8 Signs You’re an Email Amateur

Rachel Dotson —  September 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

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Sure, we’ve all been emailing since the Dark Ages (the time before smartphones). That means we must be experts right? Not so fast! With good experience usually comes at least a few bad habits, and here are just a few to start with. Even if you consider yourself an email expert, there’s always room to improve. Check to see how many describe you.

You’re an Email Amateur if…

1. You Live in Your Inbox

Do you find yourself constantly checking your inbox for new emails?  Pavlov called and he wants his dog back! This is a terrible habit and one that needs to be broken immediately. Not only does it destroy your productivity, but IT DESTROYS YOUR PRODUCTIVITY, enough said.

2. You Leave Everything in Your Inbox

Never look at the same email twice. Embrace this mentality and you will be leaps and bounds more efficient than most emailers. Once you’ve read and processed an email, do something with it.  Delete it, archive it, drag it into one of your folders, but whatever you do, don’t leave it in your inbox. Cluttered inboxes, filled with old email distract you from important messages and create unnecessary anxiety.

screenshot of iphone, iphone showing over thirteen thousand unopened emails in someone's gmail account, iphone showing 148 unopened emails in regular mail

3. You Use Email to Avoid Speaking on the Phone

Email isn’t always the ideal form of communication. Even if you hate talking on the phone (many people do), it’s still a much more effective way to communicate. Better yet, if walking over to a colleague’s desk is an option, do it!

4. You “Reply All” All the Time

Replying to everyone in a thread is usually completely unnecessary. Unless everyone needs to hear your response, be polite and only send your email to the relevant recipients.

5. You Email Like You Text

Email etiquette is a basic skill that we should all have by now. However, it’s worth noting the distinction between email and text message:

emails = (usually) formal, text messages = (usually) informal.

Make sure you don’t mix up the two!

an iphone showing a conversation between someone who can't spell and another person who corrects them, someone who can't spell on an iphone is confused when someone corrects them in a conversation

6. You Write a 500-Word Email and Ask “Thoughts?”

Keep your emails concise, bold key sentences and questions and format your message in such a way that makes for an easy response. This is basic email etiquette, people!  Writing a lengthy email with no clear takeaways or actionable items is a huge time waster for the recipient.

7. You Love Emoticons, Bright Colors, Images and Huge Fonts

Unless sending personal emails, avoid using these in excess. Emoticons are (arguably) acceptable in moderation under the right circumstances, but the days of flashy colors and wonky text are long over. Keep it simple, keep it classy.

 8. You Don’t Mention Attachments

If you’re sending an email with an attachment, always notify the recipient. Most people already make a habit of doing this, but you’d be surprised how many don’t! This way, there’s no question whether the other person is aware of the attachment. On a side note, always double check to make sure you attached your file to the email. SaneBox automatically saves email attachments to the cloud for you.

If you find yourself engaging in any of these email habits, cut them out now.
You’ll be a better human being, but this is just a start.

At SaneBox, we’ve spent the last 4 years building the perfect email overload solution. With a full suite of email features that work with any device, it’s your one-stop shop for email sanity.

Want to learn more?

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Rachel Dotson

Posts

Michigander turned Angeleno. Teach For America alum turned startup marketer. I spend my days at SaneBox, saving the world from email woes one interruption at a time.

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