These things are usually beaten into everyone's heads, and I don't like to regurgitate, however, I was caught in a situation today where someone said "well I don't know how I was expected to know [something]...". Which actually had nothing to do with email, but my email response to that person, which basically said, "everyone knows that", had me thinking... Should I send this email? Which is why we're here.
I hope that you find some of these other rules of thumb for email helpful. Please don't say you're not expected to know. :)
- If your email is longer than three sentences, you should instead pick up the phone.
- If you're sending to multiple people who don't really know each other, you should use the BCC field.
- Keep yourself out of trouble by not forwarding or replying to all. Sometimes the original message wasn't meant for everyone.
- On the flipside to the previous point, never send an email that you wouldn't want to be seen by your boss, your boss' boss, the entire corporation, posted on the Internet, etc.
I have to stress two more points.
- Always assume that your network traffic is being monitored. Because, at work, it likely is. Depending on your situation, you could be held responsible for what you download and view, and also what you send.
- Once something is digitized, there is more of a chance than not, much more, that whatever you are digitizing, a photo, a blog post, an email, whatever... Will be here forever. Once a search engine or backup/archive process picks up what you're puttin' down, it's going to be saved for a long time. And the rules may change some day as to how that information is used.
Think about it!