#034: Make Your E-mail Messages More Effective and Professional [Podcast]

In this episode, I’ll be talking about e-mail, particularly e-mail etiquette. If you’re at all like me, most of your communication—most of your work!—involves composing and reading e-mail.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/frender}

And, if you’re also like me, there are probably things other people do in their e-mail messages that drive you crazy. Well—news flash—there might be things you are doing that drive others crazy too!

I usually get about two hundred emails a day. You might get even more than that. Dealing with email can take a lot of time that would be better spent pursuing the creative aspect of our work.

In this episode, I share eighteen guidelines that I believe will help you make e-mail a more civilized and effective form of communication.

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  • Suggestion 1: Understand the difference between the “To” and the “CC” fields.
  • Suggestion 2: Keep messages brief and to the point.
  • Suggestion 3: Don’t discuss multiple subjects in a single message.
  • Suggestion 4: Reply in a timely manner.
  • Suggestion 5: Be mindful of your tone.
  • Suggestion 6: Don’t use e-mail to criticize others.
  • Suggestion 7: Don’t reply in anger.
  • Suggestion 8: Don’t overuse “reply to all.”
  • Suggestion 9: Don’t forward chain letters.
  • Suggestion 10: Don’t “copy up” as a means of coercion.
  • Suggestion 11: Don’t overuse the “high priority” flag.
  • Suggestion 12: Don’t write in ALL CAPS.
  • Suggestion 13: Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist, or obscene remarks.
  • Suggestion 14: Remember that company e-mail isn’t private.
  • Suggestion 15: Use a signature with your contact information.
  • Suggestion 16: Provide “if-then” options.
  • Suggestion 17: Use your spell-checker.
  • Suggestion 18: Re-read your e-mail before you send it.

Listener Questions

  1. Becky Caldwell asked, “Where is the line between projecting fun and still being professional?”
  2. Bobby Zaki asked, “How can you reduce your e-mail processing time?”
  3. Kieley Best asked, “Do I need to notify my clients when I have completed a task?”
  4. Tehila Gonen asked, “What is the best way to emphasize a word in an e-mail? bold? all caps? underline?”
  5. Tom Dickson asked, “Isn’t it sometimes more productive to forget e-mail and just go have a conversation?”

Special Announcements

  1. I am speaking at the F&M Bank Mortgage Group in Tulsa, OK on Tuesday, December 4th. My topic will be “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” and especially how building a platform can be helpful to loan originators and realtors.
  2. On Wednesday, December 5th, I will be speaking for Strata Leadership at an event they call Stratagy [sic] Circle. My topic will be “Shift: Leading Well in Challenging Times.”
  3. On Thursday, I’m attending a board meeting for ReThink Books in Dallas, Texas and then on Friday evening and Saturday, I’ll be hosting the year-end retreat for my Mentoring Group. We’ll be discussing finishing well.
  4. My next podcast will be on the topic of “The Importance of the Leader’s Heart.” If you have a question on this subject, please leave me a voicemail message. This is a terrific way to cross-promote YOUR blog or website, because I will link to it, just like I did with the callers in this episode.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    I really enjoyed the tips and your perspective.  Email etiquette is always an entertaining subject.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       DS, I agree. Instead of a huge block of text, it’s helpful to put breaks between separate ideas.

    • Jim Martin

      Good point regarding the need to provide ample room for the eyes to skim the main points of the e-mail.

      Sometimes I will open an e-mail and immediately see several large paragraphs.  I almost always think “I don’t have time to read this right now.”  Not very inviting to the reader.  

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

         I do the same. Funny thing is how often I’ve SENT those emails anyway!

        • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

          There are countless times at work that I will visit with some one regarding the email they want to send, their desired outcome, and how they’d respond if they were to receive the same email.

          Thanks for the positive feedback…

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    This is a great topic! Email etiquette is so important. Bashing others will hardly ever get your point across.

    I have personally been taking your advice by keeping messages simple. I receive quite a bit of emails every day. I have found that when I keep messages short, I get a faster response.

    • Jim Martin

      Brandon, I have experienced this as well.  Keeping the message brief often gets a much faster response.

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  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    Michael, I really like #18 – Reread before sending. Most of the folks I work with have their PhD, so spelling and grammar mistakes are even more significant.

    Often I’ll have to schedule meetings with multiple people who have busy schedules. For this, I’ve been using Tim Ferriss’ http://www.doodle.com. In my email, I’ll describe the purpose of the meeting, I’ll paste in the Doodle link, then ask them to follow the link to select the meeting times that work best for them. This thing saves me and my recipients a ton of email time and confusion.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Hey Aaron,
      Doodle is a great tool.  Do you get any resistance about using it from recipients of your email?

      • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

         John, I use it a lot and get about 90-100% participation with groups as large as 8 people. The non-profit board I’m on uses it and it got quick buy-in there. I’ve never received any push back; probably because it’s pretty straightforward. What’s been your experience?

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Awesome!  I personally have loved the idea of using it, but was afraid that other folks who would be hesitant to link outside of email to use a system that they weren’t familiar with.  Thanks to your data above, I’ll definitely start using it now!  

    • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

      I feel like I spend half my day re-reading my emails….and it’s always time WELL spent!  :)

      • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

         So true. I usually think, “I’ve probably not made any mistakes…” But I almost always have. Or, there is just a better way to say things with fewer words.

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    Love this Michael!

    I agree with all of them for sure.

    Sorry for the shameless plug but I recently wrote a two-part series entitled “How Not to Suck at Email” We had a lot in common, especially my #1, which was use BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front…skip the chatter and get to the point first, then give me some background). The ones that I wrote about that you didn’t mention and I think are important were:

    1. Most important because it’s so often messed up:Use Clear and Explanatory Subject Lines. Do you have important news? Then, by all means, say so in your subject line. Hiding a vital correspondence behind a “Subject Line: Hey” is not doing anyone any favors — except for your competition.

    2 . Use EOM and DNR – If it’s a short email or does not need a reply, tell me in the subject. Use EOM to signify “End of Message” meaning the entire message is in the subject. DNR means “Do Not Reply.” This means I do not want or expect a reply, in fact I am begging you NOT to reply. 

    3. Include an explanation on forwarded emails. Please do not just forward an email to me and expect me to understand it or force me to read through 10 minutes of the email thread. Include a brief intro. What is it about? What have you done about it? What do you want me to do about it? 

    Here is part two which links also to part one: http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/how-not-to-suck-at-email-part-two/

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Really good stuff, Matt. Thanks for contributing your thoughts to our community here.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Love this, Matt!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Thanks John!

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Matt, thanks for bringing these to the email discussion table :)  I love the BLUF acronym.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Yeah I seem to use it a lot :)

        I didn’t even realize I wrote about it again today haha.

        • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

           Just used the BLUF method in an email that was about to get out of control ;)

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            There you go!

            One thing I learned if I am in one of those “let me just lay it all there with piles of data moods” is to write it and then use BLUF in the edit.

            Move the conclusion to the front.

            BLUF is basically:

            We need to do X

            Here is what X solves

            Here is how we do it

  • Paul Southgate

    Thank you Michael.  The email etiquette podcast was excellent and needed.  I expect to use a whole bunch of your suggestions.  I however tend to disagree somewhat with respect to the reply-all option.  If someone includes a cc list of people, then the assumption is that those people have an interest or need to know about the subject.  To not include them in the reply dis-joins them from the “conversation” and thus from the intent of the email.  I almost always do a reply-all so that all those people who have a stake in the content get the information needed.   If the originator CC’ed someone then I should as a courtesy almost always include them in the reply.  Plus it potentially adds the to the black-hole you spoke of.  If I don’t reply to them then they may incorrectly assume that I haven’t addressed it, or have ignored it etc.  So unless there is a strong pressing reason for dropping someone out of the conversation I always reply all.

    Of course, the critical factor in this is only adding a cc when that person is needed in the conversation in the first place.

    Thanks again.

    Paul Southgate.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Fair points, Paul. Thanks for commenting.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        I think you actually agree with each other. 
        Michael is saying, “use it sparingly and appropriately.”

        He mentioned the shirt size example. I don’t need to know your shirt size. That is a bad use of reply all.

        “Hey everyone, I need your TPS report by today at noon” is not an invitation to reply all either. No one else wants it. Just the sender.

        “Hey everyone, let’s discuss the best place to have the Christmas party” when it’s sent to four people, IS an invitation for reply all.

        • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

          well said…

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    Great tips Michael, you have email mastered! Congrats on the conference, I know I’ll be making one of them.

  • Negedly

    Here’s a question for you all…

    Because the To: and CC: sections have a purpose, do you still begin an email with, “Dear So and So?”

    This bugs me, but it seems to have become the normal accepted practice.  My early business communication course taught me to not do that, as it should be reserved for letters.  Should I cave and begin doing it?

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I do. One of my chief goals is to add value to those I work with/interact with. For that reason, I make it a point to call the recipient by name in almost every email I write.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No, I just use their name. I think e-mail is more casual than that. Thanks.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    That’s the biggest change I’m making as well, Dan. Short and sweet. If I can’t make an email short, it might need a phone call instead.

    • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

      That’s one value I’ve seen in Twitter – tightening up word use – taking out the “fat”.

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Great list, Michael. I once had a coworker pull a #10 with me (“Don’t copy up”). In his determination to get his way, he revealed something key about himself to everyone cc’d on the email. Because of that, he ended up with results he didn’t anticipate: loss of respect, a break in the team, reassignment of responsibilities, etc. Once I got over my irritation, I realized I’d learned a valuable lesson in the process.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great story, Michele.

    • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

      Countless people use the “copy up.”  I believe it is a fine line in identifying your audience.  Glad I’m not the only this has been used on…

  • http://www.jasonjnicholas.com/ Jason J Nicholas

    Great suggestions!  They all get my stamp of approval. 

    Any thoughts about including or not including a privacy notice disclaimer on emails about “this message is for the intended recipient only….” ?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m not a lawyer, but it seems like just more noise to me.

  • prophetsandpopstars

    You have David’d my Goliath. I’m such an email wimp.

    Thanks for taking something which has no power to defeat me and making it powerless-er.

  • Onsiu

    I checked my email and found that you left me a voice message asking me to re-record my previous message. 

    My question is when to use BCC when emailing. I feel uncomfortable when the email conversation was disclosed to someone else without my knowing.

    Thanks again, Michael, for making this podcast. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I only use BCC with people I know won’t disclose it. This is why I rarely use it. Thanks.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks, Ryna. I know several people who use this, and it seems to work for them.

  • http://twitter.com/KateClancy Kate Clancy

    Just a heads up (if you moderate comments, you can just delete after reading) that I cannot get this file to play – have tried playing it here, in a new window, and via iTunes.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You might try again. Our media server was having some issues earlier. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  • http://twitter.com/bryandunagan Bryan Dunagan

    I’m waiting on a new app from the makers of “Orchestra”, called Mailbox (mailboxapp.com).  They’re trying to make email a mobile-first experience, transforming the inbox into something far more dynamic and collaborative.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I signed up to be notified. I am intrigued.

  • http://www.keithferrin.com/ Keith Ferrin

    Rules #8 and #12 are my personal pet peeves. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to hit “Reply All” just to say “STOP HITTING REPLY ALL!” (Yes…in all caps for some intentional yell-typing.)

  • http://elisafreschi.blogspot.com/ elisa freschi

    Thanks for sharing! I have a couple of additions and a question:

    *Omit whatever is not needed* (such as “Think about the environment, do not print this email” or a copy of all previous conversations although we are just discussing topic X, or a list of your favourite quotes…)

    *Use OT in the subject line* if you are writing, e.g., to the mailing list of your hockey club just to share your joy for the birth of your daughter (or any other similar event, inlcuding especially “funny” stories you can’t help but share). In this way, I can just delete the email if I am too busy to read it (or realax and enjoy it if it is a calm day).

    *Don’t answer in a vague way*. If I asked you to send me your article, don’t reply “It’s almost done” but rather “I will send it before the end of the week” (and be realistic). I tend to spend much time re-sending emails to people in order to remind them to do what they have promised to do and have not done yet, just because they did not give me a precise deadline.

    I like very much your if-then option. Do you think it works also “e silentio”? In other words, am I allowed to write “If you don’t agree with the program, reply before tomorrow night, otherwise I will assume you all agree”? Or is it too coercive?

  • Jcontess

    Great post Michael. I love short e-mails, love short replies… but please don’t chat over e-mail, pick up the phone, come to my office, or use some kind of instant messaging.

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Thank you for this Michael.
    Since I heard about Seth Godin keeping his at three sentences I have aimed for short and have my information in my signature as you recommend.

    Depending on the transaction, I recommend a greeting as to make sure the person behind the email is still seen.

    K, bye

    • http://strategexe.com Adam Robinson, MBA

      WOW. Emails that are three sentences or less! I would love to be able to do that. I have found that the busier I have become, the shorter and more to the point my emails have become. I remember somewhat being offended a few years ago when I would receive a very short, “impersonal” email from someone I was communicating with. Now I understand that they weren’t being rude at all. 

      • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

        Most of my emails are not business so keeping them short is easy.
        If you and I were communicating back and forth regularly, I can see having the “impersonal” emails, but still saying a “thank you for…” to keep the relationship there.  It is easy to get caught up in work or even church and forget to check on the people you are working with. Maybe they need more than quick messages or their season of life is changing and want to share.
        Thank you for the response Adam.

