We have all been a part of an email thread that discusses 20 different topics. One day when a colleague asks you to find something in your inbox related to one of those topics, it soon starts to feel like you are on a treasure hunt.
When email is written inefficiently it is the start to a disorganized inbox. Having multiple topics in one email makes it hard to file correctly and find later. Learning how to write better emails will make it easier to set up an email system that can help you stay organized. By doing so, you will always feel like you have control over your inbox. The following tips can help you get started.
Respond with only what was requested
When you are working with someone on multiple projects you may automatically feel it’s okay to include your thoughts on other projects in one email. Although, this may seem efficient at the moment, it is exactly how work email becomes disorganized.
Make sure you are reading the email thoroughly and only answering or providing insight to the topic in discussion. Being concise in your response not only makes the email thread easier to organize for everyone involved, but it also improves your communication skills.
Create new email threads
If you are working on multiple projects with the same person, create a separate email thread for each project. Also, make sure that the subject of each email thread clearly states what the project or topic is. This will help immensely when you are organizing your work email, or when you need to go back and find something in your inbox. If someone brings up a separate issue in a current email thread, don’t be afraid to start a new thread when you respond to his or her email.
Write clear, effective emails
Most of us can relate to having read an email multiple times and still being unsure of what the person is actually trying to communicate. Avoid this in your own emails by writing your emails effectively. Emails should be brief, but that does not mean that they should lack structure. When writing an email use multiple paragraphs and bullet points or lists when it makes sense. Doing so will ensure that your recipient can easily understand your message and can in turn organize your email efficiently.