Email Use - Good Habits

  • Check your mail regularly.
  • Reply promptly if a message is requesting action on your part. If you cannot reply properly in the short term, send a brief acknowledgement. Not replying is discourteous, and may be confusing for the sender. Although e-mail is almost 100% reliable, your correspondent will appreciate the confirmation. Another reason to reply promptly is that it is easy to forget an e-mail message if you receive more than a few per day.
  • Don't use attachments when what you want to say can be put in the body of the text. Attachments use storage space and take time to open. If you are referring to part of a document consider cutting and pasting it into the email.
  • Permanently delete unwanted messages. Your mail storage is limited: if you do not keep it tidy, new messages will eventually be refused delivery. This is particularly true of unwanted messages with large attachments.
  • Develop a filing system (folders) for messages you want to keep.
  • Set up a SPAM filter. Suspect SPAM is marked SP? and this can be used to filter it out of your inbox.
  • If you always use a signature, keep it to 2 or 3 lines. Nobody needs a 12-line signature! But it is more effective to use a signature only when it is actually useful. Most mail programs let you opt to use your signature only when needed. Some allow you to define as many different signatures as you want, so that you can choose an appropriate signature for each time you need one.