Clicks & Notes

20 March 2005

More Email Tips

HBS Working Knowledge - Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

Lengthy checklist of tips, including several ways for you to make the email that you send to other people more clear and effective.

Standout bits:

  • “Use a subject line to summarize, not describe” – put another way, the subject line should be content, and not metadata
  • “Give your reader full context at the start of your message” – don’t make the reader hunt through a thread of replies to figure out what you’re talking about
  • “When you copy lots of people (a heinous practices that should be used sparingly), mark out why each person should care” – preface the message with action items for each recipient
  • “Separate topics into separate e-mails… up to a point” – important when some topics can be responded to right away, and others cannot; also good for separate the controversial from the mundane; on the other hand, don’t overload someone with a bunch of tiny messages

See also this previous post: Managing Email

Update 22 March 2005: A few related blog posts…

Slacker Manager - Subject line tricks and Slacker Manager - Subject line tricks redux

  • suggestions for useful abbreviations that you can include in the subject lines of your emails

Fast Company - Intel’s Got (Too Much) Mail

  • an article dating from 2001, which notes:

    Employees of the semiconductor giant collectively average 3 million emails a day… with some people racking up as many as 300 messages in one 24-hour period.

  • includes a list of Intel’s “10 Commandments of Email”
⇒ Filed under:  by jen @ 11:49 am

PowerPoint and the First Five Slides

beyond bullets - The First Five Slides

  • Cliff Atkinson writes the following about giving presentations:

    If you don’t fully engage your audience within the first five slides of your presentation, you might as well pack up your projector and go home. No matter what your topic, every audience has a set of questions they are silently asking, and it’s up to you to answer them quickly or risk losing the privilege of their attention.

  • rather than being lists of bullets points, the slides should form the foundation for an engaging and persuasive story
  • see also: beyond bullets - The 5-Minute Storyboard for a storyboard template for PowerPoint
⇒ Filed under:  by jen @ 10:14 am

© Jennifer Vetterli, 2005