This is somewhat old (in Internet time, I mean – it’s like almost a _whole year_ old) but is helpful if you haven’t read it.
- Turn your email client off. Check your email 2-3 times per day (when you get to the office, at lunch, and at the end of the day).
- Never criticize anyone in an email. Use the phone, or (better) a face-to-face meeting. Email leads to flame wars.
- Do not get into _long_ debates via email. Resort to the phone or meetings. Email polarizes people.
- Fewer recipients is better.
- Do not use BCC (blind carbon copy).
- Assume email is public and permanent. It won’t go away, and it usually won’t remain private.
- A little formality is good. Check your grammar and spelling, particularly.
- Revise and edit important messages before sending them.
I have been implementing the first point for a few weeks now. It’s funny how people expect you to constantly read email. It’s also interesting how many things sort of take care of themselves if you don’t check your email every five minutes. By only checking it periodically, and then taking my time to respond, it gives my work day a more measured, deliberate pace.
I cannot count the number of times points 2-6 would have helped me in my career so far.