Issue 11 of Email for a reason
It may feel awkward at times, but in our bulging inboxes clarity is king.
Start of by clearly stating the topic at hand (which should be obvious already in the subject).
Write proper sentences with Capital letters and proper punctuation. (Kind of a no-brainer, but still.)
Divide the message into digestible paragraphs.
Use bold, italics and bullet lists, when appropriate.
Be generous (but correct) with commas.
Be overly clear about what you want to say.
Example of a less clear email:
Subject: Can you help me?
As you may have heard, I’ve had several new projects handed to me, and I haven’t had much time. One of the things that takes much time are the weekly meetings. If you could take that upon you, it would be a great help. It’s not a lot of work. Just book room and take notes and send out. As well as order coffee and refreshments. Would need this help October through December.
A more clear version of the same email:
Subject: Can you organize the weekly meetings Oct-Dec?
Can you organize he weekly meetings October through December?
- Book a room
- Send invitations
- Order coffee and refreshments
- Take notes and send out
I you can’t let me know no later than Thursday September 24.
I’m sorry to put this on you, but my schedule is crammed for the next three months, because of the new projects I’ve been assigned.