Composing better emails (with examples from the software development world)

Lazarus Lazaridis on October 08, 2019

Email communication is not my favorite but since I can't avoid it, I am trying to compose messages in a way that I think it makes it easier for bot... [Read Full]
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Some very helpful tips here. May I add another one I learned the hard way after working in remote teams: unless you're absolutely, positively sure that your email will be read only by people in your timezone, use UTC times, e.g "let's chat at 13:00 UTC"

 
 

Some good tips here. Some may seem over the top for an email, but they mean you get the point across with fewer (or no) follow up emails.

I often include full dates and 24-hour times in emails, just so it's clear what I'm discussing, with no ambiguity.

The examples are very helpful too, they make it much easier to imagine how to use your tips. Nice.

 
 

I wasn't planning on 'liking' your post, but then I saw your cats...

No, just kidding. Very good and readable post. I really love the fact that you added examples. Posts on better mailing behavior often lack good examples, thanks!

 
 

Superb article. Bad vs Good examples are always easy to understand.

For non-native English speakers I can also recommend two tools I usually use when composing mail:

  • Grammarly is well known Chrome extension, and allows us to quickly solve many issues with our text
  • hemingwayapp.com/ - this I use only for longer text - similar to Grammarly but focuses more on readability not grammar

Also, the rules mentioned in this article are pretty useful: medium.com/swlh/write-to-express-n...

 
 

When I'm writing an email that is longer than a paragraph I generally start with an executive summary. Because most people want to be executives and don't read the email. So, important stuff first. After that comes the detailed information and background.

Then when people respond I can simply refer to my original email, which they didn't read fully, but does contain the answer to their question.

 

Another point I recently realize: avoid sharing too much unnecessary details(like my inner thoughts or concerns regarding the subject). That becomes noises to the audience.

Great post ;)

 
 

Good tips. I will try to follow them in my emails. Will see the outcome :)

 
 

Really good article, but more cats next time please! 😸

 

Thanks! More cats? That will not be a problem at all :D

 

This is super helpful with communication in general. Thanks for this post!

 
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