Work Emails: Tips to Clear the Clutter and Get Your Point Across

Despite all of the advances in social media and mobile platforms, email remains a primary way to communicate in the workplace. But let’s face it…we have a love/hate relationship with our inboxes. Obsessive inbox checking can turn into a nasty habit but, like it or not, it’s part of our working culture these days. Whether your boss sends along an important task or you’ve received a time-sensitive alert, the world of email connects to some of your most important responsibilities. That being said, a clutter-free inbox is imperative if we want to keep from drowning.

In an effort to keep inboxes well-kept at The Motley Fool, we encourage simple communication guidelines that can make big differences. There’s nothing worse than seeing a bombed inbox filled with emails that don’t concern you. One Fool employee said that such a sight makes her feel overwhelmed and ineffective. Plus, cluttered inboxes with worthless “reply all” messages can hide the important emails that you actually should be reading.

Our communications team has a few tips on email best practices to help Fools be more organized and productive. Though you may consider emailing a 101 topic, it’s never too late to learn new tips. Replying to a group email triggers inbox clutter, and it’s typically unnecessary. Remembering to delete superfluous recipients will save you from being “that person” who clogs accounts.  Take a moment to think – and look – at your email’s recipients, confirming that every person needs to read it.

It’s also important that your subject line is straight and to the point. Be clear of your purpose, but also articulate something that will entice recipients to open your message. When it comes to content, a short email isn’t rude…it’s efficient. Begin your message by laying out the objective. Remember to use candid language. Avoid open-ended questions and be as specific as possible, and keep in mind that bullet points can be your friend.

There’s not enough time in the day, and checking your inbox is just another task that adds to the craziness. If you have something short (and maybe sweet) to communicate, say it in person. But the more global our business turns, the less likely that this is feasible. No matter where your message is being sent, we promise you’ll save time for yourself and others by applying some of our suggestions.

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