        K, bye

  • http://strategexe.com Adam Robinson, MBA

    Great post Michael! Enjoyed listening to this podcast while I was running yesterday. I have been using an email management app called SaneBox. I do not know what I would do without it. It is super easy to set up new folders and apply conditions to those folders. You can also “train” the app where an email should go in the future by moving it to a specific folder. Highly recommend. Here is a link for your audience to check out SaneBox. https://www.sanebox.com/signup/0f38c3c1e1

  • Ryan Self

    This is a bit delayed but an email issue came up today and I thought of this podcast. I received a mass email this morning from someone alerting a large number of people to a change of address. There wasn’t a problem with the content; the only issue was they had placed probably 100 customer’s email addresses in the “To” field – and these are all fairly important people in the publishing industry who probably preferred their email addresses not be shared with everyone.

    So, when sending mass emails to people who don’t all work for the same company (which should usually be avoided), be sure to place the email addresses in the “BCC” line.

    Thanks for all the great stuff, Michael! I really enjoy your wisdom each week.

  • https://turnerbethany.wordpress.com/ turner_bethany

    This is a great list. What I would add to the list is vacation responders. I think it is a good idea to turn it on when you won’t be checking your email very frequently. When I turn it on, I always include someone’s contact information they can contact if the request is urgent. 

  • http://www.DavidASpecht.com/ David A Specht

    This was truly a great podcast. And the comments have been equally good. Here is something that I don’t think was answered that I wanted to throw “out there.”

    When writing the “greeting” in an email, is there a proper etiquette to use? I generally treated an email like a snail mail letter with “Dear (Recipient’s Name).” However, many emails I receive simply use “Hi (Recipient’s Name.)” What are your thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have seen it done a lot of different ways. I don’t think there’s a right answer. I just use the person’s name with a comma and then a new paragraph. Thanks.

  • Doug Burrier

    This is a great primer for email. Have you ever made a promise in an email that  you later found it difficult to fulfill? Have you ever provided input too quickly that with thought you would refine? I have and I would like to suggest an addition to #7 making it read, “Don’t reply emotionally!” Keeping the idea of not responding in anger or angst, this would expand the suggestion to include well meant but unrealistic positive emotions. Early on in training strategic mission and business teams (I’m a Decision Scientist), we learned an important principle from a incredible missionary. He demanded that we not make promises to anyone at anytime about anything. How many well intentioned promises to write letters, fund schooling, or do projects have gone unfulfilled after wonderful people return to busy, costly, normal lives. In the moment, in the excitement, we often give our word without calculating the emotional cost or loss of unfulfilled promises on the hopeful left behind. I have done and seen the same in business as we often bite of more than we can chew in a moment of inspiration or excitement. Other times I have just added an idea to the pot, too soon, derailing another’s idea. Someone wiser than I once taught me to watch words spoken out of emotion and to rarely make decisions when emotional. I use suggestion #18 to provide me the opportunity to “sit” on my response, being certain that even my good emotions don’t create future challenges for all involved.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      I have sooo been there! Sometimes people will ask me a basic question at the end of an email like, “wanna grab lunch?” and I will say, “yeah, sure.” but do it more to be polite than because I really intend to do it? does that make sense? Letting my yes be yes and my no be no is so crucial! I love the idea of sitting on a response for a period of time, too!

  • ConnieStaggs

    Excellent tips !   Another one I am trying to reinforce is to add attachments before I start typing the email, for a few reasons. 

     1) It minimizes the embarrassment and wasted time caused by forgetting to attach something. 

    2) It allows me to see the title of the attachment, so I can refer to it as needed in the body of the email.  This is particularly helpful if I am sending multiple forms to someone, for example, and want to comment on a particular one. 

    3) It prompts me to consider whether the file size might be too large for someone’s email, alerting me to use some other medium to transfer files.

    Thanks for the tips !

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      All great reasons, Connie!  

      I’ve been guilty of #1 far too many times.  Gmail now has a setting to give you a warning message when you hit Send if it “thinks” you intended to attach a file but did not.  That’s been an embarrassment-saver for me many times now!

      • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

        You’re not alone! That happened to me this week! Those Google people are pretty darn smart!

      • ConnieStaggs

         John, John, John, I shall dance at your next wedding, donate my kidney, or whatever seems most appropriate to you.  That was very helpful.  Thank you.  No, wait, that deserves a shout, so THANK YOU !!!!!

      • ConnieStaggs

         John, after posting my reply, I noticed your tagline about being Eli’s Dad and was intrigued.  I went to the website and learned Eli’s story.  All I can say is, “WOW!”  (All caps intended.)  Thanks for sharing your family’s story.

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Glad the Gmail tip helped!  

