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Chapter 1: Special Rules, Tips, and Guid... > Tips for avoiding common e-mail blun... - Pg. 29

Special Rules, Tips, and Guidelines for Writing Business E-Mails Tips for avoiding common e-mail blunders We've all heard stories about the regrettable consequences of workplace e-mail transgressions, such as sending a colleague disparaging remarks about a man- ager. Here are some ways to keep yourself out of e-mail trouble: 1. Use instant messaging, instead of e-mail, for brief online conversa- tions with coworkers. That way, if you slip up and say something you shouldn't have, there's no permanent record. This will also keep your e-mail inbox from overflowing with insignificant little messages. 2. To avoid receiving personal e-mails in the workplace, make it a policy to not disclose your business e-mail address to friends and family. If it's too late for that, at least let them know that if they want you to respond to personal e-mails, they should use your personal e-mail address. Ask them to delete your business e-mail address from their online address books. 3. Get into the habit of completing the "To" and "CC" fields of e-mail messages as the last step before sending a message. This prevents you from prematurely hitting the "Send" button before you've care- fully proofed your message. You should complete your e-mail, proof- read it, double-check any attachments, and only fill in the "To" and "CC" fields when you're absolutely ready to hit "Send." If you're responding to a message, clear the "To" and "CC" fields by hitting "Forward" instead of "Reply." Then type your reply, care- fully proof it, remove any unnecessary attachments automatically picked up by selecting "Forward," and enter the e-mail addresses of your recipients last. If others are anxiously awaiting your reply, let them wait the few extra seconds or minutes it takes to ensure that you don't send a message that is missing an attachment or key de- tails, filled with errors, incomplete, or addressed to the wrong person. 4. If you find yourself typing an angry or emotionally charged e-mail, leave off the recipient's address and save the message as a draft. Return to the message later and evaluate whether sending it still seems like a good idea. 5. Double-check files after attaching them. Open them up to make sure you have attached the correct version (or even the correct file). There's nothing more embarrassing than having to resend an e-mail because you realized you attached the wrong file, omitted something, or for- got a correction. 29