Saturday, November 29, 2014

Netiquette Basic Types of Email and How to Respond to Them - Via The Netiquette IQ Blog of The Day


One of the individual and business challenges of email is to effectively manage an ever increasing volume of them. The article below provides an excellent template to develop a process of doing this. Also my book and mentioned below addresses this extensively.
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The Seven Types Of Emails And How To Deal With Them

lifehacker.com.au George Kao 28 November 2014 2:30 PM

We all deal with inbox overload every day, whether it’s messages from work or suspicious salutations about a surprising inheritance. But you can categorise all the emails you receive into seven basic categories to more easily process them without taking all day.

There are of course a lot of tacticsyou can use to deal with emails, but let’s start by taking a look at what these seven categories are and how to utilise them.
The Seven Categories of Email
1.    No need to reply, and not important to read. Generously apply the archive or delete function! And if it’s a newsletter that you almost never read, do yourself a favour and unsubscribe. If some information is really that important, trust that it will come to you another way, e.g. through your personal network.
2.    File away. Examples include tax receipts, examples of great emails, and info needed when you next work on a project. It can be helpful to create folders for these, but don’t get crazy with categorisation; if you find yourself creating many folders, you need to simplify your work or life. And when you actually need to find an email, practice using the search function.
3.    Optional response. No need to respond, but it would be more courteous if you did.
4.    Spare time reading. It would be nice to read, but not required. Practise putting as many emails as possible into this category (and the previous one!) This is key to improving your email productivity.
5.    Required to respond today — Go ahead and respond either in the moment, if important and urgent, or at the end of your workday when you are clearing out your inbox.
6.    Required to respond (e.g. emails from a boss, partner, or client) but not today. Distance creates perspective. If an email doesn’t require a response today, put it in a folder named the day you would like to respond (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) then on that day, go into that folder. For example you might want to follow a “morning checklist” that includes “Open today’s email folder”. There are a few tools you can use to automate this: RightInbox for Gmail (I use this) and FollowUpThen.com or FollowUp.cc.
7.    Undecided. Rather than indulge in analysis of paralysis, just put it into one of the above categories. It’s probably #1 or #2.
Consider creating email folders for #2-5. #2 could be multiple folders depending on projects. #3 and #4 can just be one folder each.
#5 could be multiple folders too — a different folder for each weekday, and another set of folders for each month, or you can use the automated tools suggested above.
Make Your Email Processing More Efficient
·         Have a specific time to process your email. I spend 30 minutes at the end of each workday clearing my email inbox to zero. This is more efficient than trying to clear your inbox to zero throughout the day. Why? Because of the “batching” principle. The less often you switch activities, the more flow and efficiency you tend to experience.
·         What if you get urgent emails? This is why I do check my email throughout the day (about once an hour) to see if there’s anything urgent and important. If it requires a response immediately, I do that. If not, I save the response for end of day. Remember this: distance creates perspective. The longer you can wait to respond to an email, the more perspective you have about the issue. Sometimes by the end of day, the issue resolves itself. When people figure things out for themselves, they become more empowered in the process.
·         Anytime you’re not checking email, close your email software. Or at least make it so you don’t see the number of new emails climbing up. This way, you’re not draining your subconscious energy, continuing to wonder if you’re getting messages. And definitely turn off any email notifications — audio and visual — for new messages. You don’t work in a nuclear power plant. (And even if you did, the truly urgent stuff wouldn’t come via email.)
·         When you process your inbox that one time a day (which I recommend to do at the end of workday, so your motivation to finish your day will naturally speed up your email processing) — set an intention to process your email quickly, like a game. (You can even try the “email game” tool.) Say to yourself “Next, Next, Next,” as you delete or archive most emails, rather than spend energy with each and every email.
·         Write shorter emails. What is the one main thing you want to communicate? Say it concisely. The shorter your emails, the shorter their email response tends to be. It saves everyone time.
·         However: be positive & friendly. Emails can build, or erode, relationships quickly. I always try to come across as encouraging and kind, and start or end my emails with something appreciative about the recipient or the situation. For example, “Thanks for your thoughtful message!” or “Hope the rest of your week goes well!” Think of the primary purpose of most emails to be relational (improving trust in that relationship)and secondarily transactional (asking/answering questions, proposing ideas, etc.)
·         When doing your once-a-day inbox clearing, process your email from top down. If you skip around, it’s usually inefficient. To get to zero you need to clear all inbox emails anyway, so start at the top (the most recent) message. And when you have a clear inbox most days (or at least once a week), you will palpably feel lighter and happier. Try it.
·         Only open a few emails, while archiving/deleting the rest. Most of us subscribe to too many newsletters and every couple of months you’ll find that you’ve again subscribed to more than you read. Simply resolve to open and respond to the personal and private emails. The rest? Categorise according to the aforementioned seven types. And learn how to quickly archive/delete emails in your email client of choice; for example, in Gmail, it’s clicking the checkbox at the top of a page to select all, then click “archive” to get it all out of the inbox. I do this after I’ve responded to the emails I need to respond to. Then, I quickly archive the remainder.
·         Consider creating email templates. Whenever you find yourself replying with the same content, it may be time to copy and paste that content to a document called Email Templates. Whenever you are processing email, open that document.
·         If you have any time remaining to your email processing time, after you do the above, or in your spare time, you can go into your Optional Response & Optional Reading email folders and chip away at them. Remember: they are optional, so just do whatever you have a bit of time for. Balance in your life is more important than clearing your optional folders!
Of course, these are just some suggested guidelines and your line of work can often require you to deal with emails in specific ways. Try these rules as starting point to organise your emails and create your own process to deal with inbox overload.
A System For Email Productivity [Medium]
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In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:
 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki
 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.

