Email is ubiquitous in its volume of users and mails sent – yet, despite its great use, it comes at a great irritation.
A recent study shows that there are an estimated 3.3 billion email users in the world as almost everyone on the Internet has at least one email account. A person can send and receive a staggering average of 112 emails each day.
The amount of emails going back and forth on the Internet creates convenience for many. Email is easy to send one or many, you can take your time to type it out, its free, its contents can hold up in court, and you can reach almost anyone from the president to your neighbour.
This great tool can also become a great lemon when it is misused. Malicious practices like the obvious spams, malwares, hacks and scams are commonplace. But with enough safeguards, these can be avoided.
Despite the ill intentions of some emails’ usage, the real irritation comes when you are receiving mails from trusted contacts. These are people who blatantly disregard email etiquette and make your inbox annoying to look at.
The top 4 email aspects that irritate people are: attachment chaos, the great flood, super spam and forgetful forward.
1. Attachment Chaos
Problem: Common problems like too many attachments, file size is too big, attachments are lost in a long email chain and more.
Suggestion: Use Dropmyemail’s File Manager service – besides email backup, view all your email attachments in a single folder and filter it by file type. No longer do you have to scroll through chains upon chains of emails to find that one specific version of a file.
2. The Great Flood
Problem: Receiving so much email that it is hard to even start to clear them. Worse of all is that when the pile is sorted and answered, the next pile comes in again.
Suggestion: Utilize workflow management techniques like Inbox Zero or Getting Things Done. These are mantras to remember to sort through emails quickly before acting on it.
Key things to do is to ask yourself, “What is it?” and “Is it actionable?”.
If it’s NOT Actionable, then delete it, store it in a Reference email folder, or incubate it on Someday/Maybe if you think you’ll have action with it in the future.
If it ISActionable and will take you multiple steps to complete, ask yourself, “What’s my desired outcome?” Track that outcome on a Projects list.
3. Super Spam
Problem: Unwanted emails sent from your contacts are the worse kind of spam. Either they are insensitive in forwarding junk mail or their emails were compromised. Whichever way, you cannot block the sender as he or she may one day send you a warranted email.
Suggestion: Choose a spam filter with a ‘whitelisting’ system – in other words, you have to actively mark an email address as ‘not spam’ or messages will go straight into a folder entitled ‘Spam’ or ‘Junk’.
As 62% of email account owners are unaware that they are sending out spam, it might be good to respond and inquire on whether they are intentionally sending you the email. More often than not, they will appreciate it and stop spamming you.
4. Forgetful Forward
Problem: Email chain mails and corporate forwarding creates a snowball of ever increasing emails as it goes further down the line. Most people who get copied on the email have no idea or interest in what the email is about.
In the corporate world, there is a culture of covering one’s own behind dictates that the more personnel copied on the email will insulate them from any fallout or claim credit for work done.
Suggestion: Most spam filters will capture these emails with extensive mail recipients but the buck has to stop with you.
When you refuse to forward the email further and not adding any more names onto the list, this practice will eventually die out. You can even take one step further to remind serial offenders to cease and desist.
With some practice, email users on a whole can start to eradicate these bad habits. This is an inexhaustible list of suggestions that should be tailored to ones needs.
Pointing out the top irritants in email is only the first step. Email etiquette is a community effort. When more people carry out best practices, others will follow.