Golf is fundamentally about being honest. I see people hit eight shots and tell me they shot five. I never say a word. It is a reminder to me of what is at stake.
What are the top tips for sending polite reminder emails that don’t look like you are either pushy or nagging. Writing polite reminder emails can be nearly as tricky as this situation the golfer finds himself in. Do nothing and there might be a disaster. Insert either a read receipt or high priority marker and if the other person is anything like me, this will ensure they ignore you.
A survey by Adobe in 2018 revealed that the top five most annoying email reminders are:
Where does that leave us. Here are five top tips for sending polite email reminders. Underlying each tip is the assumption that like you others too are suffering from email overload and not intentionally ignoring you.
They also maybe reading their emails on a mobile device. You need to draw their attention to your email in a way which is assertive and flatters their ego.
For Outlook users, to see how to insert reminder flags and have the email turn red, click here.
This is a summary of the recent Smart Email Management to Improve Performance Lunch and Learn webinars given by Mesmo Consultancy & Sawbucks. Click here for more about these which are also part of a new book being co-authored by Dr Seeley with Melissa Esquibel of Sawbucks Seminars.
Over the past few weeks Monica has been working with Melissa Esquibel of Sawbuck Seminars to develop a series of virtual lunch and learn webinars. These are focused on how to be more productive in the digital age (and especially dealing with the inbox and social media). Not surprisingly these are linked to the new book we are co-authoring together.
Currently we are offering these free as part of our effort to support all those of you now working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown.
To download the handouts from a session click on the session title.
For questions relating to these topics, please post them on one of our discussion groups.
We hope you are enjoying and learning as much from them as we are from your questions.
Suffering from email overload? Rules are the way to reduce email overload. Finding it hard to see the important emails from the less important one, maybe even the dross which you never really wanted in the first place. Rules are the most powerful and effective way to de-clutter you inbox. Here is how to set a simple and more complex rule in Outlook 365 to filter out all the less important emails and allow you to see only those emails which really need your immediate attention.
1. Simple rules
Right click on the email. Select Create Rule. Then choose either the relevant action and appropriate folder to move the emails. Either an existing one or create a new one.
Click on the folder, then OK. From the next box ‘Success’, click the box marked ‘Run this rule..’ and click OK. This will clear out all the existing emails in your inbox which meet the new rule’s criteria. A great way to start decluttering end reduce the existing email overload.
This type of simple rule is useful for automatically moving emails out of the inbox to a folder to look at later, eg newsletters and emails from specific organisations/person.
2. Complex rules
Let’s suppose you want to highlight emails from a key contact (eg CEO, key client etc.). Proceed as above, BUT now click the Advance button. Click the initial action, ie the person or words on which you want the rule to action. For example from Julie Perinne. Then click next and tell it what you want to do eg mark all emails from Julie as ‘Important’. Then in the box called Step 2 click on the word ‘Importance’. Now select the level of importance. Then click OK. Again click through the Next buttons slowly until the last screen and run the rule and click OK.
To delete/edit rules go to File/Manage Rules & Alerts and edit/delete rules as appropriate.
3. Viewing all the unread emails in folders
To see all your unread emails in one place use the Search Folders at the bottom of your inbox. See below.
Using the Rules and Search Folders in Outlook 365 (and most other versions) will allow you to reduce email overload and save time dealing with email. It will also help you manage the risk of missing an important email amongst all the less important emails. Click here for more tips like this one.
Seven top tips for home working to make you more productive and effective. Home working has been talked about for years rather like the paperless office. It takes the COVID-19 virus to turn prophesy into reality. The question is how to be productive and effective whilst working from home and avoid all the surrounding distractions. Not least of which is information and email overload which is something several clients say has escalated out of hand.
At Mesmo Consultancy we have over 30 years experience helping people like you reduce email overload and work from home effectively. Over the coming week we will share our knowledge on both fronts.
Today, we want to share our seven top tips for effective and productive home working.
1.The home desk. Make it as safe and set up as possible to avoid stressing your muscles. We have seen some amazing make-shift desks from ironing boards to wine creates. Click here for some guidelines on the best desk set-up.