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Netiquette IQ Technical Term of The Day - SKU



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From techterms.com
SKU
Stands for "Stock Keeping Unit," and is conveniently pronounced "skew." A SKU is a number or string of alpha and numeric characters that uniquely identify a product. For this reason, SKUs are often called part numbers, product numbers, and product identifiers.
SKUs may be a universal number such as a UPC code or supplier part number or may be a unique identifier used by a specific a store or online retailer. For example, one company may use the 10 character identifier supplied by the manufacturer as the SKU of an external hard drive. Another company may use a proprietary 6-digit number as the SKU to identify the part. Many retailers use their own SKU numbers to label products so they can track their inventory using their own custom database system.
When shopping online or at retail stores, knowing a product's SKU can help you locate the exact product at a later time. It will help you identify a unique product when there are many similar options, such as a TV model that comes in different colors, sizes, etc. If you know a product's SKU, you can typically locate the product online by typing the SKU in the online retailer's search box. If you visit a retail store and have questions about product you saw in an ad, knowing the SKU will help the salesperson find the exact product you are asking about. SKUs are typically listed in small print below the product name and are often preceded by the words "SKU," "Part Number," "Product ID," or something similar.
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In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:
 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki
 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.

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Netiquette IQ Quotation of 11/28/14 - A Great One From Yogi Berra (American baseball player)

"It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much."
-Yogi Berra
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In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:
 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki
 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Netiquette SIgnature Email Closings A Variety Of Choices - Via Netiquette IQ

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Email signature are one of the five critical parts of email which I have elaborated upon in my book, which is mentioned below. Here is a very nice compendium of them following. Many of these I disagree with and I think the categorization of types would have been nice. Nonetheless, it is a blog worth keeping!
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Susan Adams Forbes.com Staff

