Blogs - Archive

Top tips from Mesmo Consultancy (and Associates) on how to save time and improve business and personal performance by ‘Taking Control of your Inbox’ and using proper business email etiquette.

Email etiquette and security for Valentine’s Day

Monday February 14th, 2011, 9:00 am

Email etiquette and email security.  It’s that time of year again, Valentine’s Day is here.  It’s not just the high street that’s bursting with Valentine fever. The internet is full of online shopping sites covered with hearts, pushing last-minute gift ideas and online dating services, trying to get you to sign-up to make this year THE year that you find that special someone.

Electronic cards are ideal for the busy or last-minute romantics out there. Sending an eCard for a special occasion seems to be a growing trend – it’s cheap to do, environmentally friendly and a convenient alternative to traditional cards.

I think the concept is great and there are a lot of trusted sites which offer you the option to create animated videos or cards to send by email to your Valentine, but there are just as many spammers hiding behind bogus messages, so beware!

Security companies monitor the activity of spammers at this time of year and see spikes in spam related to Valentine’s Day such as emails with subject headers like, ‘An original gift for Valentine’s Day’, ‘Very Hush-Hush Valentines Day Offer’, ‘Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Gifts’ and lots more*.
Hackers often use Valentine’s Day to try and sneak malicious software on to your computer, or to lure you to what looks like a legitimate website to make purchases, allowing them to steal your bank account details and passwords, without you realising.

Be cautious and do not open emails from unknown senders even if they flatter your ego!

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Email Addiction III – who logged in on Christmas Day

Thursday February 3rd, 2011, 9:30 am

Email Addiction. Are we becoming email junkies? Did you log in on Christmas Day?  Judging by the results some of us are real email junkies with a severe case of email addiction.  My thanks to all 722 people who participated in the poll.

Forty five percent (45%) confessed to checking their email.   Men checked more often than women see below.   However, more women checked their email once and both sexes were equal when it came to checking twice. Does anyone have any thoughts on this one?

Who logged in on Christmas Day?

Reason for checking in ranged from ‘self-confessed email junkie’ to feeling one must always be available.  Of those who did not log in, most said it was time to be with the family and they were too busy cooking and entertaining.

The results leave me wondering just how much we have come to let email dominate our lives and how many people suffer with acute email addiction.

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Email Addiction II – more tips and hints

Wednesday February 2nd, 2011, 1:24 pm

Are you an email junkie?  Email addiction is a costly to you and your business (even you love life).  We become distracted from the task in hand.  It drives up stress levels.   In can also be the underlying source of chronic email overload and poor email etiquette as your respond in haste to new emails.

Are you an email junkie? Check -download our Email Addiction self-assessment tool. 

Here are three more tips to help you on the road to being less of an email junkie and freeing up some time for other tasks which might have a more positive impact on your productivity and health.

  1. Make sure you have all the new email notifications switched off.
  2. Set yourself an email free time zone when you concentrate on the task in-hand – anything from twenty minutes to two hours and keep to it.
  3. Tempted to take a peak – find a distraction – go see a colleague, take walk, have a coffee.

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Email Addiction – ways to cure it

Monday January 31st, 2011, 10:00 am

Last week’s UK launch of Clean Out Your Inbox Week seems to have been a great success.  I am still sorting through all the emails, tweets and other messages.  So please bear with me and a summary will be available at the end of the week.

The launch of our new Email Addiction self-assessment tool seemed to hit a hot spot.  One of the problems with this sort of addiction is that there are no drugs to treat the affliction.  It all has to be driven by personal behavioural change and from within yourself.  As Susan Maushart’s book The Winter of Out Disconnect shows you might also find another you and another hidden skills set.

Here are five ways to start gently curing the curse of this modern day drain on productivity.

  1. Set yourself some specific email free time (eg from 30 minutes to two hours).
  2. Reward yourself handsomely when you reach the goal time.
  3. Fine yourself if you take a peak in between and make the fine psychologically painful.
  4. Tell people what you are doing and enlist their help.
  5. Provide an incentive for them to contact you by alternative ways (eg talk to you).

More tips and  hints on Twitter this week.

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Email etiquette – the cost to business of poor grammer and spelling

Friday January 21st, 2011, 9:30 am

What picture of the sender does an email convey which contains, spelling mistakes, poor grammar and is badly structured?  To me, it’s one of a sloppy person who does not really care, an email written in haste maybe?  For many of my clients such emails can be very expensive especially when the contents are incorrect and they end up in court as evidence.
Alternatively, either a prospect or client feels the sloppy email is a reflection of the service they either are or will receive.  The question which often comes up in workshops is ‘should an email be as perfect as a letter’?  In a word ‘yes’, regardless of whether it is internal or external.  Why worry about internal communications?  They so often slip outside, forwarded carelessly and in haste.

Moreover, sloppy emails often result in more email overload because either you need to read and re-read the email to decipher what the sender is saying or you play endless rounds on unnecessary email ping-pong.  For some of my clients this can be very costly and especially when English is not the mother tongue: shipments are missed, products specifications wrongly interpreted.  Has this ever happened to you?
Here are three tips on good email etiquette for the content:

  1. Write in clear plain English.
  2. No text speak please, the workforce is still predominantly Generation X.
  3. Check not only the spelling but what the spell checker is doing.  (How many people apologise for the incontinence instead of the inconvenience!) 

What are your top tips?  Do you think an email should be as perfect as a letter?

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