Email Hacks

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[edit] Tags

Leverage the power of tagging in your outbox.

Build a template from these suggestions and include it in your signature to increase the information density of your communications. You can also create additional signatures with different options checked.

Privacy:

This email is:      [ ] public         [x] ask first   [ ] private

Action Requests:

This email is:      [ ] Actionable     [ ] FYI         [x] Social
Response requested: [ ] yes, please;   [ ] optional;   [ ] no. 

Deadline:

Time-sensitive:     [ ] urgent ASAP!   [ ] soon;       [ ] no.
                    [ ] by:

Cautions:

Do not:    [ ] bend [ ] fold           [  ] spindle    [ ] mutilate

[edit] Attention Mechanisms

Draw attention to the important parts of your messages with a note in the "margin". Since most emails don't actually have margins, you can put them in the message body or as footnotes after the text (but probably before your signature).

Action Requests:

! Please forward this information to your team.

Questions:

? Do you have anything to add to this before I publish it?

Initialize for credit or blame:

! RM Summarize this page for 43 Folders

[edit] Message Templates

For formal or work related messages, use a template to front-load the information most of your readers want; they'll actually ready the message, and you can CYA.

SUMMARY: one line of critical data

ACTION ITEMS:
* name: action item
* name: action item
...

DETAILS: All the rest of the info, which most people won't read but at least
will have in their inbox when needed.

[edit] Standarize your Subject lines

Start the subject line for all project emails with the same 4-6 letter code. Spacely Sprockets’ project emails might start with “SPROCK,” for example. This makes filtering a breeze and helps you visually organize your inbox more quickly, especially when you work with a given person across several projects.

[edit] See Also

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