1. Best – This is the most ubiquitous. It’s widely accepted. I recommend it highly and so do the experts.
2. My Best
– A little stilted. Etiquette consultant Lett likes it.
3. My best to you
– Lett also likes this one. I think it’s old-fashioned.
4. All Best –
Harmless.
5. All the best
– This works too.
6. Best Wishes
–Seems too much like a greeting card but it’s not bad.
7. Bests
– I know people who like this but I find it fussy. Why do you need the extra “s?”
8. Best Regards
– More formal than the ubiquitous “Best.” I use this occasionally.
9. Regards
– Fine, anodyne, helpfully brief. I use this too.
10. Rgds
– I used to use this but stopped, because it’s trying too hard to be abbreviated. Why not type three more letters? OK if you’re sending it from your phone.
11. Warm Regards
– I like this for a personal email to someone you don’t know very well, or a business email that is meant as a thank-you.
12. Warmest Regards
– As good as Warm Regards, with a touch of added heat.
13. Warmest
– I use this often for personal emails, especially if I’m close to someone but not in regular touch.
14. Warmly
– This is a nice riff on the “warm” theme that can be appropriate for business emails if you know the recipient well.
15. Take care
– In the right instances, especially for personal emails, this works.
16. Thanks
- Lett says this is a no-no. “This is not a closing. It’s a thank-you,” she insists. I disagree. Forbes Leadership Editor Fred Allen uses it regularly and I think it’s an appropriate, warm thing to say. I use it too.
17. Thanks so much
– I also like this and use it, especially when someone—a colleague, a source, someone with whom I have a business relationship—has put time and effort into a task or email.
18. Thanks!
– This rubs me the wrong way because I used to have a boss who ended every email this way. She was usually asking me to perform a task and it made her sign-off seem more like a stern order, with a forced note of appreciation, than a genuine expression of gratitude. But in the right context, it can be fine.
19. Thank you – More formal than “Thanks.” I use this sometimes.
20. Thank you!
– This doesn’t have the same grating quality as “Thanks!” The added “you” softens it.
21. Many thanks
– I use this a lot, when I genuinely appreciate the effort the recipient has undertaken.
22. Thanks for your consideration
– A tad stilted with a note of servility, this can work in the business context, though it’s almost asking for a rejection. Steer clear of this when writing a note related to seeking employment.
23. Thx
– I predict this will gain in popularity as our emails become more like texts. Lett would not approve.
24. Hope this helps
– I like this in an email where you are trying to say something useful to the recipient.
25. Looking forward
– I use this too. I think it’s gracious and warm, and shows you are eager to meet with the recipient.
26. Rushing
– This works when you really are rushing and may have made typos or written abbreviated sentences. It expresses humility and regard for the recipient.
27. In haste
– Also good when you don’t have time to proofread.
28. Be well
– Some people find this grating. Not appropriate for a business email unless you know the recipient well.
29. Peace – Retro, this sign-off wears its politics on its sleeve. It doesn’t bother me but others might recoil.
30. Yours Truly
– I don’t like this. It makes me feel like I’m ten years old and getting a note from a pen pal in Sweden.
31. Yours
– Same problem as above.
32. Very Truly Yours
– Lett likes this for business emails but I find it stilted and it has the pen pal problem.
33. Sincerely
– Lett also likes this but to me, it signals that the writer is stuck in the past. Maybe OK for some formal business correspondence, like from the lawyer handling your dead mother’s estate.
34. Sincerely Yours
– Same problem as “Sincerely,” but hokier. Lett likes this for business correspondence. I don’t.
35. Cheers!
– Though I have never liked this because it seems affected when used by Americans and I get annoyed at the idea that anyone is telling me to cheer me up, several British readers commented that it’s simply a frequently-used informal sign-off in the UK that’s equivalent to “thanks.” On the other hand, one reader wrote, “As a British person, it conjures boozy nights in a pub, and ‘bottoms up’ as a synonym for ‘cheers.’ Grates with me I am afraid.”
36. Ciao – Pretentious for an English-speaker, though I can see using it in a personal, playful email.
37. -Your name
– Terse but just fine in many circumstances. Probably not a good idea for an initial email.
38. -Initial
– Good if you know the recipient and even fine in a business context if it’s someone with whom you correspond frequently.
