Email doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Here are a collection of concepts to help you write better emails, optimize your inbox, and keep your sanity.
1. The simplest way to get fewer emails is to send fewer emails.
2. The more ideas you try to communicate in a single email, the more likely one will be overlooked.
3. If a message was truly urgent, it wouldn’t have been sent to you in an email.
4. Inbox zero doesn’t make you more productive — unless your job is to achieve inbox zero.
5. You don’t need to sign your name at the end of your email — the recipient knows who it’s from.
6. If you reply to emails immediately, you train people to expect you to reply immediately.
7. The more your email sounds like you speak, the more effective it will be.
8. A good email with a bad subject line isn’t a good email.
9. If your email management system forces you to spend more time managing email than you did without it, it’s doing you more harm than good.
10. An email is only as valuable as the reason you send it.
(Speaking of valuable emails, here’s one that reveals the secrets of successful creators.)
11. The worst time to “do email” is every time you get an email.
12. There’s such a thing as being too available.
13. You don’t always have to reply.
14. The longer your email, the less likely someone is to read every word.
15. The best way to get your question answered is to end your email with the question.
16. Just click send.
17. There’s nothing “free” about staying subscribed to a free newsletter you don’t read.
18. The emails you send over and over again don’t need to be written over and over again —create templates.
19. The more people you cc on an email, the more of a clusterfuck it will become.
20. Emails are a terrible place for small talk.
21. Using filters to send incoming emails directly to different folders is more effective than labeling emails after they hit your inbox.
22. The more time you spend writing an email, the more time you waste writing an email.
23. An email isn’t a letter.
24. Your inbox works for you — not the other way around.
25. If you’re not working on email now, your inbox shouldn’t be open now.
26. When you buy a product and give a store your email address, you’re paying them to interrupt you over and over again.
27. CC’ing someone who doesn’t need to be cc’d isn’t respectful— it’s disrespectful.
28. There’s no rule against having multiple email addresses.
29. The most important sentence in any email is the first one.
30. An email without a goal is an email without a purpose and an email without a purpose is an email that shouldn’t exist.
31. Your email signature can be used to promote more than yourself.
32. If you send a cold email, it better be about a hot opportunity.
33. People who say “email is dead” and “kids don’t use email” forget kids won’t always be kids.
34. If you can write one great email, you can get whatever you want.
35. Reply All is a trap.
36. If you have to write a long email, make it skimmable —bulletpoints are your best friend.
37. Write a line. Skip a line. Write a line. Skip a line.
38. No one ever says “I wish the paragraphs in that email were longer.”
39. Every email should tell the recipient what you want them to do after they read it.