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Nov 21, 201610:34 PMOpen Mic

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4 tips for sending fewer, more effective emails

Emails are overused, overvalued, and often used inappropriately. They cause delays and lapses in communication that result in missed deadlines and poor customer service. Even worse, they can cause conflict within your team.

We live in an age that wants to let go of email and embrace a more efficient tool. Most of us have grown out of email as the sole form of corporate communication and are looking for other options. Fortunately, there are many viable alternatives to be found.

Asana

Asana is a free and simple task-management system that allows users to assign tasks, leave comments, tag coworkers, and provide updates. Asana eliminates the need for 85% of all emails and meetings and, more importantly, helps you keep track of who is doing what. This prevents missed deadlines and the duplication of work.

Google Chat

If you’re already using Gmail, you already have access to Google Chat. To start using Google Chat, just click the icon in the left column of your inbox. For more detailed instructions, click here.

Fleep

Fleep is similar to the tools above but has a specific feature that makes it stand out. If you are using Fleep to talk with your team but one member just can’t let go of email, they will still receive your messages as emails. Nobody is left out, and nobody is forced to adopt new technology. At the same time, no one is forced to stick with email. It’s a win-win.

Send shorter emails

If you really do need to stick with email, there are several things you can do to make it a more efficient communication tool:

  • Don’t get cute with the subject line. Write one or two words and stop.
  • Keep the message body as short as possible. Don’t add any extra information or unnecessary details.
  • Stick with one topic or question. If you are asking multiple questions, put them in a bulleted list at the end of the email.
  • Sign off and be patient. If you need a faster response, pick up the phone.

Email isn’t dead, dying, or completely useless. We simply believe it is overused. How would your business benefit from less email?

Susan Thomson is a partner and licensed business and executive coach for ActionCOACH of Madison.

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