by Nick Anis
- Set aside blocks of time for
reading and replying to your email.
- Organize your email by
creating topic folders and don't discard messages if there any chance
you might need to refer back to them.
In most cases, you should setup IN, OUT, and TRASH folders.
You may wish to sort incoming email by subject, key word, or
author so you can process related mail together.
After you process your mail you will probably want move your
"sent" and "read" mail to topical folders.
For example all the personal mail should be moved to
"Personal," all the mail about the trip to St. Louis should
be moved to the "St. Louis Trip" folder, and so on.
- While it's a good idea to save
important mail to your local disk, you should delete all unnecessary
mail on your service provider's mail server to avoid having your
mailbox overfill and your email being suspended.
- Quote the message you are
- Make sure when you reply that
the "send to" and "CC" or addresses are set the
way you want and that you are replying ONLY to the person(s) you want.
Be ESPECIALLY careful NOT to accidentally reply to a listserve, an
email address that actually points to a group of recipients, (unless
you want dozens, hundreds, even thousands of others to receive your
reply. You might think
you are replying to a spammer and instead you are replying to
thousands of the spammer's victims only exacerbating the situation.
- Spell checks your email before
- Consider carefully what you
write; it's a permanent record and can be easily forwarded to others,
and cause you problems. Avoid
being too harsh, rude, or vulgar.
If the message is "questionable" sleep on it before
you actually send it off. Be
careful about what you are saying so you don't end up embarrassing
yourself, or being charged with harassment, a hate crime, or entered
into a "watch" list from acting too implosively.
Specifically, avoid sarcasm, making accusations about people,
calling people names, threatening people, questioning people's
intelligence, or criticize their spelling. Frequently, what happens is your message is dissected in
a reply and you turn out to be a worse speller and editor then they
are anyway. You can be
assertive with spammers but do so politely.
- Never answer an important
message when rushed or before you have read all your email.
Scan to see if there are other messages about the same topic
before you start your reply.
- Don't type your message ALL IN
CAPS, because in chatting and email ALL CAPS means you are shouting.
- Read your reply outloud to
yourself, writing too quickly or not reading it outloud frequently
results in embarrassing grammar errors.
You can get yourself into a lot of trouble using
"gay" men you meant guy, "man" when you meant
woman, ?uck when you
meant luck, and so on.
- Avoid copying text from
another program like a Word Processor to your email client program.
Frequently special characters such apostrophes, dashes, and
quotes, can show up as gibberish, and special formatting will also
mess up. If you know the
recipient it's probably okay to send a file attachment, which is the
best way to retain document formatting. If the person you are sending the message doesn't know
you too well, or that they do not have the software or expertise to
download and access the file attachment, then you can open Microsoft
Notepad, and paste the text into a notepad file, and then copy the
text (which will be unformatted) and paste it into your email software
- Use the edit, copy, and paste
commands as much as possible to save time and reduce errors.
- Remove yourself from mailing
lists you are not interested in.
Most times this is done by replying with the phrase
"unsubscribe" or "remove" in the subject line or
in the body of the message. Be
careful, sometimes spammers use your "remove" or
"unsubscribe" reply to verify your email address is valid.
Only use this procedure when you can tell you are on a
listserve type mailing list.
- If possible use an advanced
email client like Eudora 4.3 (Win or Mac); it has "filters"
that can be setup on the fly to filter out SPAM. You can download a fully functional copy of Eudora at http://www.eudora.com.
- Do not download a message
attachment from a stranger especially an executable one or even a MS
Word Document that could have a malicious macro in it.
If in doubt, send a note back to the person asking who they are
and what is inside the attachment before proceeding.
- If you are replying to a
lengthy message you can quote the whole message at the end of your
reply and well as interspece your reply with key points in the
original message you are responding to.
But do put several screenfulls of quoting in the front of your
message before you say anything, as it will probably confuse, and
definitely bore the person you are replying to.
- Don't send long messages or
include large file attachments with the recipient's permission.
Many email systems have limits on message size and attachment
size and you will cause the recipient problems.
- Delete messages with
attachments sent to you after you have saved them to your hard drive
because they take up a lot of space on the server.
- Do not attach an exotic file
type to a message unless you make it clear to the recipient what the
file type is and how to deal with it.
If you use a Macintosh always use PC-Compatible file and file
type name extensions ".doc" for MS Word, ".jpg"
for jpeg images, etc.
- In most causes you will always
want to include a subject line and make it descriptive, creative, and
captivating so the recipient will be motivated to read your messages.
- If you "forward" a
message, preface it with your comments and/or an explanation.
- Consider if
"redirecting" a message is more appropriate (assuming your
email client supports that function).
Redirected messages take you out of the loop in cases were the
matter doesn't concern you. Also,
if you redirect the message instead of you being the reply to, the
original sender and reply to will be listed.
- Get accustomed to using an
address book to save email addresses and other contact information.
When using an address book you can automatically addresses a
message you are composing and you can easily send messages to groups
- AOL allows special message
formatting - only use this feature for emailing other AOL members.
Eudora allows special message formatting for users with
advanced email client software - if you want to send a formatted
message with Eudora make sure the recipients can view it correctly or
use Eudora's special option to send formatted and unformatted.
- If your Internet Service
Provider (ISP) offers it (AOL doesn't), take advantage of
prepare pre-written responses form subjects that frequently come up.
- In most cases you will want to
include a "signature file", which is a text listing with
your name and contact information at the end of your message.
