Business Email for Beginners

November 5th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

In many work environments you need to use email.  It’s a tool that can suck the life out of your day.  We don’t get awards for doing it well and we can’t put Efficient eMail Management as a skill set on our resume.

Whether you’re new to email or not not managing your email will melt your time into a puddle of nothingness.  I’m going to help you get control of your email because in terms of beginners this is your most valuable commodity…time.

So how do you NOT waste time on email?

  1. Don’t check email too often or better schedule it
    1. Unless it’s an actual job function refrain from checking it every 15 minutes
    2. You stop using it, no not really, you can’t do that but you can stop looking at it so often as if you can’t wait to open your birthday present.
  2. Don’t write a book
    1. Keep it brief, subject line and content.
      1. **TIP if you “need” to have a long email put it in a document / memo format and attach it like it’s a real printed memo
  3. Don’t use email to communicate the following types of information:
    1. Emotionally charged (for you or them or even close to it)
    2. Complicated (Defined loosely)
    3. Complex (Defined Loosely)
    4. Sensitive information (passwords, logins, account numbers, personal info etc)
    5. If you find an existing email thread with any of these dispositions pick up the phone or get in front of the person or at least truncate it
  4. Don’t put email on a mobile device unless it’s “required”
    1. Exceptions:
      1. If someone tells you it’s part of the job – do it
      2. If you’re in a sales position and want to use it as a competitive edge – do it


This all means nothing unless you can measure success. Believe it or not that was very accurate.  For example:

If I go to my SENT box and see 75 sent emails for yesterday this includes after hours so use the entire day.  Then multiply that by 3 and then divide by 60 you’ll get the hours you spent.

  • Sent email for Monday = 75
  • Multiply by 3 and divide by 60
  • 75×3/60=3.75
  • 3.75 hours total time spent on email for Monday

You’re reading that correctly.  I would spend 3.75 hours per DAY on email.  You can do better, good luck.

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