Email Use - Good Practice

  • Do not use wallpapers etc - this wastes storage space.
  • If your email requires action on behalf of the recipient then say so preferably in the title. Always say what you want and who you want to do it. If the mail requires action from someone then they should be in the 'to...' box. Recipients in the 'cc...' box are quite entitled to think they have received it for information only.
  • Do not use the priority flag - it does not make any difference if the recipient is on holiday, their PC is broken etc. If it's urgent - use the phone.
  • Always set up an out of office message if you will not be answering emails for a few days.
  • Make sure that the Subject field of your message is meaningful. 'Project Notification' means nothing. 'Project Notification - Ridley Swimming Pool' does.
  • Avoid using attachments if the message can be put in the email. Opening attachments is time consuming especially if they then turn out to be something irrelevant.
  • When you use Reply, ensure that the Subject field still accurately reflects the content of your message.
  • Do not change the Subject field unless you are actually changing what is being discussed. Mail programs can sort messages according to the Subject: if you change it recipients will lose the 'thread'. If it is appropriate to change the Subject then show that you are taking an existing thread in another direction: for example 'Sources for advice (was: Question about footers in Word)'.
  • Always check who is going to see your reply. Many embarrassing examples exist of people responding to a whole mailbase list when they only wanted an individual to see it.