Clark Media Productions

The Virtual Trombonist

The Virtual Trombonist is a place for me to share my love of music, trombone, and music technology.  Subscribe to my email list for late breaking blog posts, videos, and educational content!

Let's talk about email!

Yeah, that's right... What on earth could be MORE BORING! Well, honestly, not much! The suggested Day 4 topic for the #yourturnchallenge is "teach us something you do well". Since learning to play trombone (even poorly) takes a bit more than a day, I thought I'd address something else that I have at least tried to improve upon over the last few years. Yep, that's email. Not more, but less. Not longer, but short, to the point, and incapable of misinterpretation. I now treat email as a form of almost formal communication. If I need to reply to an email, I strive to do so in a tone that shows respect towards the person I'm writing. That might mean simple things like punctuation, complete sentences, and capitalizing words. Nothing shows me a blasé attitude more than an email with grammar that was modeled after prose on a bathroom wall. I might also use phrases such as, "might I suggest", or "I would like to recommend". Always follow a suggestion with a solution, otherwise your great idea is just a complaint!

I tend to get a fair amount of email, although not near as much as many people I know. I love to have an empty, clean desk. I also love to have an empty email inbox! When I receive a message, I take one of 5 actions:

1. Delete it if at all possible. 2. Unsubscribe: for spam 3. Reply if it can be taken care of in a short format of a few lines or less. 4. File it away for future reference - only if absolutely necessary! 5. Leave it in the inbox if it is something I am currently working on or needs to be done by the end of the day.

My inbox currently contains 3 messages, all pertaining to the same project.

Finally, I strive to not leave my message open for interpretation. I try to be clear and write the message from the standpoint of the reader who has no preconceived idea about what I am trying to say. I avoid humor, as it is very easy to misinterpret jokes over email. Yeah, I know you can use emoticons, but I save that for people who know me well. :)

There you go! Please respond in the comments, NOT via email... :)

Yours virtually,

Chris

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