One thing’s sure, we all work with email. We even use them to
communicate and organize our personal lives. But if you think about it
twice: What are emails really for? Collaborating? Planning? Managing?
Group discussions? In fact, none of the above.
Emails were designed for one on one conversations (or small groups
conversations at most). They should not be used to synchronize a team or
plan an event, because over-using emails simply leads to productivity
loss and a waste of time.
1- CC’ing unnecessary people for « FYI »
people to update them on an information almost always lead to
confusion. The person CC’ed wonders if he needs to take action, should
they respond? Should they forward your info? A CC’ed email contains
information that most people won’t be able to process anyway.
2- Using the « Reply to All » button
When you receive an email with multiple people CC’ed, don’t
automatically send your answer to everyone! You’ll just end up polluting
everyone else’s inbox. Try only answering the person concerned, it
doesn’t necessarily need to become a group discussion.
3- Picking the wrong subject line
The subject should be well chosen. Don’t just write « Hello from … »,
try to give as many details as you can in the shortest format possible.
For example « Meeting 02/15 Documents ». When receiving the email, your
correspondent needs to understand what your email’s about just by
reading its subject. Don’t make them guess what’s inside, be explicit
4- Using capitalized letters
Using CAPITALIZED letters won’t make your email more urgent than
others, and by the way, you’re not the one deciding what’s urgent in
someone’s inbox… In an email, capitalized letters are interpreted as
aggressive and intrusive SCREAMING, and they don’t build a constructive
5- Not prioritizing answers
Not every email need to be answered right away. So you should
classify and prioritize them accordingly. The problem is, your inbox is
the worst tool to use. In fact, your best bet might be an external
application. The perfect email is an email that can be deleted, it’s not
supposed to hold information. So you need to prioritize your answers in
your to do list and transfer the information that an email contains to
6- Using unnecessary words
Just like your email subject line, your email body should be very
explicit and concise. Go straight to the point and avoid as much
unnecessary blah-blah as possible. Most people don’t read everything in
their emails, so if you facilitate the job by giving short useful
information, by bulletproofing your content and by telling which actions
should be taken, you’re saving everyone tons of time (and you’re making
7- Using email for everything
Whether you need to say something to someone, to send information and
documents, to share an idea and gather feedback, to plan an event or to
synchronize your team, don’t use emails every time. Try to think about
the message you want to deliver, and use the right tool for each
specific message. Emails are not always the right medium to communicate
what you need.
8- Managing a team project with email
Managing a team project with email often leads to frustration,
misunderstanding, confusion and in the end, a bad outcome. When you’re
organizing a team project, you need to delegate tasks, share information
and follow up on everyone’s work. But emails are just a way to
communicate, not plan. Change your habits and find a better way to
manage your teamwork without email!
9- Classifying your email
Stop wasting your time classifying your emails. One good thing about
email inboxes is that there’s a search bar. This feature allows you to
find any information at any time. Classifying your emails will just take
a lot of time for very poor productivity improvements.
10- Sticking with email because…
It’s the only way to organize your work
and the only communication tool you know? Maybe it’s time to change the
way you work with your team and with your clients, not to mention the
way you plan your day.
Guys, the time to change your habits has come! Stop working with your emails and try Azendoo to make your team smarter!