Email Management - Information Management - Focus

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email

If you’ve ever flipped through Glamour magazine you have seen the Do’s and Don’ts of fashion. The don’t pictures are taken from the street fashion of major cities. They have a huge black bar across the eyes of a would be fashionista that’s got the look all wrong. The black bar across the eyes hides the identity of the offender. Whether it be clothes with uneven proportions-a delicate miniskirt with army boots, a long coat and skirt that drags on the ground, or even worse a dress that reveals well…everything! What does Glamour and email have in common?

Both speak volumes about who you are, how you handle things, and what you do.

Have you ever opened an email and gotten overwhelmed because it was ill fit and too long? It may have revealed too much of the senders anger or not enough information at all and lead to your confusion. We all know a bad email when we see it. Those emails are the ones that deserve a black bar across them.

Here are the dos of creating a stellar email and dont’s in crafting a bad one. The do’s are a style guide to your email communication that will have you looking fantastic each and every time you send correspondence.


Don’t: Don’t get so long winded, you drag people down. Don’t ramble on, make an email long, or have the receiver of the email scroll through your lengthy monologue.

Do: An email should be 3 short paragraphs. Keep it short- Like those mini skirts from the 60’s-super short.


Don’t: Be unclear about expectations and what is needed

Do: Add action verbs, deadline dates, and clear instruction on ways to move the recipient forward.


Don’t: Reveal so much you get yourself into trouble. Don’t get emotional about email and send one when you’re emotional.

Do: Send email when you have a clear head, when you’re clear on your emotions and nothing snags your sentiment. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.


Don’t: Answer every email each time one lands in your inbox.

Do: Take a proactive approach to the emails in your inbox. Answer them when you’re ready.  To help, you can add a note to your signature line, letting people know when you will respond. Here’s an example “I answer email in the early morning and late in the day. If this is an emergency please contact me by calling….”


Don’t: Hit reply all.

Do: Get really choosy about who gets the information. You don’t want to be ‘that person’—the one clogging up people’s inboxes.


And lastly,

Do: Want to learn ways to manage your email effectively? Contact me for details at [email protected].



Margo Crawford is a Productivity Expert and Coach with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches by phone nationally and in person in Arizona, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]