39. Love
– This seems too informal, like over-sharing in the business context, but Farhad Manjoo points out that for some people, hugging is common, even in business meetings. For them, this sign-off may work.
40. XOXO
– I’ve heard of this being used in business emails but I don’t think it’s a good idea.
41. Lots of love
– I would only use this in a personal email. The “lots of” makes it even more inappropriately effusive than the simple, clean “Love.”
42. Hugs
– It’s hard to imagine this in a business email but it’s great when you’re writing to your granny.
43. Smiley face
- Emoticons are increasingly accepted, though some people find them grating. I wouldn’t sign off this way unless I were writing to my kid.
44. ;-)
– I’ve gotten emails from colleagues with these symbols and I find they brighten my day.
45. [:-)
– I’m a sucker for variations on the smiley face made with punctuation marks, though I suspect most people don’t like them.
46. High five from down low
– A colleague shared this awful sign-off which is regularly used by a publicist who handles tech clients. An attempt to sound cool, which fails.
47. Take it easy bro
– Author Richie Frieman says he regularly gets this from a web designer in Santa Cruz, CA. Though it might turn some people off, I would be fine receiving an email with this sign-off, knowing the sender lives in an informal milieu.
48. See you around
– Lett would cringe but this seems OK to me when used among friends or from a Santa Cruz web designer.
49. Have a wonderful bountiful lustful day
– Tim Ferguson, editor of Forbes Asia, regularly gets this sign-off from Joan Koh, a travel writer in Southeast Asia. I find it weird and off-putting though one reader claimed he liked it.
50. Sent from my iPhone
– This may be the most ubiquitous sign-off. It used to bother me but I realize that it explains brevity and typos. I’ve erased it from my iPhone signature because I don’t like to freight my emails with extra words, and in many instances I don’t want the recipient to know I’m not at my desk. But maybe I should restore it. The same goes for automated messages on other devices.
51. Typos courtesy of my iPhone
– Slightly clever but it’s gotten old. Better to use the automated message.
52. Sent from a prehistoric stone tablet
– I laughed the first time I read it but then the joke wore thin.
53. Pardon my monkey thumbs
– Same problem here.
54. Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
– A preachy relic of the past. Who doesn’t know that printing uses paper? Though one reader suggested that “environment” refers to the people who might have access to the printed document, which could contain sensitive information and thus shouldn’t wind up in the wrong hands. I beg to differ since the “environment” emails I have received include graphics of green trees.
55. vCards
– I think these are a great idea. At least they work well on my Dell desktop when I want to load a contact into Outlook and you’re doing the recipient a favor if you’re initiating a correspondence.
56. This email is off the record unless otherwise indicated
– My colleague Jeff Bercovici, who covers media, told me he gets this email from friends who are inviting him to birthday parties or other engagements and he finds it extremely annoying. I’m wondering what kind of paranoid people put this in their signatures.
57. Lengthy disclaimers
– We’ve all seen these and ignored them, though I understand that many companies require them. Forbes’ former in-house legal counsel, Kai Falkenberg, couldn’t recall any cases  that have relied on legal disclaimers, though she said that a disclaimer might serve as persuasive evidence in a trade secrets case where a party is attempting to keep information confidential.
58. Much appreciated – From a reader who says he likes expressing gratitude to someone who has gone out of her way to be helpful. I agree this is a warm, appropriate sign-off in the right circumstances.
59. Talk soon – Reader Chris Thomas likes this. So do I, especially if you want to strike an informal tone.
60. TTYS – This abbreviation for “talk to you soon” is frequently used in texts. I haven’t yet seen it in email but I think it’s just a matter of time and seems good for informal notes between friends.
61. Thank you for your patronage – This comes from a reader named Thierry Clicot who says it “[w]orks well in a formal business relationship with an older or more proper client,” though he admits that it sounds “stilted.” I’m afraid I don’t like this at all. The word “patronage” strikes me as patronizing.
63. You’re the best – Reader GabrielH suggests this while acknowledging that it sounds like the final scene from “The Karate Kid.” I don’t disagree but I can also imagine using it when replying to a source or contact who has gone the extra mile.
