Earlier today I sent an email to over 30 colleagues and had omitted to attach the attachments! Then came the flurry of phone calls and emails… “I think you forgot the attachments!” Some email apps do clever things and remind you if you have used the word “attached” but not attached any files. I’m usually quite careful and take a moment to check emails, posts, messages and tweets before zapping them out to others… Thinking about how to be more thorough – I came up with the mnemonic TRACKS to remind me to check:
Always check emails for typos. Autocorrect is very clever but sometimes gets it embarrasingly wrong – and it’s you that will be embarrassed. Take a moment to read over the email, post, tweet before you send it into the ether.
Think about who will read your post. If it’s an email use the To, CC and BCC carefully. If your email is to more than one person a good style is to use ‘To’ for the people from whom you expect action, CC is for information. BCC use carefully! Remember GDPR and dont share email addresses without permission.
Have you included all attachments referred to?Is there a better way to share the info – perhaps a link, or sharing to DROPBOX, TEAMS, SLACK or another collaboration tool?
If you refer to a meeting on Wednesday, have you also mentioned the time and venue… think ‘complete information’ – even if it’s repeated and was in an earlier communication?
Kind of Conversation
Emails should be kind! Also think of the kind of conversation. A letter, phone call or face to face talk might be a better approach for that difficult conversation.
The subject line is so important. How many emails do you delete on the basis of the subject line? Simply being there is a good start as many spam filters will make assumptions about emails without a subject. It should be clear and concise and relate to the actual subject matter rather than an earlier thread! It’s okay to change the Subject line when replying to an email if the subject has changed!
Before sending an email, post, message or tweet, think TRACKS – Typos, Recipients, Attachments, Complete, Kind, Subject – and then click SEND.