August 2, 2010

Should you send clean business emails?

The answer should always be YES. Why? To look professional and to avoid confusion, always send the cleanest email possible. Below are a few simple ideas for sending and replying to emails that are standard to any email tool.

Did you ever wonder why you can not delete stuff out of messages someone has sent you? Yes, it is in your in box but that doesn't mean you can edit it. The reason is you were not the originator of the message - therefore you do not own the text. If you want to edit it before sending it though - see next 2 questions.

Did you ever want to get rid of excess text in messages you forward or reply to? In most email tools, you can do this once you become the owner of the text. To become the owner, simply choose to forward or reply to the email with the text from the original message in your email body (not as an attachment). Then move to the body of the new email before sending, select (highlight) the text to remove, then hit the DELETE key on the keyboard to remove it. Be sure you check what is highlighted before you delete because the originator may have sent all of the test as a block or image so the system may automatically selected everything instead of only the portion you thought you selected.

Did you ever want to move text around in a message you are forwarding or replying to? In most email tools, you can do this once you become the owner of the text. To become the owner, simply choose to forward or reply to the email with the text from the original message in your email body (not as an attachment). Then move to the body of the new email before sending, select (highlight) the text to move or copy, then use Cut (Ctrl+X) or Copy (Ctrl+C) to collect the text from current location, move to the new location for text and Paste (Ctrl+V) it into place. I suggest suing the shortcut keys since most Windows-based programs will recognize these keys even if the copy/paste icons will not work.

Did you ever send an email with a misspelled word? To prevent this, check HELP documentation to see if your email tool has the option to automatically check spelling before sending each email. If it does, then set this feature on. Please note this feature does slow down the mail process especially since it will consider acronyms and some slang as misspelling. However, having the feature turned on will prevent most spelling errors. If you don't like the automatic spell check, you can always follow the steps to turn it on to turn it off again.

Please add your own clean email suggestions or email etiquette ideas as a comment on this post. Other articles you may want to check out for speeding up email processes include: Organize Email System for Better Time Management and Get Emails Out Faster Using Group Names as Addresses.

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