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April 24, 2009

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Mark T. Farmer

Here are two more tips that I've learned from reading (and occasionally writing) bad emails:

  1. Write Well
    Just because it's an email, don't throw good writing out the window. Avoid abbreviations, write in complete sentences, and break longer messages into short paragraphs. In most cases, the time saved dashing off a quick, ill-composed message is offset by the time inevitably spent having to explain what you meant to say.
  2. Use Threads
    When you reply to a message (as opposed to creating a new one), you save the previous message in a thread. This is a great help as it maintains the "flow" of the conversation. Conversely, if you're starting a new topic of conversation, DON'T use the reply key to save time retyping the recipient's email address. This will collect the new topic under the same subject heading as the old one and make it difficult to find at some future date.

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