          And thanks so much for checking out our story and your kind words, Connie!   

  • http://www.junesjournal.com/ June

    Does anyone have opinions about autoresponders or auto-replies?  Often the e-mails I receive involve a bit of research or tasks to be completed before I can respond properly with a preview link, give a detailed update on the project as requested, or give step-by-step technical directions.  The e-mails are from clients, friends, or family members.  I find that an auto-responder avoids the follow-up e-mail that I used to often receive in 5-hours asking, “Did you get my e-mail?”  It assures them I got their e-mail and can usually get back right away but sometimes it may take me up to 24-hours.  But I wonder if people who e-mail me regularly are annoyed by it, so I’ve considered doing away with it.  My autoresponder is really a “vacation reply” I use inside of G-mail and it doesn’t send to the same person more than once per day.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      June, if you are receiving “did you get my email?” requests in five hours, then your audience has a very high expectation re: turnarounds.   I would expect that speed from a help desk, but not from an individual professional.   

      Personally, I think auto-responders to individual email are annoying unless you are away from email for an extended time, so I wouldn’t do that.  

      If you identify someone who needs their expectations reset, I would consider having a conversation with them about it, including options to reach you quicker (if you want to grant that permission).   For example, I tell folks (whom I want to have quicker access to me) that I will respond ASAP to texts, but I may not respond to emails and voice mails until the end of the business day.   
      Of course, it’s usually best if you can set the expectation up front at the beginning of the relationship (i.e. when meeting with a new client).

      Also, I try never to sacrifice clarity for speed.  If an email requires a thoughtful response, I always want to invest the time to write it well.  Based on your description above, it sounds like you do a great job of that already! 

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  • http://twitter.com/reneefishman Renée Fishman

    These are great tips Michael.  Another I would add – related to suggestion 8: if you are sending an email to a large group or distribution list, either in your workplace or through your personal account, like to friends and family, the best practice is to put everyone in the Bcc field and put yourself in the To field.  This serves the purposes of (a) preventing that one person who inevitably replies to all and (b) keeping the emails of all recipients private, so that no recipient hijacks the list and starts spamming everyone else.

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  • Gavin Hedrick

    One tip I would add, having learnt the painful way from sending company wide emails – setup a delay on sending all your emails.  Then if you notice just as you hit the send button that you’ve made a mistake, you have a chance to correct it.

    It’s also very useful if you think of a different way of saying what you’ve typed as your brain catches up with your typing.

    I personally use a 10 minute delay for all emails.

    This can be implemented in Outlook 2010 by:
    * going to “Rules and Alerts”,
    * selecting New Rule,
    * Pick “Appy rule on messages I send (under Start from a blank rule),
    * Clicking Next,
    * Under “Which condition(s) do you want to check?”, do not select anything but click on Next again,
    * You will get prompted “This rule will be applied to every message you send.  Is this correct?  Click on Yes.
    * Select defer delivery by a number of minutes,
    * Click on the hyperlink on “a number of” in the Step 2 box,
    * Choose the number of minutes you would like to defer delivery (I suggest 10 minutes),
    * Then click Next again,
    * Under “Are there any exceptions?”, I mark the “except if it is marked as importance”, “except if sent to” and “except if it is a meeting invitation or update”,
    * Then in the Step 2 box, click on the hyperlink “people or public group” – this will allow you to select email addresses (such as your team members) to NOT have the delay,
    * Also clicking on the “importance” hyperlink and selecting High and clicking OK will allow you to bypass this rule for Urgent messages
    * Finally give the rule a good name (I use “Delay all sent emails by 10 minutes”), ensuring that the “Turn on this rule” is checked before clicking on the Finish button.

    Enjoy sending all emails (with a few exceptions) 10 minutes later than when you hit Send.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Excellent suggestion. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Don

    Great list.  My #19 would be “Break the Chain”.  Emails go back and forth on a subject and get longer and longer because the prior email is attached.  This eats up memory and is just messy. Delete the attached email train and reply with one single clean, email response.  – Don

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  • Tom

    Hi Michael, love your podcast. Started listening a few weeks ago and am on episode 37 now. Back on this episode 34 though I was wondering if you spoke more about the Subject line and its importance and maybe I just missed it. How important do you think it is to have a valid and complete thought for a Subject line, you know a few words to describe the coming email? I really dislike it when people leave the Subject line blank. Also, if there is back and forth on an email and the topic changes, do you consider altering the Subject line to reflect the more current discussion?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Honestly, I can’t remember. You might check the transcript. I hate getting blank subject lines, too. Also, I don’t mind changing the subject line if the topic of the conversation changes.