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Email Manifesto

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The reason we hate opening our inboxes is that many emails, like the "kitchen sink" email, are too difficult to tackle. Emails like this paralyze us and stall our to-do lists. If we can just agree on a few things, email can be easier for everyone.

Just a note about the presentation: When you get to the slides about Axiom #8, have your audience read each statement out loud. This will quickly make the point about why we should use emoticons in email.

Email Manifesto

  1. Email is more than 40 years old. Texting will turn 20 this year.
  2. Reply All Forgotten attachments Sending to “the wrong Bob” Spelling and Grammar Weird formatting errors
  3. Those are (for the most part) the digital “oopsies” typos of the email world
  4. What really paralyzes us (and makes us dread that inbox) are emails that can’t be easily processed.
  5. The “kitchen sink” email:
  6. Axiom #1: An email should have one clear subject.
  7. Axiom #2: Emails should be simple to respond to and to dismiss when completed.
  8. Axiom #3: When an email “conversation” takes a U-turn into new territory, a new subject line is in order.
  9. When you forward this to 20 of your closest friends, do you really want to accidentally include a sensitive conversation about a student issue by accident?
  10. Axiom #4: Need to arrange for an in- person meeting? Suggest several possible meeting times in the first email communication.
  11. If the person has a secretary, include them in the meeting request
  12. If there are several people involved, use a Doodle.
  13. Axiom #5: If you want the recipient to take additional action outside their normal routine, make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
  14. The “involves more work than necessary” email:
  15. Don’t place the text of the message within an attached document if it can be pasted into the body of the email.
  16. Include an easy-to-share blurb and link to website for more information for events, in particular.
  17. Don’t link to files on drives that are only available on-site. (Smartphones, working from home)
  18. Axiom #6: If the message contains a lot of information, make required actions clear. Use phrasing like “What I need from you is …”
  19. Axiom #7: There’s nothing wrong with a short email message or response – don’t take offense when you get one.
  20. Axiom #8: (and this will be shocking)
  21. Axiom #8: Because it’s difficult to read voice inflection, facial expressions, or body language from an email, consider using emoticons or words to convey these emotions.
  22. Are you kidding me? ;-)
  23. Are you kidding me? :-(
  24. Are you kidding me? <fuming>
  25. Are you kidding me? <hug>
  26. Eight Axioms One Manifesto (I’m hoping now for something like a rousing “Amen!”)
  27. And, the next time you send an email, make sure that we don’t have to reply with…
  28. Are you kidding me? <sigh>
  29. by Maria H. Andersen Learning Futurist The LIFT Institute Muskegon Community College @busynessgirl TeachingCollegeMath.com
  30. Handouts can be found at: http://bit.ly/axiomsonly http://bit.ly/emhandout Please feel free to download, modify, share, and give this presentation as long as you include the author slide.
  • Erika_Heald

    Feb. 14, 2014
  • uxvision

    Apr. 2, 2013
  • LarryTingen

    Feb. 1, 2012

The reason we hate opening our inboxes is that many emails, like the "kitchen sink" email, are too difficult to tackle. Emails like this paralyze us and stall our to-do lists. If we can just agree on a few things, email can be easier for everyone. Just a note about the presentation: When you get to the slides about Axiom #8, have your audience read each statement out loud. This will quickly make the point about why we should use emoticons in email.

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