email you should also use the BC option for all the emails.
The subject line of an email is important. It should be short but should identify exactly what the email is about.
Emails are a fairly instantaneous form of communication. This can lead us to use them as an extension of our SMS or online chats but, unless you are writing to a friend, they need to be considered as a letter without the postage and handling. If you keep that in mind, avoiding misunderstandings is easier to do.
There are few rules for writing emails politely beyond not using capitals for full sentences or words. Full capitals for sentences are read as shouting at the person you are writing to but beyond this etiquette they are hard to read and make sense of, distracting the reader to an extent that they are unlikely to actually read that part of the email. What they don't do is highlight what you are wanting the reader to pay attention to.
Use a new paragraph for the sentence you want to highlight
Then start a new paragraph after that sentence. This will highlight your point in a way that will draw the readers attention and not give them an excuse to ignore it.
What you put in your email is entirely up to you but structuring how you write it will help the person reading it understand what you expect of them (if anything) and how they can best assist you.
Once you have written the first sentence, spelling out the reason why you are writing to them you should spend the next few paragraphs explaining why this is important, giving the background and any other information that assists with your argument. Start a new paragraph for each new component of your argument.
Try to keep your email as simple and short as possible, long letters tend not to be read all the way through unless they flow from logical thought to logical though (in the readers opinion, not the writers).