Most email client programs have a facility for inserting a file
into the body of a message or you can cut and past this information.
- Be careful with punctuation. A
lot of periods can separate thoughts..... but use a lot of exclamation
marks and it looks like you're angry!!!!!!!!!! How does a line of
question marks look ??????? You might not intend strong emotion, but
the other person might think you do.
- Use the blind carbon copy
(bcc) feature for your own mailing lists. You can send out periodic
announcements to a list of people. By using the bcc feature,
recipients won't be able to copy other people's names and addresses
and they won't have to read through a long list of recipients at the
top of the message.
- Do not forward personal email
to a discussion group without the author's permission.
Also when someone sends you a message, use care before
forwarding or quoting from it in messages to others.
In general an email message exchanged between type people
should be kept private.
- Don't attach files when
posting to discussion groups, instead include a link in your message
where the file is so the participants can access the information on
their own if they want to.
- Don't blatantly promote your
business or interests by posting advertisements in discussion groups,
unless it is clearly an accepted use and you have cleared it with the
moderator (if there is one) first. Otherwise, you are
"spamming." Offering information of value, rather than
simply inviting people to your web site.
- Avoid using cyber-speak
because some recipients may not be familiar with the cute acronyms
used in Email correspondence, such as IMHO (in my humble opinion),
FWIW (for what it's worth), MOTL (more on this later), and so on. Even
if the recipient is somewhat familiar, having them do a mental
translation each time they read messages from you can be annoying.
Also shorthand cyber acronyms are really intended for chatting,
not for email.
- If you are having an email
change with another person who is typing everything in lower cases and
using short phrases instead of full sentences - you can also use email
shorthand if you wish.
- Do not email unauthorized or
objectionable copyrighted material as text inside a message or file
attachment or link if there is a possibility any of the recipients
will take exception to it.
Glossary of Email Terms
- an automated, predefined email reply
- Blind Carbon Copy field in email programs, used to send a message to a
large number of recipients without them being able to see each other's
- distributed email message returned because of an error of some kind
(such as the address no longer exists
all - an email server function that forwards all email sent to a given
domain (firstname.lastname@example.org) to a single account. Useful for catching
misdirected mail, or for creating email aliases on the fly. emoticon - A
short sequence of keyboard letters and symbols used to convey emotion,
gestures, or expressions which could not otherwise be derived from mere
text; a "smiley" (see EmoticonUniverse.com)
filter - an email function used to sort email messages
flame - an email message, either public (to a list) or private,
meant to offend, usually in response to something the flamer doesn't agree
footer - information at the bottom of list messages containing
copyright, subscription/removal information, etc. Sometimes added
automatically by the list software.
- 1. Information at the beginning of list messages containing things such
as nameplate, masthead, copyright info, table of contents, and so on,
sometimes inserted automatically by the list server. 2. E-mail headers.
What an email message uses to communicate with mail servers, usually
invisible to most email programs.
address - the address used to distribute a message to a list (email@example.com)
- someone subscribed to a discussion list who reads but does not post to
- used in HTML link tags to create a clickable email link. Also used by
email publishers to make email addresses clickable in some email programs.
moderated - A discussion list in which a human being (the
moderator) must approve messages before they are distributed to the list.
This is usually to prevent spam or off-topic posts.
moderator - the person who moderates a moderated discussion list
- Internet behavior which is considered friendly and non-offensive
- A message sent to an email list
- a promotional device used at the bottom of email posts submitted by
members to a discussion list, usually containing a website URL, etc.
- to join an email list, either via a Web form or email commands sent to a
AAMOF:AA Matter Of Fact
BBFN:Bye Bye For Now
Bye For Now
By The Way
But You Knew That
Correct Me If I'm Wrong
End Of Lecture
Frequently Asked Questions
Fill In The Blank
For What It's Worth
For Your Information
Hope This Helps
In Any Case
:In Any Event
In Christian Love
In My Considered Opinion
In My Humble Opinion
In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO:In My Opinion
In Other Words
Lots Of Laughter
May God Bless
My Hat's Off To You
No Reply Necessary
Oh, I See
On The Other Hand
Rolling On the Floor
Rolling On the Floor Laughing
Rolling On The Floor Laughing
Real Soon Now
:=D = Laughter
# # #
Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel
and technology writer with over 24 books in print published by
McGraw-Hill, Random House, Bantam, Ziff-Davis, Tab, and others. Nick's
articles have appeared in The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, West Coast
Media, The Family Publications Group, The Weekly News, and Travel-Watch.
His beats include food, travel, snow and waters sports, entertainment,
family recreation, consumer electronics, home improvement, and automotive.
He is responsible for the Restaurant Row Ethnic Dining Guide, co-published
by the Long Beach Press Telegram. Nick is an
accomplished downhill skier, PADI certified SCUBA diver, and when he's not
sitting on his butt goofing off, enjoys a variety of active recreation
including tennis, riding motorcycles, ATVs, wave runners, snow machines,
horses, skeet and trap shooting he's also taken a stab at riding camels,
donkeys, elephants, ostriches, lamas, dolphins, Reindeer, bulls,
mechanical bulls, and buffalo. Nick is a member (A
Secretary/Treasurer) of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers
Association (IFWTWA), a member of the North American Snow Sports
Journalist Association (NASJA), Computer Press Association, The Writer's
Guild, and listed in Books in Print, Media Map, and Press Access.
You can reach Nick at Editor@Travel-Watch.com.