I get a lot of questions about my use of email.Â People ask why Iâ€™ll answer email before Iâ€™ll return a call. Â Folks ask why I never delete my email.Â I have friends who think itâ€™s interesting that my voicemail directs them to the internet to get in touch with me.Â Â Iâ€™ve been told email is impersonal, no one has the kind of time for email the way I do, I send too much email etc.Â But after today, I am FIRMLY convinced that I will not be likely to go back to phone and face to face communication. Â You see, email provides a written record.
A while ago, I was trying to develop a rapport with a new colleague.Â That is something that is best done in person, most of the time. Â Â We had a few very amicable conversations and I thought things were off to a good start. Â We discussed my plans for an event and I had her support (I thought). Â So when the day for the actual event arrived I proceeded as planned. Â Then I was totally shocked toÂ be told thatÂ the colleague emphatically disavowed any knowledge of the plan and was not in agreement with it.Â
For the first time I â€“ the email before I speak queen â€“ had relied on an in person conversation and I had absolutely no proof that the conversation had even taken place. Â So of course I was â€œwrongâ€ and had nothing to back me up.Â Very unusual for meâ€¦but I take it as a learning experience. Â It will never happen again.Â
So now you know why Iâ€™ll send you an email about something Iâ€™ve spoken to you about or talk to you about something Iâ€™ve sent via email. Â Email provides a written recordâ€¦of many things.Â I can track the conversation, your receipt of information, and several other things. Â I wanted to share this with you as school begins so that you can get into the email groove.Â You might just need it this year.Â
While we are on the topic of email, I thought I would share some information from a post on a tech blog about email etiquette.Â The post is called 5 email habits that waste time and cause problems. Â When you have a chance you might want to check out the original article.Â Lots of folks left comments with some additional tips, hints and scenarios…Â Hereâ€™s what the original post Â said:
- Vague or non-existent subject line â€“ This makes it hard for the recipient to know what youâ€™re asking about.Â If (like me) they can open their email and find anywhere from 5-15 new messages â€“ they are going to open the ones they know are most important first. Â People judge whatâ€™s important from the subject lineâ€¦
- Changing the topic without changing the subject â€“ If I send you an email about a lesson plan idea and you respond with an issue that you are facing in your classroom â€“ without changing the subject â€“ how will I know that I need to make my way to your classroom as soon as I can without opening the email?Â Â If I think you are responding to the lesson plan idea, I might not open the email until Iâ€™m working on the lesson plan in question!
- Including more than one issue in an email â€“ especially if the issues are very different, you might want to send them separately so that nothing gets overlooked when you the person replies.
- Sending before thinking â€“ You canâ€™t take email back (even though some people think Outlook canâ€¦)Â Once itâ€™s out there itâ€™s out there. Â Make sure youâ€™ve read it once or twice for errors. Â If thereâ€™s emotion involved you might want to have someone else read it tooâ€¦
- Replying to All â€“ The email youâ€™ve been sent might have gone to a dozen people. Â When you â€œreply to allâ€ your answer will go to that same group. Â Does everyone need your reply?Â
Of course if you have questions about email feel free to ask.Â Or better yetâ€¦send me an email.Â 😉