Seth Godin reposted his tips on how to make e-mail less painful for recipients, and you. He did this
in the naive hope that it would eliminate (or perhaps merely reduce) the ridiculous CC-to-all emails about the carpool, the fake-charity forwards, the ALL CAPS yelling and the stupid PR spam.
See his 36 tips here.
Is there anything in this email I don’t want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
How would you feel the email was read by the Attorney General, the LA Times, your local paper, or your boss? If that very idea makes you uneasy, take the hint.
A few other nice hints:
Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
Am I forwarding someone else’s mail? (If so, will they be happy when they find out?)
Plan on someone else reading your email. Probably the someone you don’t want to see it. Write accordingly.