64. Enthusiastically – “I am a very upbeat person and I find it helps my e-mail echo what my intent is,” writes Christopher Tong. I find this one heavy-handed and would recommend confining your enthusiasm to your email text.
65. To your success – I’ve never seen this one. I guess it’s OK if you’re writing an email congratulating someone on a promotion or a new job. Otherwise it sounds an odd note.
66. Until/Till next time/week/tomorrow – Fine in the right circumstances.
67. Have a blessed day – For those who use this regularly in conversation, it can be appropriate.
68. God bless – ditto.
69. Blessings – ditto
70. Your servant in Christ – One reader said her pastor uses this as his sign-off. For anyone outside the clergy, this seems too freighted. Obviously not appropriate when writing to someone who isn’t Christian.
71. Peace dude – I haven’t seen this one, but I imagine if I got it, I’d smile. Don’t use it for most business correspondence unless you’re a 20-something communing with others your age in a business like a start-up where the tone is decidedly informal.
72. Peace and love – This strikes me as a throwback akin to the simple “peace.” Appropriate if you’re in your 50s or 60s emailing someone in the same age bracket.
73. At your service – In some contexts this could be fine. If a corporate publicist were responding with this sign-off to a request I’d made, I’d welcome it.
74. Now go do that voodoo that you do so well! – Reader Shardul Pandya says he occasionally uses this line from the Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles” when letting his employees know they should proceed with a task. The line actually originated with the George Gershwin song, “You Do Something to Me.”
75. -Nickname – If you’re very familiar with the recipient, you could sign off with a shortened version of your first name. Brian could end with “Bri.”
76. TTFN – I had no clue what this meant until three readers told me it stands for “Tata for now.”
77. Waiting to hear your reply, with best regards – This is too pushy and too wordy. Stick with “best regards.”
78. SMILE! — it exercises the maximum facial muscles – This is from the same reader, Rajeev Joshi, who sent No. 77. I recoil when people tell me to smile.
79. A smiling face is miles more attractive than just a pretty one. – Joshi uses this too but it turns me off and seems vaguely sexist. Would he write this to a man?
80. The purpose of education is not knowledge but right action. – Another Joshi sign-off. He claims he is trying to get his recipients to think, but I think they are just annoying. I’ll spare you the three others he sent.
81. Snuggles – This is another one that’s new to me. Obviously for personal use only.
82. Stay gold – An allusion to the 1967 S.E. Hinton novel The Outsiders. Too obscure!
83. Respectfully – This sounds OK but it only seems appropriate in certain circumstances, like a student writing to a professor.
84. Make it a great day! – Again I am repelled by directives that tell me how to live my life.
85. Thanking you in anticipation – I don’t like this at all. It’s an order wrapped in a nicety.
86. Signed – A reader suggested that this could be a good way to end en email because it’s generic and “it doesn’t imply any sort of emotion or promise.” But I’ve never seen anyone use it in email, and thus it calls needless attention to itself and sounds overly stiff and literal.  I would never use this. If you want to sound generic, stick with “Best.”
87. With appreciation – Though I’ve never seen this, it strikes me as warm and appropriate.
88. V/R – Reader Andee Howard Cui explains that this stands for “Very respectfully.” The phrase has a nice sentiment and it’s rendered less formal by the abbreviation, but I think it’s too obscure.
89. Sent from my smartphone – Reader Ieva Screbele believes that those who use the “Sent from my iPhone” sign-off seem like a they are showing that they can afford an iPhone and/or offering an advertisement for Apple. She suggests the more generic “smartphone” ending.

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I wanted to add one more to make it 90!

90. Try a mix of the above - What can really help you stand out is a "personal hybrid" of two from the above list, e.g. "With gratitude and appreciation". This is professional and shows a thoughtful personalization. 
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============================================
In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:
 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki
 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.

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