Email… briefly

email-at-sign 750One of the top posts on eQuipping for eMinistry is Tips about Email Usage and Abusage.  (I’d like to suggest you read it along with this article since many of the 18 tips will apply to this post.)

So, here’s “part two” which I based on some great ideas from “How ‘EOM’ Makes Your Email More Efficient” and “How to Email Busy People”.  (I’ll include the links within this post so you can read more from the original authors.)

Watch the Length of Your Emails

Have you ever written an email that you realized in hindsight would have been more efficiently done over the phone or in a short meeting?  Try this mental checklist from LifeHacker for your email messages:

  • Can you fit everything into a subject line? No?
  • Then can your message fit into one paragraph? No?
  • Then can it fit into two paragraphs? No?
  • If it cannot, then a phone call or meeting is likely more efficient.
Yes, you read that right.  Use the subject line with nothing in the body of the eMail when possible.   Imagine  receiving an eMail that had only the following in the subject: “I’ll see you at 6:00 at Panera’s with the presentation materials  EOM/RR.”  Can you save yourself and others a lot of time and effort by saying everything you have to say in a well-written subject line?

Try Standard Abbreviations

Familiarize yourself with these great abbreviations for your subject line:

  • EOM end of message
  • NRN  no reply necessary
  • RR reply requested
Learn more benefits of using “EOM” from LifeHacker, including saving time and guaranteeing your email will be read.  As more of us use these abbreviations, we’ll save more space on our servers, too.  (This is for my friends who make sure we have all the space we need.)

If You’re Emailing a Busy Person

Jason Freedman recommends your emails to a busy person should be 3 to 5 sentences maximum or even just contained in the subject line.  Read more in How to Email Busy People or in Part Three, where I’ll summarize Jason’s specific tips which also apply to emails in general, not just to busy people.

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