2.Stay focused on the task in hand. That means turning off all the new mail and social media alerts.
3.Practice slow email. Agree acceptable response times with colleagues internally and externally. You might have thought this impossible in the past but if ever there was a time to slow down the ridiculous pace of email exchanges it’s now.
4. Maintain your physical well-being. This means setting working time boundaries such as having a proper lunch break and after what time in the evening you stop checking your email etc. Maybe join an on-line gym, meditation, yoga group etc. Click here for more.
5. Limit the number of times you check your trusted news channels. Too much information can be worse than too little. No sooner have you recovered from one wave of bad news than another set knock you back again.
6. Keep talking. Allocate time to talk to colleagues whether through a conference call, text or chat app like what’s app. Ironically, we are hearing people say they are now talking more to colleagues than when they were in the office.
7. Up-skill yourself. Learning is a lifelong exercise. Without colleagues near by to show you how to do things eg set up a rule in Outlook, again this is the time to learn more about all the software you use and maybe some you have never thought about. Click here to see how well you use Outlook.
As we said at the outset, Mesmo Consultancy will be providing a series of tips on effective home working and smart email management including how to use Outlook and other related communications tools. These will be through a free fifteen minute lunch and learn webinar.
For more details (if you are not already on our database receiving our e-briefing) sign-up now. Email us with your name and put E-BRIEFING in the subject-line.
Your grammar is a reflection of your image. Good or bad, you have made an impression. And like all impressions, you are in total control.
How do you use email etiquette to boost your performance and career? Your email etiquette defines you. It is your digital dress code. You may never before have met the person you are emailing but they will form a picture of you from the words, punctuation and grammar you use. Communications skills are now the second most sought after skill for the coming decade.
Good email etiquette implies good communications skills. Your aim should always be to convey the right message, right first time and in doing so a professional image of yourself. Punctuation, grammar and the correct use of the apostrophe is one way to achieve it. This saves everyone time and reduces the scope for misunderstanding and hence an email war.
A recent survey suggests that even in 2020, email is the preferred way to communicate in business and that there are still many words and phrases that business people really dislike such as:
Greetings: Hey; Happy XYX Day.
Sign-off: Kisses (xxx); Cheers.
Phrases: Keeping you in the loop; As per my last email; Any update on this.
General: Caps; Slang and clichés; Too many exclamation marks; Emojis; Typos and spelling mistakes.
Here are ten top tips for writing emails which have stood the test of time and which will help you stand out in today’s crowded digital environment.
1. Focus the subject-line on exactly what the email is about and what action if any you need and by when.
2. Use the BLUF principle. Bottom line up Front, that is headline at the top then follow it with the detail. Very important when emailing top executives if you want to catch their eye.
3. Keep the content succinct focused on a single topic and use simple words.
4. Avoid clichés as they can make you appear unimaginative and careless. For example, ‘just keeping you in the loop’. Rather, tell the person why you have forwarded the email – eg ‘thought you might like to know the sales figures are up 5% which reflects our new product’.
5. Use a neutral tone and avoid any emotive words. For example, if you need to remind someone to read your email, be more assertive (rather than aggressive) with words like ‘see below’ and be specific about what needs their attention.
6. Avoid one word responses which can be open to misinterpretation such as ‘OK’. Does this mean OK I will do it now or OK stop nagging me? Instead reply properly saying by when you will do the task.
7. Use plain simple fonts and text. Leave colour, emojis etc to social media and text messages. Despite their proliferation not everyone understands emojis and about 4.5% of the population are colour blind most of whom are men.
8. Use a professional greeting and sign-off. Keep all the more informal and familiar ones for social media and text.
9.Always include your contact phone number in the sign-off (even if it’s the fifth iteration and you only put your name – add your phone number).
10. Before hitting send, check your grammar and spelling and especially homonyms (eg bat the bird and bat the implement used to hit a ball).
Email etiquette is something over which you have control. Use it wisely to create the image you want to convey of yourself and improve your own performance.
For more tips like these see