I stated that I felt (in some cases) emailing “thank yous” and “you’re welcomes” made unnecessary inbox clutter. Some reader feedback has prompted me to write a follow-up. The source of this feedback, an IT manager who gets tons of emails each day, disagreed with me, indicating that “thank you emails” are a way for him to give kudos to his employees. It boosts their morale. I think he has a good point.
Also, if you have recently been on a job interview, an email thank you is fine, but do accompany that with a paper letter, too. The email is a quick way to jolt the interviewer’s memory and helps you stay in the person’s mind. The follow-up snail mail will give the interviewer a second reminder and indicate your true interest in the job. If you’re not too interested in writing the paper letter, then you might really not want the job.
Again, use your best judgment in deciding whether or not an email or action prompts a quick “thank you” note. (But, I still don’t think “you’re welcome” is necessary.)
Receive an email worthy of sharing with others? Are you sure? Really sure? OK, if you’re that sure, then make an effort to check the formatting.
Many forwarded emails have the annoying >>>> in front of the text, especially if you’re the 70th person to receive it. The more hands (or inboxes) it touches, the more >>>>> it will have and that makes it harder to read. Let’s remove those arrows by copying and pasting the email into a word processor. Use the find and replace feature to take out the arrows in an instant.
(Editor’s note: See Jessica Zimmer’s email tip about free software that can remove those pesky arrows for you)
Some emails have all UPPER CASE letters. And some have messed up paragraph formatting, like this paragraph. Emails are harder to read when one line is short and the other is long. Fix it by removing the hard returns. See our earlier tip for an explanation of why lines go batty.
I use NoteTab Light to join the lines with a couple of clicks and then split them at 65 characters.
If you’re still serious about forwarding that email, then remove the extras and ensure it is in sentence case. The easiest way to change the case is to copy and paste the text into your favorite word processor and have it change the case.
In Microsoft Word, click FORMAT > CHANGE CASE. Warning: in some cases, this won’t work and you’ll have to retype the whole message yourself.
So clean up your forwarded emails. If it’s too much trouble to clean it up, it may be not worth the read.